How does the creative process start?
I suppose it depends on the individual artist. For me it begins in several ways. Sometimes it is when I am in the field working on a project. At other times, it begins when I am sitting and daydreaming about an image I want to create. The spark of an idea starts gets the ball rolling. When you feel the spark, you know you are on the right track.
In the field
When I am in the field working on a project, the creative spark can take me in an entirely different direction. The plan for my shoot gets altered as my attention moves to this new creative idea. Some would call it “flying by the seat of your pants”. But sometimes that is how the creative process can overpower you. The original plan is somehow improved by this new spark of an idea. What could have been a ho-hum photo shoot, takes on depth and meaning. You go beyond your original expectations and the end product is measurably better than the work you produced before the spark.
Sitting and Daydreaming
When I am sitting and daydreaming, I try to visualize the landscape image I want to create. I visualize the ideal weather, the angle of the sun, the mix of sky and clouds and even some potential compositions. In my mind, I see the whole setup for the shoot.
When I get on location I walk around and find the places I want to shoot from. I set up and wait to get the light right. All the while I am working my plan to get the images I imagined while daydreaming. But I am also prepared for a creative spark that may change my original plan.
Listening to that creative spark can improve your work. It is a key element of the creative process. Listen to it.