I recently posted a poll in Google+ (FB, too) on what inspires people the most in their work.

For posterity, the wording and choices were

Of the following, what inspires you most?

  1. Art
  2. Music
  3. Literature
  4. Motion Picture/Television

So after some time and a few votes, things seemed to be leaning in one direction in particular… Music. This is interesting to me, because of the circles I relate to most, the people are generally more visual artists (photography, fine arts, theater, etc…) than musical artists. Mind you there are a few musical savants in my groups, but generally more prone to be artist’s for the eyes than the ears. As such, I was half expecting motion pictures or art to be the primary sense of inspiration (even though personally I chose music as well)… But it didn’t play out that way. At all…

My polls generally showed a consistant 75%+ in favor of Music. Astounding. So after some thought, I came to the conclusion that music, in relation to inspiration, is the easiest to stay with consistently and in quantity without time loss and effort. An artform that can be enjoyed while working, walking, relaxing.. hell even sleeping. So I assume its not only the most powerful form of inspiration, its also the most easily accessed.

That said, I personally find that music plays a large role in my current emotions, while shooting in the street. An iPod touch is a mandatory piece of gear to accompany me on my walks. I enjoy anything from 90s rock to some good old school opera (Donizetti: Lucia de Lammermoor) while I’m out. Sometimes I’ll also toss in some hip hop, jazz and even a little heavy metal. What I find is an extensive variance on how I interact, how I react and how my photographic style changes at these times of stimulation.

In lieu of this new found interest and my propensity for over studying damn near everything, I believe I’ll put together a new project where I create a playlist for different days of shooting, then associate my results with the playlist. These playlists will favor a particular genre and tempo that will differ from day to day. Through this I will get a feel for how my work changes with varying degrees of audial influence.

I do love a good research project and looking forward to how this one plays out. As such, I am sure this plays a very similar role in your work as well, which is something I am curious about. I would be very interested in any findings that you too may discover in how music effects your photographic approach too. Feel free to express your thoughts below.

Till this get’s under way… load your camera, hit that pavement, crank up the volume and let’s all make art to the beat.