40 Creative Photography Ideas To Try When You Need Inspiration

Person holding a small mirror reflecting a camera.

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All photos are original to the author unless otherwise noted. 

This blog post may contain affiliate links.  I may earn a small commission for any purchases made through these links. Click here for the disclosure statement.

All photos are original to the author unless otherwise noted.

Fun Challenges for Beginners to Improve Photography Techniques

Challenge yourself with these photography ideas that encourage you to explore new styles or skills outside your comfort zone and strengthen your basic photography techniques; restricting your equipment and photographing other styles is a way to inspire fresh ideas and gain new skills.

Use Only One Camera Lens

Spending a day using the same lens helps to understand the strength and weaknesses of that lens for any situation.

Shoot Horizontal and Vertical

Horizontal Image of Tom Branch Falls

Challenge your photographic eye by taking horizontal and vertical pictures of the same subject and see how the scene transforms with a different perspective.

Wide shot of Tom Branch Falls and surrounding trees

Shoot Only In One Mode

Aperture and shutter priority modes give you control of a single element while the camera automatically controls the other settings. Restricting yourself to using only one mode for a day is an excellent way to pick up the basics of photography and how they impact the photo.

Use A Phone Camera For Photography

Phone cameras take great landscape photos with minimal variations in ISO, aperture, and shutter speed; challenge yourself to push the limits of the phone and create artistic pictures using the hidden tricks of phone photography,

Wrong Camera Lens

Intentionally photograph with lenses not best suited for that subject, such as using a wide angle lens for portrait photography or a macro lens for landscape photography. Discover how to use a lens’s limitations to your advantage to expand how you mentally see pictures and create unique photos. 

Capture Nine Critical Photography Elements

In a single location look for interesting ways to showcase the essence of light, shadows, lines, texture, color, size, depth, patterns, and negative space. 

Learn the Art of Post Processing

Amazing photography doesn’t happen after the shutter clicks, the best photos come to life after editing. Experiment with various editing styles, master an unfamiliar tool, or research new tricks in your favorite editing tool.

Avoid Looking At The In Camera Images

Challenge yourself to learn the exposure metrics (shutter speed, ISO, aperture, and exposure compensation) found in the viewfinder, which will aid you in learning the elements of the exposure triangle and boost your photography skills with and without the LCD screen. 

Experiment With Artificial and Natural Light

Lighting is one of the most vital components in photography, which is applied artistically to impact tone, color, and exposure. Invest in artificial lighting equipment and explore the diverse ways light alters your images or learn how to work with natural light at any time of day.

Black and White

Using this popular photography technique is a great way to become comfortable with harsh light and create cool photos where light is the subjects.

At-Home Photography Project Ideas

1 Room, 72 photos

Set a goal to stay in one room until you’ve taken 72 photos.  This will challenge you to expand your comfort zone and get creative with the everyday objects you have inside your home

28 Day Photo Challenge

There are many variations of 30 day photo challenges, but this one is designed so you don’t have to leave the house. 
  • Self Portrait
  • Rule of Thirds
  • Black and White
  • Texture
  • High Angle
  • Low Angle
  • Silhouette
  • Sunset
  • Bokeh
  • Lens Flare
  • Fruit
  • Macro Photography
  • Shadows
  • Water Drop
  • Bad Habits
  • Reflections
  • Food
  • Plants
  • In motion
  • Forced Perspective
  • Abstract
  • Night
  • Technology
  • Pets
  • Leading Lines
  • Slow Shutter
  • Old
  • Good Habits

One Subject 

Take a picture of the same object every day in different settings. If the object itself changes daily – like a plant – take a picture in the same spot every day and watch how it evolves. Pets are another good option because you can never have too many pictures of your furry friend.

Single Color Challenge

Pick one colors and photograph things around the house that represent that color. 

Innovative Photoshoot Ideas for Artistic Pictures 

Abstract

Create unique images using abstract photography that leaves the viewer wondering what it is.

Tell A Photo Story In Series Of Pictures

Tell a complete story in 5 images or fewer. 

4 Seasons  

Show the transition of the same season through the changing seasons.

3 Colors

Capture and image with only three colors.

Extraordinarily Ordinary

Look for photography inspiration in a common object or illustrate a routine such as a cup of coffee or a morning routine and turn them into unique pieces of art.

Deception

Photograph something to look different than it does in reality. Ideas for deceptive photos could be objects appearing larger or smaller than they are or capturing images of landscape in an urban environment. 

Unusual Subject

Take pictures of a subject most people wouldn’t.

Look Up

Photograph something from underneath it, for a more compelling subject chose something you wouldn’t ordinarily see the bottom of. 

Look Down

Take a picture while looking down; this would be a great opportunity to explore drone photography.

Mirror Reflections

 Photograph a reflection without showing the camera in the reflection.

Cool Photography Challenges for Eye-Catching Pictures

Bridges

Create unique images that showcase the elaborate architecture used to build bridges.

Something Old, Abandoned, Or Broken

Pictures of old, abandoned objects or buildings create a beautiful juxtaposition of art and the forgotten.

Disposable Cameras

Taking artsy photos with a disposable camera is a fun retro challenge that allows you to focus on composition since there is zero setting controls or the ability to view immediate results. 

Walls

Capture murals, texture, patterns, and history in this simple but powerful subject.

Doors

Photograph the intricate details of antique doors.

Portable Subject 

Carry a subject, like a lens ball, with you and have it in every picture

Tilt-Shift Photography

Use a macro or tilt-shift lens to photograph a lifelike scene with action figures, toys, or miniature cities.

A Glitch In The Matrix  

Inspired by How To’s by John Wilson, capture artistic photos of obscure things that don’t belong where you spotted them. For example, shoes on a telephone wire.

Your City

Go sightseeing in your own city and take pictures of iconic murals, buildings, or landmarks.

Picked And Edited By Someone Else

Sometimes we are own worst critic and it’s entertaining to see what others like about your photography or gain a new perspective on the images you capture. Coordinate with a friend to photograph a similar subject, then swap the raw files, then each of you chooses your favorite image of the other’s to edit for them.

Weather

Bad weather such as snow, rain, and fog creates the most interesting art photography

Stages of Life

In a single photo, capture different stages of life without using human subjects.

CREATIVE PHOTO CHALLENGES WHEN YOU NEED INSPIRATION

It’s natural to become desensitized to things we see every day and forget to search for interesting ideas close to home; it’s surprising what you notice when you open your eyes to the things you look past every day. If you are in a creative rut and need a challenge to inspire you, try these photography project ideas that are designed to help you see photo opportunities in seemingly mundane places and challenge you to think in new and creative ways.

ABC

Photograph something that starts with each letter of the alphabet

100 Steps

Go on a long walk and stop to take a picture within eyesight every 100, or whatever interval you choose. Don’t skip any stops and force yourself to come up with innovative ways to capture what is available.

Pick A Photography Theme  

Pick a theme such as color, shape, or objects and try to photograph subjects that represent that theme.

Spell Words With Photographs 

Choose a meaningful word and attempt to find interesting letters that spell the word.

Re-Shoot Old Photos

Recapture your old favorite photos or improve ones you didn’t love.  

Oil and Water Challenge

Place multicolored paper under a glass container full of oil and water, stir, and use a macro lens to take artistic photos of bubbles and vibrant colors for a cool photo project with common household objects.

Visit Your Favorite Place 

Visit your favorite place and use imagery to portray what makes your favorite place special to you.

Recreate Famous Art

Add your own creative flair to recreations of famous art or challenge your skills attempting to create an exact replica.

Artistic Photos Scavenger Hunt

A way to get creative and have fun with photography when you are out of ideas is taking artsy photos of pre-made scavenger hunt finds

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Author Bio

Author Bio Image

Delaney is a project manager by day and a travel and wildlife photographer by night who is using her skills for translating complex technical language into easy to understand concepts to make photography achievable at all skill levels. You have questions; she has answers.

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