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Keeping Your Ideas Fresh

Lesson 9 from: Adventure Photography Pro

Alex Strohl

Keeping Your Ideas Fresh

Lesson 9 from: Adventure Photography Pro

Alex Strohl

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Lesson Info

9. Keeping Your Ideas Fresh

Feeling uninspired as a creator has much to do with our mind but external events can have a huge influence on how inspired we feel. Learn strategies that the worlds most celebrated creatives use to remain fresh and inspired day after day.


Class Trailer



Workshop Intro






Gear - My Camera Bags


Mastering Camera Settings


Blue Hour, A How-To


Photos That Move Us


Visual Storytelling 101


Endurance In A World Of Sprinting


Keeping Your Ideas Fresh


Building Your Story Arc


Shooting More: Action Plan


Conveying Emotions


In the Field


The Assignment: Himalaya Pre-Pro


In the Field: The Himalaya Defender Shoot


The Assignment: Canon Pre-Pro


In the Field: Canon USA Shoot




Keywords & Organizing Images


Commercial Grading


Masking & Radial Filters


Perspective Correction


HDR (Hand-Held)


Black & White Edits


Before & Afters


Moody Grading


IG Export Settings


Web Export Settings


Clone Stamping & Patch Tools


Grading in Lightroom


Hand-Held Panoramas


Radial Filters Pt 2


Delivering Files to Clients


Archiving & Organizing Images


My Favorite Software




Let's Talk Business


Building A Desirable Portfolio


How to Contact Clients


Prospecting: Finding Brands That Fit You


Getting Clients To See Our Value


Paid to Travel the World


The Art of Making Moodboards & Treatments


Keys To A Fulfilling Career


Three Things You Need To Know Before Pitching


Finding Your Value Proposition


Media Kit: A Walk Through


How I Built My Audience


Social Media Landscape


Module Recap


Bonus - Everything To Know About Filters


Do You Need Lens Filters?


Filters in The Field


Bonus - Find Your Path


Find Your Path


Bonus - How To Print Your Work


Why Print or Sell Photos


Preparing Photos for Print


Reviewing Major U.S Printers


Lesson Info

Keeping Your Ideas Fresh

(gentle music) (suspenseful music) Burnout is something that happens to the best of us. It's inevitable. But as a freelancer, I feel like I'm always walking that thin line between exciting momentum and total lassitude. (alarm ringing) Some days I wake up and I'm ready to smash it. While others, (alarm ringing) I'm wondering what's even the point to get out of bed. It's strange. It can be really draining, the reoccurring internal debate. Is my work worth anything? Why am I doing this? Would anyone care if I stop making photos tomorrow? You can feel like there's no light at the end of the tunnel. Feeling uninspired as a creator has much to do with our minds. But external events can have a huge influence on how inspired we feel. Although times are changing, there are more and more professional creators in the world. And we feel a certain stigma around creative blocks I think. It's as if it was something to be ashamed of. When I feel uninspired I'm the first to admit it, and I encourage ...

you to do the same. We don't talk enough about these things and why I want us to be more open about it is so we can start working towards finding inspiration again. The very first step is admitting you've hit a road block. Don't pretend like everything is fine. It's just normal. When you spend the last months or years working on creative projects without taking any break, it's gonna happen. The thing is that when you're in a creative position your mind is at work constantly. You're seeing opportunity and ideas everywhere and it is super taxing on the mind. And it's completely normal to feel out of it sometimes. So over the years, I've hit my fair share of blocks. Times where I didn't know what to do with myself when I started questioning everything. Maybe I should go get a job. That's what I thought. No creative is shielded from these thoughts, but there are strategies that the world's most celebrated creatives use to remain fresh and inspired day after day. And I'm gonna walk you through the ones that I've developed inspired by these. (camera shutter clicking) Number one: routines or having a schedule In the book, Daily Ritual: How Artists Work, I have discovered that 99% of the world's best most famous artists live very structured lives. Painter Joan Miro would rise early, have a light breakfast and then be in front of his easel at 7:00 AM sharp everyday. Every weekday, Andy Warhol would have a one hour long daily phone call with his friend, Pat Hackett, who documented everything they said into the book The Andy Warhol Diaries. Apple founder Steve Jobs, legend, famously went on brainstorming walks with his friends and peers almost every other day. The fact is that if you want to stay long in this in this industry, you're going to want to develop a handful of routines and habits that stimulate you and your mind. One of the big routines that I use is walking. So for example, I walk up the mountain that's outside of my house every other day of the week. I leave the house at nine, get up by 10, walk down, shower and head down to the studio. Without doing that every other day, I start feeling a bit crazy. Going on daily walks, even if it's just for 30 minutes around the neighborhood, can have profound effects. Nietzsche once said, "That all truly great thoughts are conceived by walking." And I agree, and we've all heard that, but it's true. So I beg you to integrate some form of walking into your daily routine. Reading, it's nothing new that reading simulates the mind but yet we read less and less as a society. And I'm not talking about the news browsing in the morning from your phone. I am talking about sitting down with a book for as long as you can. It's super tough, cuz the phone is always more exciting to look at, right? It can also be an audio book that you listen to while you do chores. Or just a Kindle, whatever, when you travel. What matters is letting the mind be captured for extended periods of time and feeding it with information that's simulating. As creatives, we make discoveries and come up with ideas through association. And the more we have to associate, the better. That's why it's a necessity to feed our mind with quality stories and information because the more of a large database we have in our heads, the more we can associate things together and come up with like really unique ideas. Another routine: social times. It's funny that hanging out with your friends has to become a routine sometimes. But, I feel like I'm really obsessed with working, and if I don't have that, I'm just gonna forget about them. I recently came across a theory by a French monk, that dates to the 1600s, which explains that the days should be split in three, eight hour blocks. One eight hour block for sleeping and exercise for the body. One block for prayer. If you're not a monk that could be work. And then, the third eight hour block is for socializing. When we are our own bosses, it's so tempting to keep working until dinner every day. We justify it by thinking it's good for our careers, but it's not wise long term. Of course, if there's a deadline to meet it's necessary to work until late and forget about our friends for a week. But when we're not bound by the deadline of doom we need to make the time to socialize. Spending just a few hours with other people talking and laughing and eating good food is some of the best approaches to stay creative. We let the mind relax because at the end of the day, we're social animals. (camera shutter clicking) After routines, number two: try new things. So when I hit a rock my first instinct is just to put the camera away. I just don't wanna see it. And there is no need to force it here. I'll go on and dive into other interests and activities, just so I stay connected with myself. Because it's super refreshing to be a beginner at something. You fail, you get frustrated but it's all part of the learning process. I remember this time I wasn't driven at all to go out and shoot because I had no idea what I wanted to shoot. So fine. I spent an hour that morning, just doodling on a mole skin, making pretty shitty drawings. But I ended up making this scene that I wanted to photograph. And this is the photo that came out of that. (camera shutter clicking) So you've seen what just some doodling created? I just made this image at a time where I wasn't inspired at all. And I still look fondly at that image. The point is that you just stimulate yourself by trying new things. Try coffee, I don't know, gardening. Just things that will put you out of your comfort zone but that you're interested in because that will bring that mojo back. (camera shutter clicking) Number three: travel. This is the radical way to bring some inspiration back. Especially if you go overseas because few things beat the excitement of landing in a new country. You're looking out the airplane window. You walk out of that airport and you see that place for the first time. New smells, new sites, new sounds. So when that reset button is hit we have to let it flow. Just shoot all these things that come through your mind. Make them happen. Talk to the locals. Photograph them. It's an endless pull of inspiration. And like all things, whatever comes fast, also leaves fast. So as soon as we're back home facing these mountain of images and you know, we gotta select them and edit them, it's a bit daunting, but just remember why you started. Of course, like all things that come fast, you know the inspiration that came super fast when you went there, might leave fast when you come back home. And you have this big mountain of, you know, images you have to select and edit. It can be a bit daunting but just remember why you started. And try to, sort of, bring out this excitement you felt when you were there. A little PS here when I come back from a long trip. I like giving myself a solid week to edit the images. Just slowly coming back to them so the inspiration is a bit more leveled. Versus trying to rush through the photos and get 'em out. (camera shutter clicking) Number four: saunas This is a bit extra but I have to talk about it. Let me say that there hasn't been a challenge in my career or life that I yet haven't been able to resolve with one sauna session. I'll go with a friend or alone. Sitting in a boiling hot cedar box somehow helps my mind process information and solve problems. So, if you're curious, try it. Because it's, to me, it's one of the best things in my life. (camera shutter closing)

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

A Note From Alex

Ratings and Reviews


Not What I Was Expecting Let me just start by saying that the workshop was very good. There were lots of things that I learned and many insights I took away. Perhaps the greatest bit of wisdom imparted to me was not anything Alex said but how he approached every subject he talked about. I felt that he was talking to me as a friend, very personal and open book. This was both a blessing and a curse as the course tends to meander around and is not as structured as others I've taken. Alex's passion for the highest quality, and craftsmanship in every aspect of his business, is very evident. From the premiums he charges, to the attention to detail in client deliveries. This is where my review is going to give some hopefully constructive criticisms. For someone so focused on a premium experience I was a surprised to find the course a bit sloppily assembled, and the videography and editing lackluster. This is coming from a videographer and someone with a lot of experience in online training. A few short examples to illustrate my point include: repeating segments of the edit (in some instances the exact same segment), poor framing. Colors changing between cuts, and my biggest pet peeve, not leaving photo examples on for long enough to see them. These are all small things, but they add up, and along with the topics meandering, left me a bit disappointed. I'm curious who you would say this class is aimed towards. Amateurs, mid-level, or experts? The assumption of who you are addressing changes throughout the course. I feel like with a bit of work from an instructional designer, and some editing cleanup, you could help hone this course to be one of the best out there. I feel like I need to do a more in depth review than will fit here, to actually explain this well. Let me know if that would be helpful to you. One other note: When I signed up for a workshop on Adventure Photography, I honestly thought it would be more field focused. The field examples were all shoots for products, and not shoots documenting an adventure. I guess I had just hoped to learn that side of the storytelling process more. Getting into the nitty gritty of being wet, cold, and dirty, and still shooting bangers. The section on filters (going out and building the snow cave) was more what I thought this course was going to be. Anyhow, with all that said, I still found it valuable and worthwhile. To summarize, the course feels a bit unpolished and in some ways unfinished though there is still great value. I've taken Jimmy Chin's Masterclass on adventure photography and it felt very structured and highly polished. I purchased "Adventure Pro" on the "finish in a month" discount. I would have felt ripped off if I had paid full price with the course in its current state. Thanks for reading and I hope my criticisms come as helpful. As I've already mentioned I'd be happy to further elaborate.

Topher Hammond

One of the best photography investments I'm only 1/4 of the way through Alex's course and I feel like I already have a loose plan on how I can move forward in my own career as a photographer. I felt like my work was lacking a specific feeling. The way that Alex articulated ideas on how to convey emotion in your imagery and building that overarching story arc for your own life narrative were super helpful to focus on how to make my work better. Super looking forward to the rest of this course. Thanks Alex and team!

Sergi Mas de xaxars Rosell

Great Workshop I learned quite a lot with this workshop. Because I'm in the industry for 5 years now, there were a few things I already knew. On the other hand, Alex showed me different and more effective ways to improve my business. I like the way he gives the lessons, always in a personal and close way. This is the knowledge I wish I had when I started. Totally worth it!

Student Work