Sooner or later we all run out of things to photograph. Or we think we have. In reality, there are countless things right in front of you worth photographing. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut photographing the same thing over and over, eventually leaving your camera in the bag for weeks at a time.
To help you figure out what to photograph when your mind is blank, I’ve compiled a list of more than 100 ideas. You can even combine items on this list to create hundreds of combinations of things to photograph.
There are several categories to choose from and I recommend trying a category you don’t have much experience with.
There is a whole world waiting to be explored by you and your camera. And it’s not just what your eyes can see but what is hidden underneath and behind or inside.
You walk right over the surface of the earth every day, but everything you see has it’s own surface to be explored. Pull out your macro lens and inspect the surfaces of the natural world.
- Trees, branches, bark
- Fruits and vegetables
- Tall grass
Consider photographing places such as:
- Orchard (in bloom or full of fruit)
- Pumpkin patch
- Sunflower field
If you choose to photograph flowers, don’t just go for the typical flower shot. Focus on the petals, leaves, stems, and even dig down to the roots. Light is essential to plant life. Photograph them in harsh noon light, golden hour, and play with backlight to make silhouettes. Crack open seeds and nuts to explore their inner world. Don’t forget to photograph them after it rains.
Then keep exploring water.
- Water (sprinkler, hose)
- Creek, pond, lake, ocean
Even “the ground” is a worthy subject.
If you’re more of a people photographer than a nature photographer, consider bringing people along with you to have in the photos. Especially when it comes to:
- Dirt roads
There are many ways to photograph people. Yes, they could be posing. But you can also capture candid moments. Don’t pressure yourself to try something as big as portrait, street, or wedding photography. Just find somebody you can take pictures of. You don’t have to know what you’re doing, just do it and something interesting will emerge.
Families (yours or a friends):
- Twins, triplets
- A whole family
- 3+ generations
One single child could provide you with an infinite number of possible photos:
- Playing with bubbles
- At a playground
- Riding bikes
- Playing sports
Photograph your friends with:
- An interesting job
You could expand your skills or even produce an entire portfolio just by committing to photograph a few people over the course of a month or two.
- Friend’s animals
- A farm
- A vet
- A shelter
- Pet store (offer them social media photos)
- Fish, water creatures
When it comes to events you’re automatically combining people, places, food, animals and interesting activities. You can find plenty of events listed on your city’s website.
- Public event/festival
- Street photography
- Contact a media network to see what photos they need
- Local charity event
- Animal shelter
- Farmer’s Market
- Air show
- Car show
Contests are a great way of generating ideas of things to photograph. Let somebody else think of the subject matter and then take up the challenge to photograph it in the most interesting way possible.
Search for contests in:
- Your city website
- Local paper
- Photography magazine
- DPS challenges
- Old buildings
- Modern buildings
- Glass buildings
- Products for a small business
- Crafts for friends Etsy store
- Family heirlooms
- Museum artifacts
- Junkyard (rusty, textured items)
Seasons and time of day
Don’t just photograph something and then move on. Consider what photos you might make of nature, people, animals, and events in each unique season.
Remember that every season brings variety with each new day.
- Cloudy day
- Stormy day
In addition to all the possibilities mentioned above, consider what technique you might use to capture your images.
- Black and white
- Close up, macro
Also, consider the unique possibilities when you focus on:
Choose something you always look at but never see.
Right now, there are likely 100 things in front of you just waiting to be photographed. Choose one thing to practice with.
Please, add to this list in the comment section below.