7 ways John Lennon can inspire your photography

I am really fired up at the moment. I had an amazing trip to the Amalfi Coast earlier this month; that place is out of this world beautiful. On Tuesday I went out for a very fun photo walk with my Light Monkeys group – plus I am pitching for a cool new art project and life just seems so awesome in so many ways. It’s even getting a bit warm here in London, lol!

I want to share some of that fired up, inspired energy with you.

Let us begin with the genius that was John Lennon.

You probably know that I love getting inspiration from all kinds of places. Recently I have been thinking about, and listening to, a lot of John Lennon. I have loved his music for years and years – since I was a teenager really. He is one of the few musicians whose words I actually listen to – usually I am one of those people who get absorbed by the rhythm and gheetars!

Not only is Lennon’s music amazing – Tomorrow Never Knows , In My Life, Jealous Guy, Woman are all awesome songs – but I really liked his philosophy on life. His later ideas feel very similar to my own, so I’ve picked 7 thoughts of his and I am putting them with some photos I took in Naples and along the Amalfi Coast last week.

I hope you find it a little espresso-shot of inspiration!

All the quotes below are from John Lennon.

  1. “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”

I am a big fan of a bit of mooching around, daydreaming, getting lost. It’s often at those times when we have our best ideas.  And it seems many great scientists have been the same way! See Darwin Was a Slacker, and You Should Be Too.


2. “Creativity is a gift. It doesn’t come through if the air is cluttered.”

I harp on about this all the time – you can’t be in the zone, the flow, when you are preoccupied with your to-do list. Here is a 2 min film from the amazing Jason Silva on Finding Your Creative Flow State that will help.

3. “Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it.”

I photograph a lot of street art and what always strikes me about street art is how it feels like a very generous act. It’s such a temporary medium but it’s a creation – sometimes of epic quality and skill – that might be removed within hours or days.

Art for me is to be shared and taken on in the eyes and hearts and minds of anyone who enjoys it.  Creating with this idea of letting out into the world, and not possessing it, for me is very inspiring.

4. “When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.”

Don’t create for anyone but yourself!!! When you are thinking about creating with an audience in mind, in my experience it’s never as good as when you are just doing it because you love it and just have that itch to create.

Please yourself, not your audience.

5. “My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”

6. “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.

We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”

This is everything I feel about life right now. No need to add my thoughts, perhaps except to say that meditation really helps me with my whole creativity / free mind / openness. And Lennon meditated too! Great article on Brainpickings about just that.

7. “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”

I’m ending on Lennon’s very famous quote, because this is what I like to say to remind myself to (as they say in Shawshank Redemption) “Get busy living or get busy dying.”

Bang – there we go. Hope that short-ish post was fun.

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If you want to join me on an Italian Photography adventure – take a look at:

Venice for me is an incredible place to photograph, because not only do you have this wonderfully surreal city, set in the lagoons, with its ancient crumbling beauty – but the light is stunning. How the marine layer affects the sunrise is awesome to photograph (see my 2 min film on light & Venice here)

I get incredible reviews from this workshop – which I have run for several years now. Join me and I’ll show you all of my favourite places to shoot the city, how to escape the crowds, how to create a stunning portfolio – as well as getting your tech and creative photo skills well exercised. You will learn tonnes!

John said on Tripadvisor:

“Tony knew exactly where to go to get the best interaction of light and scenery and gave impromptu tutorials on capturing light and shadows, framing the scene, relevant shutter speed etc during our walks. This was an ideal environment to keep the adrenaline flowing and encourage the “Eureka moments”. Breakfast stops, group lunches and the final feedback session oiled the wheels. A thoroughly enjoyable, unforgettable experience.”

Happy photographing,

Anthony and Diana