Photography Project Ideas:
Stimulate Your Creativity with these 10 Self Assignments

Here are 10 photography project ideas to stimulate your creative juices and get you photographing outside of your box. Use them as self-assignments, and get shooting!

1. Graveyards


graveyard
Graveyard
© Julie Waterhouse Photography

That idea may sound a little morbid, but graveyards can be a wonderful place to photograph. Often, they are beautiful areas, surrounded by nature. They are peaceful places to spend time, which allows you to connect with your inner creativity. You can also take along a close-up lens, and photograph the writing on the tombstones, or just the textures. Some of the old stones have wonderful, rough textures that may make good images in their own right, or they can be composited with another image in Photoshop.

2. People From Behind

It’s always good to take a different perspective on your subject matter. How often have you shot people from behind? It can produce some powerful images.

3. Mannequins

mannequin
Mannequin
© Julie Waterhouse Photography

You can often find mannequins in store windows. If you are lucky, you can catch store displays in the middle of being set up. Keep your eyes open; there are many fun and intriguing photography project ideas here once you’re on the lookout.

4. Evolution of Construction

Find a spot in your neighborhood with a building that’s under construction, and photograph it every day from the same vantage point. You’ll end up with a “flip book” of pictures showing the growth of the building.

5. Nature Reclaiming

The idea here is to shoot man-made objects or environments that nature is reclaiming. Old cars, or abandoned buildings with vegetation growing throughout make for great photography project ideas. Just remember, safety first!

6. Water


water
Water
© Julie Waterhouse Photography

71% of our planet is covered with it. This is a big topic that could take you years to explore! You can photograph oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, or your bath tub; everything from large bodies of water to small trickles. Should you include snow or ice? You decide! There are many creative photo ideas to be found within this topic.

7. Graffiti

Here’s a project for city dwellers. The trick here is to go beyond just photographing someone else’s art, and to interpret it yourself. Can you bring order to chaos? Can you find meaning in interesting juxtapositions? Use the urban artists to inspire your own photography ideas.

8. Landscape au Monet

Find yourself a beautiful landscape nearby, and return to it many times to photograph it under different lighting conditions: morning light, evening light, mist, or rain – each one will produce very a different image. Keep an eye on the weather. Storms can produce some dramatic light. Have your camera nearby so you don’t miss out. This is an exercise that Monet did when painting his Haystacks series.

9. Patterns


pattern
Pattern
© Julie Waterhouse Photography

Repeating lines or shapes form patterns. Experiment with composing your entire image from a pattern, or breaking up the pattern with an irregularity.

 

 

 

 

10. Someone You Love

I’ve recently been reminded that the time we have with our loved ones is limited, and always too short. Take the time while you can to record some memories of the people closest to you. Make it a project that you execute over time, and find images that go beyond mere snapshots. Keep your camera ready at all times, and be ready for defining moments as they happen. Try to capture those typical gestures and expressions you know so well. You don’t have to wait for a "special occasion" to take pictures. Life is a special occasion. Photograph the person in their usual environment, performing their everyday activities. You will treasure those images later. For inspiration, take a look at this beautiful compilation of images by photographer Phillip Toledano, “Days with my Father.”

Pay it forward! If you found any of these ideas helpful, then please leave one of your own in our photography project ideas forum topic

Want to Make Photos that "WOW?"

If so, we can help you learn:

creativity exercises

  1. the A-Z of exposure and composition
  2. how to translate what you see into a photo that conveys how you feel
  3. how to be a more creative photographer

Just enter your name and email below and click "Sign me up!" to receive our friendly and helpful newsletter. Plus, get your welcome bonus, "12 Fun Exercises to Inspire Your Photographic Creativity."

I am also interested in news about...

(it's free!)

 

Photography eBooks

Professional Photography Equipment

Submit an Article

Photo Challenge:

Last Month's Winner!
Last month's winner!

What's HOT!

An article by Katherine Keates & Avi Cohen
safari photography
Safari Photography

 

A podcast interview
Nevada Wier
Nevada Wier on Travel Photography

 

A podcast interview
Tony Sweet
Tony Sweet on Creativity

 

Two Minute Photo Tips podcasts
Two Minute Photo Tips

 

Worldwide Camera Club Competition Worldwide Camera Club Competition
The results are in!