What You Learn from Shooting the Same Product for 7 Years

What can you learn from shooting the same product over and over (and over) again for many years? That’s what photographer Peter McKinnon had to do for work the last 7 years, and in this video he explains how those years taught him to shoot and think more creatively than his competition.

The idea of creativity from limitation is not a new one. One of the most common tips you’ll find for getting out of a creative rut is to eliminate options—shoot with only one lens, or iPhone only, or a single subject for a month… or a year. In a sense, this is what McKinnon was forced to do while he worked for a company that sold card tricks to magicians. How many ways can you photograph a deck of cards?

It turns out: a lot. And in figuring that out, you get a lot more creative about (cliché incoming) telling a story with your photos. This is what McKinnon explains in his newest video.

So the next assignment you get, or the next personal project you embark on, peel back the layers of your subject until you find a storyline. It might be a story, skill, or object that makes a portrait subject light up; it might be a product series that goes well beyond the simple photo on a white background; or, it might be a deck of playing cards you’re photographing for the umpteenth time.

Whatever your subject, take Peter (and Apple’s) advice and think different… and then shoot different.

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