Inspirations outside the world of photography


Hands of my assistant holding my Zippo

When I started my journey in photography, all my inspirations came from inside the world of Photography, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But over a period of time I realized I am doing nothing but making my own versions of their works. A Photo of a sunset, no matter how hard you try is a photo of the sunset which many people have captured before you. So I needed some out of the box ideas, but where to get those ideas? I struggled a lot cos I am one of those people who is always dissatisfied with my work both as a photographer and film maker. This self-criticism always helped me perform better.


I used to post my photos on my facebook and instagram and most friends would go "wow" on those but I didn't. I still don't. I can say I have very few people who made me go all "wow" on them and the photo you see above is one of those photos.


I won't be sharing the whole story behind this shot because that's something very personal, but all I can say is that before I took this shot, I was listening to this song by Sting and Erik Clapton "It's probably me" and that one of my most favorite songs of all time. Zippo lighter in that song is used as a musical instrument and I had my zippo lighter in my hand trying to follow the beat they create from Zippo in that song. I had my eyes closed and the film maker part of me was playing my own video of that song in my head. And that's where I got my inspiration for this shot. I wouldn't go into further details on the meaning of this photo because those of you who listen to this song while looking at my photo of Zippo will be able to see the meaning of that song in the details and composition of my photo.


That was the time when I realized that the most out of the box ideas in photography will come to you when you seek inspiration outside the world of photography.



So those of you who are going through the same phase I went through, I share with you this story and hope you will find my experience useful and try this for yourself. You never know, your best shot is yet to be created by your favorite piece of literature, or you favorite painting.

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​© 2019 Rizwaan Khan Photography

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