To answer these questions, I decided to not use myself as an example, but rather 2 of the people on Team Photogen Inc - Liz and Brandon!
Both Liz and Brandon are months away from graduating from art school. Whether you are working as a full time photographer, trying to get to 'full-time-status' or are a student, shooting can often times become redundant. Every shoot suddenly becomes 'work' and each assignment is daunting...what am I going to do NOW?!?!? If you have ever felt this way - the good news is that we have ALL felt that way! You are not alone! Yes, photography is your passion, but there is a fine line between loving what you do and loving it SO much that you are going to burn yourself out too quickly.
So, what do we do to fix this?
Keep shooting. Keep Shooting! Keep SHOOTING!!!
Shoot for yourself and shoot what you WANT to shoot! It is SO important to find time to shoot personal projects and experiment with new (or old!) technology! Maybe you have always wanted to shoot film - I DARE you to go pick up a roll and shoot it! Maybe you have always wanted to shoot with studio lights - I DARE you to rent a space for a day! Maybe you have always wanted to shoot some models for a fashion shoot - I DARE you to organize it!
My point is that to answer both of the questions above, you need to commit to exploring other avenues in photography, not just the gigs you are getting paid for. Push your limits, make mistakes and challenge yourself - THIS is what is going to help you develop your personal style AND keep your creativity fresh and fabulous!
Back to Brandon and Liz! These two have a special and very distinctive style of their own!
Liz is the QUEEN of film! The three images below were all shot with film and I am constantly inspired by her work! She has a way with her camera too, that few people have!
Brandon recently found, what I think, is an incredible niche! He does an AMAZING job at conceptualizing shoots and his photoshop skillz are CRAZY good! (And yes, that IS Cadence below - doing a fabulous job at modeling!)
Both of their style's didn't just happen, they practiced and worked towards something that is going to be AMAZING!
I hope this inspires you!