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One of the best ways to get creative juices flowing is to increase your inputs. Creativity is essentially the juxtaposition of two or more old ideas to create new ones. So if you’re in a funk, increase the inputs. Go read a magazine, explore a new place, listen to new voices.
If you’re a portrait shooter and looking for new inputs, I have some homework for you. Spend some time with the following two books:
1. Monkey Portraits, Jill Greenberg.
Jill has a particular look and style and in this book it shines through with amazing clarity. If you want inspiration on capturing personality in your images, look no further. Most of you will think I’m joking or disregard this suggestion. The few of you that take me seriously will benefit – go to Chapters or Barnes and Noble and spend some time with it.
2. Karsh: A Biography in Images.
Or anything profiling the work of Karsh. I cut my teeth on Yousuf Karsh’s work. He was a remarkable man and his portraiture is classic, simple, and powerful. (There is a new compilation of his work coming out this year: Yousef Karsh: Industrial Images. Should be out anytime now.)