Inspiring Your Practice: What Influences Your Work?

What influences your work?

Recently I’ve been lucky enough to begin exploring Alec Soth’s online Photographic Storytelling course through Magnum Learn. He has long been one of my favourite photographers because of his poetic approach to photography. I am learning so much from his teaching, and I think the chapter on influence and inspiration has had the biggest impact on me so far. In this chapter, Soth invites the reader to list five things outside of photography that have influenced their own creative work in some way. This could be a film, a song, a park near your childhood home or weird building that has stuck in your mind. Soth then asks us to write these down and see if we can find a connection between them.

This assignment sparked thoughts about obscure aspects of my past which have subconsciously ignited my creativity and influenced my way of seeing the world. For example, where I grew up had lots of alley ways and I used to run through them late at night, when I wasn’t supposed to - I was too lazy to walk the long way around! Themes around what’s hidden, forbidden and marginal have always fascinated me, and to an extent they continue to influence me creatively.

I would like to invite you to consider your own five influences outside of photography - what comes to mind?