Photographic inspiration comes from many sources

I have shared the fact that I read a lot. Books. Magazines. Blogs. Newspapers. I love and appreciate the printed word, whether it is on a monitor or a piece of paper. At this time, however, there are several magazines that serve to give me inspiration in most of the things I do: Poets & Writers, Inc., Fast Company, and Fretboard Journal.

Poets & Writers: As a source of inspiration for my writing, P&W is first and foremost a catalyst for writing and thinking about writing, which fuels many other of my creative pursuits.

Many articles go into the thought and process of creating a body of work. Many articles go into the creative process of putting together a cohesive story or poem.

Many articles go into how to land an agent and seek that ever-elusive publishing deal. Very few pages go by “untouched.”

Fast Company: I have written about this magazine previously, citing its many benefits related to growing your nascent company, photographic or otherwise.

In the current issue, articles range from “Can Facebook beat Apple?” , “Secrets of Chipotle, Starbucks & Red Bull” , and one of my annual favorites, “The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies.”

While the first few articles are interesting on their own, the last one is especially thought-provoking because in addition to listing the companies, FC also offers a bit of insight into why/how certain companies are included on this prestigious list.

Inc.: Sure, most of the articles in this magazine, are about venture capitalizing, CEOs, and other alphabet titles. But there are also many articles of interest for marketing and growth insights.

In the current issue of this magazine we have: “How to turn a small idea into a $250 million success & have fun doing it.” Another intriguing article is the one about suing someone who copies an idea of yours.

One of their regular columns I am sure to peruse in each issue is, News, Ideas, People. In this section little items are highlighted that I find most interesting, including stories about people who have “gone against the grain” in an effort to grow their respective companies.

Fretboard Journal: As a photographer and erstwhile guitarist, this has to be on of my favorite all-time magazines. I have subscribed to this magazine, almost since its inception, and have watched it grow to become a standard in its field, which is something that is very difficult to do today.

The photograhy is outstanding. the writing is outstanding. The layout is outstanding. The paper upon which it is printed, is (of course) outstanding. This is one magazine that doesn’t leave my house or get far from my sight!

From this magazine I get tremendous inspiration to photograph cleaner, with more detail, and definition. FJ has set the bar very high for musical-instrument photography and writing, two fields that take up most of my creative time.

By now, you probably realized that I didn’t list any photography magazines. You’re right. I don’t feel any need to “preach to the choir.” I am sure most of you have a favorite photography magazine. This post is about stretching your “eyes” to stretch your view into other fields for inspiration. Go ahead, you never know where it may take you.

If you decide to subscribe to Inc. and Fast Company, I would suggest calling them and asking for their very special pricing of $15 for both magazines. That is the price I have been paying for quite a while, and it is well worth $15!

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About Tim

Tim Anderson is the former publisher/managing editor of CameraArts magazine, and now produces Red Dog News, a bi-weekly photography-related e-newsletter that goes out to more than 15,000 subscribers. He recently began publishing Shadow & Light Magazine, a PDF photography magazine featuring portfolios, articles, and much more. For his personal photography, he specializes in fine art nudes, and recently participated in the show, "1x15." He manages several photography Websites and blogs, as well as his personal site ( He has juried all around the country for Review Santa Fe, Review LA, Photo Lucida, The Center for Fine Art Photography, The Gala Awards, The Palm springs Photo Festival, etc. He is also a published poet, and recently released ( a collection of his work, "Frame of Mind."