Finding Opportunity in Creative Ruts

By Elizabeth Gadd 

Creative ruts.

We all experience them. (If you don’t… you’re probably not human and I need to know your secret. Seriously.)

Some ruts last only a few days. Some are much longer and more intense. I often experience a 2-3 month hiatus in my work every year, usually during the late winter to early spring months. I suppose it makes sense in a way, when everything’s dark and rainy (in Vancouver, at least) for days on end. It can easily affect one’s mood, which can bleed into the creative process as well. With 90% of my work being self-portraits, it can be a rather draining process to get in front of the camera when I’m especially feeling down and out of sorts (also, changing outfits and modeling in the cold rain and snow gets a little wearisome at times!). This being said, every time I HAVE pushed myself to get out there and create (even if I end up hating the photos), in all honesty I’ve never regretted trying – not once. I have to remind myself of this often.

Celebrating One Year + Wild Places e-Book

Words by Stephen DesRoches
Feature image by Paul Zizka

My introduction to OFFBEAT began in a hotel room in Whitehorse, Yukon, after a workshop in Kluane National Park and Reserve. It was from this hotel room that Dave Brosha and Paul Zizka launched and announced the first version of the OFFBEAT website to the world – the beginnings of a community of photographers geared towards pushing each other further.

Fast forward six months and I’m again in a hotel room with Dave and Paul, this time in Greenland, and furiously typing away to launch and announce a workshop in a remote part of Newfoundland and Labrador.

From Yukon to Greenland and everything in between, I’ve watched OFFBEAT come to life, growing to a membership of 300 and nine regular contributors writing weekly articles. Now is a good time to look back and celebrate our first year anniversary.


Download our free e-Book, Wild Places, to gain access to some lessons and tutorials from our OFFBEAT contributors, and see some of the work produced by our workshop participants in the Yukon, Banff, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

One of my own favourite aspects of OFFBEAT is how participants and instructors continue the friendship and discussions in our private Facebook groups well after a workshop has ended.

These Facebook groups are used to share our favourite images, and this e-Book is a collection of just that: a compilation of images individually selected and submitted by participants from four different OFFBEAT workshops.

This first issue of Wild Places is also a preview of some of our weekly articles authored by each of the nine regular contributors. Thank you to everyone who continues to make OFFBEAT a better place.

Find out more and learn about joining the OFFBEAT Community! We hope to see you there!



Stephen DesRoches is a contributor at OFFBEAT

Taking Flight

Wow.  So, here we are.

Today is the day that OFFBEAT launches. 

OFFBEAT – an idea that both Paul and I have been talking about for over a year. An idea that we’re finally putting “out there” to the wind, and the world, to see if it will take flight.

OFFBEAT came out of us talking about building a community of like-minded people. We have so many passionate, amazing people who have attended our workshops, or that we’ve met on or offline over the past number of years who we feel truly connected to. People who share our love of creating, our love of the world around us, and share in the belief that you can only raise everybody up by having a positive, sharing, compassionate outlook on life, and by default, photography.

OFFBEAT Community: What to Expect

What is this new online photo community all about? The main goal for OFFBEAT is simple: to create the most supportive, relatable, helpful, engaging photo community out there!

For many years, the OFFBEAT Team has been involved in many aspects of the photography industry, including other online communities. We have greatly benefited from being involved in other web-based platforms – so much so that we wanted to create a platform for others where we could put our own twist on the things we love the most!