When you've been taking pictures for as long as I have, it is easy to lose the "fun and creative" aspect that got us hooked on this incredible art form. I am not saying that most of what I produce is art, in fact, it is not. It is marketable and has value, but not from an artistic perspective.
Every time I photograph a job if I'm able, I try to produce something special for me. This image may have zero value to the client or relevance to the job they are paying me to do. It does help nourish my creative side and keep me "looking and creating."
My friend Nathan turned 40 this year and I offered to photograph his party. He is one of the most incredibly talented people you will ever meet. Even more than that, he is one of the nicest! We were doing some portraits of his artist friends and he was doing most of the photography, it is what he wanted to do. I was watching him and I thought this would be a good chance to make an image of him doing what he loves.
He is photographing his friends on a huge white cyc wall at Westlight Studios. The light illuminating his face is reflecting off that wall. I love the way it lights him from the front and gently falls off his face. The back wall was lit independently and the hot spot was intentional.
It is also worth mentioning that I was experimenting with a new camera that a manufacturer had provided us to test shoot with. I tossed it in my bag and used this evening as a testing ground. I didn't fall in love with the camera, but I did produce an image that I like a lot. I only shot a few dozen files with this camera, so getting one I like is a pretty big deal, especially while working a job.
Keep on playing, it will prevent premature burn out!