10 Photography Project Ideas
My final message for participants of my photography training workshops is to keep practicing, the same advice for any newly learned skill.
So rather than waiting for a photography opportunity to come up, create one and put into practice what you have learned. Don’t worry if you’ve not been on a course, you can of course teach yourself. Good old trial and error can help to develop your creativity and technique.
This article is all about choosing and committing to a photography project that will help you to improve your photography.
I think that photography projects provide a real focus, getting people out of their comfort zone to find new subjects/scenes to capture that are within their chosen theme. They are of course only effective if there is commitment and energy towards it. Ideally a longer term theme, maybe one that lasts a year will really help to push creativity.
What should the theme be? Well it can of course be anything, whatever excites you…
Some photography project ideas
I have come up with 10 ideas for on-going photography projects, many of which have worked for me and been great fun. Maybe one of these will work for you, or more likely they could inspire another ideas that is more personal to you. My advice though is to challenge yourself to work on it regularly. Try to capture new photographs for the theme as often as you can. Most importantly push yourself creatively.
(1) Photograph an event
Check social media and listing websites for events near to you. You may end up going to events that ordinarily you would never have gone to. Why events? There’s usually movement, excitement, colour and usually lots of photography opportunities. Even a static exhibition, like a collection of classic cars can be a great opportunity to improve your photography and challenge your creativity.
(2) Photography Assignments/Holidays
You may have seen adverts for photography trips. They can be excellent, although expensive. However, you could organise a trip/experience yourself. One that is specifically for the purpose of capturing photographs for a project.
The example below was one that I would highly recommend, a one day boat trip from Oban to Staffa in Scotland to see the tame puffins that wonder along the islands clifftops.
(3) Golden Hour
Photographers love the first and last hour of the day when the sun is low in the sky, creating some incredible light. Best of all is when you get a glorious sunrise or sunset. Check the times of sunrise/sunset on-line, or download an app that will tell you the timings dependent on where you are.
Keep looking generally though and be ready to react with a camera ready to go when the sky goes golden, especially in the winter when the shorter days actually help!
How about signs? They tell stories often with their style, as much as the words and help you to identify and tell the story of where you are in the world. There are signs everywhere and if you choose this as a project you will need to be on the look out for interesting, beautifully made, unusual and sometimes funny signs to photograph.
(5) Street Photography
You could discreetly hide in a busy street and discreetly point your camera towards people or scenes. However, like this example just go and ask the subject if you can take some photographs of them doing whatever they are doing. Often they say yes and if they do then ask them to forget that you are there so you can photograph them at work. This example was a street food satay restaurant in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
(6) Go Low…
..or go high. Capture a series of photographs NOT taken at high level. Be on the look out for interesting angles and perspectives. Don’t be afraid to lay on the floor, or climb somewhere to get a different view from the obvious. This will help to boost your creative compositions. Recently I started taking my camera out on my kayak, I love the different view that you get from close to the surface of the water. ..
(7) Model Assignment
Find a willing model, plus ideally someone who can apply appropriate make-up. Plan and style the shoot, from the look that you want to create to the setting and clothing. This may sound like hard work, but if you partner up with the right people then you’ll probably work really well as a team. Everyone involved will hopefully be happy to work on the basis of getting copies of the pictures, so there may be little or no budget needed.
Here are some examples of a similar assignment that I photographed in Glasgow.
Study pictures of famous statues and landmarks on-line. You will no doubt find thousands of examples, for your project look to use different angles and approaches in your photography of them to create something out of the ordinary. Weather can help, so be prepared to visit when the weather is dramatic.
I love photographing lighthouses, they are always at dramatic locations. On a holiday to New England they were everywhere!
Finally and for anyone who has been on my photography courses you know I like to use heart props. Adding them to natural settings can help to create some very unusual photographs, what I like so much is that in a small area you can create many different looking photographs. The creative challenge is where to place them and how to combine the heart with the environment.
Photography Training Courses
There are just 10 ideas the possibilities though are endless. I hope that one, or more of these ideas has inspired your next photography project. Keep at the theme, work on it regularly and challenge yourself creatively. Once completed there may be a photo book or album to showcase your project.
Let me know how you get on. Enjoy!
I run a number of photography training workshops in Loch Lomond each year. You can find more about them on my website See Loch Lomond, including the dates of future courses.
Paul Saunders is a Wedding Photographer, Family Portrait Photographer & Commercial Photographer, he also runs regular Photography Training Courses. Based in Loch Lomond he works throughout Scotland. For more information please contact Paul on 01360 661029.