Are you pushing your photography far enough?


If you are only drawing inspiration from other photographers, you are really missing the boat.  Creativity is all around us – everything from movies to music.  If you keep an open eye and an open mind, there is a lot to be taken in.


One group of artists who take things to a whole new level is the band OK GO.  You probably saw the viral video of them doing a choreographed dance routine on a bunch of treadmills.  (If you missed it, here is the LINK.)  I recently came across the video for their song Needing/Getting.  If you think you are pretty creative, this will really put you in your place.

First off, how did someone come up with that idea?  Second, if you COULD come up with an idea like that – how on Earth do you figure out the logistics necessary to pull it off?  Calling these guys creative geniuses really feels like I am under-selling them.


Maybe it is time that we all start thinking a little more like OKGO.  Figure out where the limits to your creativity are – then figure out a way to exceed them.  This might mean entering print competitions or taking on difficult self-assignments.  The important thing is to train your brain to start thinking outside the box, especially with your photography.

I’ve always loved the quote “What would you do if you were certain you wouldn’t fail?”  Next time you start on a photographic project, keep that in mind.  Oh sure, start out by getting the “money” shot and cover all the necessary bases.  Just make sure to save a little time at the end to try something a little different.  Do it every time.  It won’t work out every time.  In fact, if it IS working out most of the time, then you probably aren’t pushing things far enough.  Really force yourself to go for it.

If you end up with something that is a miserable failure, who cares?  Delete the file and move on.


I’d like to leave you with one more video from OKGO.  This one is completely different, but no less fantastic.

Now go forth and create!



  1. Thank you Larry,
    Great Post! I think this is just what I needed to help push myself a bit more into far stretches of my creative self. Safe is boring and unispiring. Out on the edge of creativity is where the creative types will feel most alive. An artist should reinvent himself often to keep that energy alive and going…


  2. Michael Anderson

    So true… And, the inspiring part? It is truly helpful if we are inspired and it is truly inspiring to look for that inspiration and capture it with the talent of photography.

  3. Good post, I love the videos! It’s great to look at others work but real style and creativity comes from all around us – and inside us.

  4. This is so true. I love this article. I never thought OKGO could be an example of creative. It’s another principle should apply in photography.

  5. I just discovered the OK Go Needing/Getting video yesterday. So funny that I’d run across it today too! I love the idea of pushing my work farther. I also really enjoy your use of layering images. Very thought provoking. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Grace Sevilly

    I am still a noob when it comes to photography but a little push like this always helps! Thanks for sharing

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