Did you run out of inspiration and you don’t know what to photograph?
It happens to all of us, and all we need is a little push.
Discover 20 carefully curated photoshoot ideas to get creative with your photos.
Ready, set, go!
1. Discover Reflections
Photographing reflections is something else.
If you’re used to mainstream photography, a new open will open in front of you.
Don’t be afraid to get down on your knees to catch a reflection in a puddle, a lake, or even car hoods.
As a bonus, go out after a rain. You’ll find reflections everywhere; moreover, the light right after the storm is often dramatic.
2. Frame Your Main Subjects
Spice up your photoshoot with some foreground objects.
To frame your subjects, place something, anything, around and in front of the lens.
Set your aperture value to the lowest possible to achieve a shallow depth of field, f/1.4 to f/2.8.
Your frame will appear blurry, while the subjects will remain in focus.
This way, more attention is shifted towards your subjects.
Related reading: Depth of field
3. Photograph Silhouettes
Silhouettes are a great way to break your routine.
This photoshoot idea changes the way you look at the exposure.
Photographing silhouettes works the best at sunrise or sunset when the Sun is low on the horizon.
Place your subject between you and the light source, it doesn’t need to be the Sun, and expose for the sky/background, while keeping your subject dark.
Silhouettes are also trending in stock photography, so you might even make some money with it – and this brings me to my next photoshoot idea.
4.Create and Sell Stock Photos
Best-selling stock photos are rarely those of spectacular landscapes.
Much to my surprise, simple, and everyday photos usually perform best on stock photo sites.
You can freely add fall leaves, landmark buildings of your city, everyday objects, and people performing their daily activities to your photoshoot ideas list.
Also, don’t forget events, holidays, various patterns, and backgrounds.
5. Self-portrait Photoshoot
Photographers are so used to being behind the camera that we forget what’s it like to be photographed.
Set the timer, step in front of your camera, and experiment. This way you’ll get the necessary experience of what’s it like to be photographed.
Then, you’ll better understand how to photograph others – which poses work the best.
6. Capture the Season
It’s not easy to convey the time of the year in your photos if you try to go beyond colourful autumn leaves, snowy meadows, or blossoming flowers.
When you avoid the stereotypical photos, you find a real challenge, which pushes you towards creativity that is oh-so-important in photography.
7. Document Change Over Time
Have you ever thought how much things change over time, although we don’t see any change daily?
Long-term photography projects won’t only keep you busy for several weeks or even months, you’ll also learn how to recognize change.
A few photoshoot ideas for you to try: document a pregnancy, photograph the same scenery over the year, or a baby-animal as it grows. In the end, you can create a beautiful collage or a photo series.
8. Take Candid Photos in an Urban Area
The best plan for candid photography is to have no plan at all.
Ask a friend to be your model for unposed photos and head out to a market place, a city square, or just wander around the streets and look for interesting light.
9. Water Drops
Water drops photos look like something out of an expensive slow-mo camera, although they are surprisingly easy to capture.
You need your camera, a tripod or a sturdy surface, and some water.
Fill a plate with water, mount your camera on the tripod, and compose your shot.
Focus your camera onto the centre of the plate, and use an eyedropper to make the drops.
To successfully freeze the drop as it levitates above the plate, use fast shutter speeds, 1/500th of a second and faster.
10. Photograph Emotions
Photographing emotions is probably the most challenging photoshoot idea.
When you photograph objects, you simply aim your camera and press the shutter. But how do you convey emotions in a photo?
Here are some ideas for emotions, listed from the easiest to the most difficult to photograph: sadness, happiness, love, anger, surprise, fear, friendship, loneliness, jealousy, trust, anticipation.
11. Try Black and White Photography
Common wisdom among photographers is that to properly expose photo in post-process, you should temporarily convert it to black and white. When there’s no colour to distract our brain, we focus on the highlights and shadows only.
When you photograph intending to convert the photo to black and white later, you will be forced to pay more attention to the shadows and highlights. This won’t only be a fun photoshoot idea, but also a valuable one.
12. Photograph Detail
You don’t have to always capture the whole subject in your photograph.
Zooming in and only focusing on a small detail creates intriguing, intimate photos that are scarce in numbers, so they may attract more viewers.
Experiment with close-ups and extreme close-ups – and who knows, you might end up becoming a macro photographer.
13. Photograph a Walk or a Hike
If you’re out alone, try landscape or macro photography, on the other hand, if you take someone (a model) with you, try photographing them as you walk.
Often people are uncomfortable with being photographed and that really shows in the photos, but a walk might change that.
As you walk, both you and your model will relax, and your photos will look better.
14. Professional Photoshoot for Your Pet
I know, I know, we all have thousands of photos of our pets, but those are snapshots we made with our smartphones as we watched our pet do something cute or dumb.
Photograph them as if you were planning a photoshoot with a person. Get the lighting right, prepare a custom background, groom them, and pick up your camera. Later you should also post-process the photos and make them look professional.
15. Capture Motion
Life’s never static. Motion is all around us, but we do everything to avoid it, to keep our images sharp.
What if you took advantage of that? Capture the movement of your subject and let it tell a story.
For this photoshoot idea, you will need a tripod or anything that will hold your camera still, and a moving subject. Unless you do it at night, you will also need ND filters, so you don’t overexpose your photos.
The longer you keep the shutter open, the more blurry your subject will appear; thus, it’s crucial that you take several consecutive shots with different shutter speeds to experiment what looks the best.
16. Change Your Perspective
99% of the time we photograph from an eye-level. While there’s nothing wrong with that, a different perspective will dramatically change the way you tackle the photoshoot.
Try it both ways – shooting from above and below. For the latter, you just need to crouch or lie down, while shooting from above can get tricky.
Ideally, you would use a drone, but if you don’t own one, find something you can stand on. Large crates, balconies, or even roofs.
Doing so will train your brain to find composition ideas everywhere.
17. A Couple Photoshoot at Different Times of Day
If you only photograph once a day, you’ll only capture a fracture of the entire day. So, why not have several photo shoots throughout the day and then you can choose the photo that looks the best?
Alternatively, if you like more photos, you can create a collage or a photo series.
18. Create a Double Exposure
Technically speaking, creating a double exposure relies heavily on post-processing, yet, it’s still a photoshoot idea as it requires good planning and solid execution.
There are several possible combinations you can try. A very popular one is a portrait + landscape or cityscape.
19. Shoot Portraits Through a Window
Photographing through glass gives a vintage, nostalgic feel to photos.
For the best results, you will need a polarizing filter to control the reflected light and use a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field.
You can even spray some water on the windows to make it look like it’s raining.
20. Photograph Rainbows
Rainbows don’t only exist when the Sun shines in the rain. You can find them in waterfalls, raindrops, snowflakes, oil stains, etc.
It’s up to you to find them everywhere or even create them.
When you learn how to create a rainbow, you’ll find them everywhere.
Photoshoot Ideas | Conclusion
Hopefully, these 20 photoshoot ideas gave you inspiration to continue photographing and start new projects.
I designed them to be as educational as possible.
Matic is a landscape photographer from Slovenia and creator of Photutorial.