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What Inspires You?

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Feb 20

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Analysis of a Music Video

Watching this music video by Gotye, I couldn’t help but think how the progression they make parallels the progression artists make when coming up with an idea for a photo shoot.

That sounded way like I am full of myself and think I am smart. Trust me, not so. It will slap you in the face too, in a good way.


  • 1:00 – Announcing this week’s contest winners!
  • 2:00 – This Week’s Contest – You are all eligible.
  • 3:00 – Starting the music video
  • 3:20 – Idea starts simply as all of our ideas do
  • 3:45 – Branching off into an idea
  • 4:30 – Building the idea, onto our subject
  • 5:30 – introduction of the Punctum

Last Week’s Contest Winner

Lets us know which Phlearn PRO Photoshop Tutorial you would like!

  • Daniel Cumisky- Can’t wait to see the images you get from that camera
  • Jon Henbest- All of your entries were great ideas!
  • Kevin Miller- Amazing image, this is such an awesome idea for cheap
  • Justin Bonaparte - Nice job with the laundry basket
  • James Brown- PVC is great for DIY. Thanks for the instructions on how to make something like this

New Contest

Post what inspires you! Photos, videos, poems, etc are all welcome. Be sure to leave it in a comment below. Get your friends and family to like your post!

The 5 people with the most likes on their comment will each win a Phlearn PRO of their choice. Good luck, and we can’t wait to see what inspires you.


Make sure to become part of the Phlearn Family on Facebook, conversate with us on Twitter, and #hashtag your Phlearn inspirations on Instagram. We want to know what the Phlearn community social chatter is about, and who is sharing it. You all keep us motivated to do our best.

  • David J. Crewe

    The man who shot the image below, (Aryo S. Murtono) inspires me!  His work is incredible and to top it off, he’s the most approachable and willing-to-teach photographer i’ve ever met!  I’ve had the luck to start meeting, training, assisting and shooting with him in the past few months…add this experience with the PHLearn tutorials, i’ve seen a HUGE improvement in my work and workflow in an incredibly short time.  When I take an idea to Aryo, he challenges me to find a way to make it bigger, better, more groundbreaking and it NEVER fails to work and make me work twice as hard.  

  • Mike W

    The Spill Canvas(band). Their songs, especially their older stuff, tell such incredible stories. They make me really think about paying attention to details and how to embrace change in everyday situations. Very deep songs. 
    The Tide, So Much, All Hail The Heartbreaker, I could go on……. 

  •ðisá/1592784472 Andri Gerðisá

    I get a lot of inspiration from this Awesome dúde!!

    He has his own webside/Company, where he teaches people photoshop and how to take awesome photos. And he just has this crazy fantasy, or I think he has! :)
    This is his Webside where he post 5 videos pr week. 
    He´s a great guy, and helps others to get better and really wants to help, and thats just soo Awesome, and I am so greatfull for that. :)
    He also has a Flickr account. 
    Where all he´s photos are, and just by looking at them, I get motivated, 
    Because I want to be that good!!
    Thanks to Aaron! ;)

  • B Jenks This site funnels through artists based on a particular artist or song I enjoy. It is also a great resource for finding new bands. I usually just let it play and do my work.

  • Mark Behrens

    I’m most inspired by working with other photographers, it matters not what skill level they are at because photography is art someone can still be an artist and not understand the technical side of everything. This little video from a workshop we had here in Northern California shows how I get inspired by my friends in our photographic community.

  • Seva Bokov

    What inspires me the most is other great photographer’s work. To look at what emotion they’ve captured, the concept they’ve created, the story they’ve told me through the photo, to see style they have used, or to look at their technique behind the camera is what inspires me.

  • Justin DeGuzman

    this video isnt anything fantastic but it inspires me cause the guy that made the video and who does tons of live work is a good friend of mine that in my eyes made it  and inspires me to keep going

  • B Jenks

     Ok also this inspires me every freakin time I see it!

  • Aaron Brown

    I literally went and looked up “punctum” with regard to photography and discovered an application that seemed to fit the context in which you used it: one of Roland Barthes’ twin concepts in his 1980 book Camera Lucida. Inspiration shmation! Thanks for the education! ;)

  • Reem

    I get inspired by a lot of random things! it could be an Ad like the Calvin Klein euphoria awesome Ad

    or a music video like ET by Katy Perry I got inspired by those to create the image below    

  • GaryDChapman

    I take a lot of inspiration from real life, everyday events, films and music… but this always gets me feeling creative for some reason… Great band, great song and awsome, simple video…

  • Bakenekocat

    I really love this ad “Acqua di Gioia” by Giorgio Armani… true beautiful…
    This is the full composition of the commercial:

  • Holger Urbanek

    What inspires me? Well, mostly browsing onphotosites like flickr, and so on. On flickr e.g. I find it very interresting to see what other people (with imho great pictures) faved, click on them, view their photostream, view their favs and so on—so you get to see the greatest pictures on flickr, not being based on the flawed “interrestingness”. (BUT: Always try to think how that picture was done). Oh, and Strobist (and the Strobist-Group on flickr) of course ;-)
    Sadly, the music-video doesn’t play in germany for copyright-reasons …

  • Gábor Lénárt

    I get inspired by lot of things,movies, music videos, other photographer’s photos, behind the scenes videos about shooting a photo or a movie.
    I like the movie, Sin City, it gives me a lot of inspiration!
    I also like Rihanna’s music videos, especially these:
    And I have a tumblr, where I try to collect photos that inspires me:

    And of course, I get inspired by my friends and family and people I like:)

  • Gábor Lénárt

    Ohh, and I almost forgot, I’m inspired by Phlearn a LOT!!!:)

  • janiecakes

     Love that video.

  • yamaha83

    my inspiration comes from Flickr and 500Px… seeing all the great work out there gets me thinking of my own ideas. seeing people shooting what they love makes me think… what do i love? how can i shoot it? and seeing different styles help you think of things you have not thought of before.

  • Brian Fisher

    Get inspired by taking a quick 5-minute vacation. Look up your favorite or dream destination and watch a video, pretend you’re there, away from your desk. It gives you a nice change of scenery if have been trapped inside your regular workday and the best part is you don’t have to pay for plane tickets!

  • Dale Richards

    THE one stop place for inspiration! All Inspiration for ANYONE/ANYTHING starts here! ;]

    But on a serious note! I get my inspiration from DeviantArt, it is so easy to browse and always updated. DeviantArt is a great community where you search for what is Popular by the last 8 hours, 24 hours etc which is a great way to see the work of unnamed contempory photographers and artists.

    Then I tend to go a lot on FSTOPPERS which is a photography blog with new articles added about 3 times a day. Written and Moderated by REAL people. Which is a bonus. Always something new.

    I can’t say ONE place or ONE person is where I get ALL my inspiration from because if I got my inspiration from the same place I would end up copying. So the 2 above are a great resource but this list is where I spend a lot of my day =] but I won’t go in as much detail with this list. – mainly for tutorials
    Vogue/Esquire/Dazed and Confused/Wired – Fashion magazines, contempory, great inspiration – Duh! – Yes, Facebook! I am on it daily and a lot of the pages I like say “photography” at the end, it a great place to see updates and new work from your favourite photographers without hunting between 100 blogs

  • Leslie Ricken

    i thought you would like to see this :)
    i think it is amazing.

  • Leslie Ricken

    I find coincidence inspires me. When I see something that I never knew existed in multiple context and places over and over again in a short period of time.  I saw this video a week ago, and loved it found it inspiring how a simple idea can be so powerful.  Then you posted the original… hummm

  • Natalie

    Imagination inspires me.
    This young artist is my inspiration of the week – Alexa Meade. She paints over people.

  • Anders Philip

    Hi, iam inspired by music and other photograpers.

    I like the fun way to create an image, i LOVE! fun images with a lot of creative and humor inside, like this old pepsi comercial!:-) 

  • Thom

    Yo post this on my fb.

  • Nick Bedford

    This is the kind of stuff that inspires me. Wholly creative imagery. It’s taking an idea which you might think is over the top, a lot of work and organising, or just plain bizarre, and actually doing it. Aaron is no different. He takes his ideas, however crazy and goes to the lengths to make it real.

  • Even Ødegård

    My greatest inspiration at the time comes from phlearn. 

  • Jane Sampson Photo

    I’m inspired by music, movies, history, other photographers, and my toes.

    Right now, I’m inspired by this photographer:

    I’ll be posting some photos in the next few weeks inspired by Nellie Bly who went around the world in 72 days in 1989 and she got to meet Jules Vernes on her trip…and she bought a monkey. :)

  • willard chviers

    im pretty sure i have a loose wire or two in the ol noggin. The most random things will bring to life an idea for me. I actually did a blog post a few weeks ago about just this topic ( and how the color Aarons Poe image, a multi-armed cleaning woman from a random blog post and some Glitch Mob turned into something way beyond what i thought a simple belly dancing picture of my fried would become. 

    For me its little snippets of information that will birth an idea, sometimes completely unrelated to what i saw, heard or felt. Like if i like the way light is falling on, say, a stuffed animal on the floor that can blossom into some epic dragon slayer in a huge cave where the only link between the two is how the light was falling on the subject… Or a few lyrics in a song as opposed to the whole thing.

    All in all id say that daydreaming is where i get my inspiration from. i feed it every random thing i can just to see what happens

  • Steveo
    The video for Ex-factor by Lauryn Hill is a great inspiration for coloring and lighting to me. 

    As far as photography in general I really LOVE the work of Jeremy Leffel.

  • Michael Nightmare

    I am inspired by:

    Shiny objects

  • Jenny Su

    My teacher showed this video when we were
    studying CVA(cerebrovascular accident)  today. By chance(extremely/preciously rare), a
    was actually having a massive stroke and got total recovery to tell us how it
    felt like and the mechanism of brain. It was every secret live underneath we
    are searching for who we are as an artist/human being. Listen to her powerful description
    of getting perceptions from the external world and transfer to internal world(vice
    versa) everyone can be inspired!!!

  • Jenny Su

    sorry for the space…i’ve always done something stupid :’(

  • Stefano Tealdi

    What inspires me?

  • Georgi Georgiev

    Currently I am inspired by these artists:

    “My quiet of gold” flew to me from Berlin and is fantastic. I am very intruiged to see here on phlearn photography that looks like painting.

  • Ana Hernández
  • Ana Hernández

     Wow this is simply awesome! Thanks a lot for sharing :-D

  • Alfonso Barona

    Check out this conference of Ken Robinson, a friend show it to me a few days ago, and its about Creativity!And photography is creativity, so i really enjoy it….the drawing of the guy its awesome!!!Just check it out you gonna enjoy it!
    It really make me change my mind about some things….

    Hope you like it!

  • Waseef Akhtar

    There are hell lot of things that inspires me.. And I suppose all of us?.. music, movies, music videos, flickr and 500px, Apple! <3 other inspirational sites, and even a tiny lil billboard near a traffic signal. Just everything! But recently, I've been so inspired by this guy, elliot sellers, who makes lyric music videos for Christina Perri. They were something new for me and I wanted to pull an image off like them. And I do happen to have an image I made inspired by his videos and one of Christina Perri's song "Bang Bang Bang".
    My Image:
    One of his videos:

  • Salvador

     Leslie you took my idea!!! This is total badass. I even think the girl sings better than the original girl.  Saw this video 1 month ago and it is now at almost 70 million hits.  Anyway I hope you win. 

  • Jonhenbest – absolutely AMAZING cover of this song. It’s a must watch if you have a second

  • Jan Justesen

    My pictures are what inspires me.. Well, I guess the inspiration comes from everything I have seen earlier, but usually the final idea for a picture comes to me when I am browsing the photos after a shoot or when I go back to look at photos in my library.. Suddenly, the inspiration hits me, and a photo just begs to be edited a certain way.

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