Finding photoshoot ideas and inspiration can be quite challenging. It’s easy to say that inspiration can be found everywhere. Yes, it can. But, with myriads of photographers and photography lovers snapping all the time wherever you look, it’s not so easy to come up with original or just different photoshoot ideas. It seems like all great locations have been photographed zillion times from all possible angles.
However, humans are surprisingly good at their never-ending quest to find new ways and paths. So, I have some good news and bad news for you. The good news is that you don’t have to climb Mount Everest or to dive deep down into the ocean to find inspiration for photoshoot ideas. On the other hand, you do need to think more and work harder to come up with fresh photoshoot ideas.
At the end of the day, a great image is what matters. Your skills and creativity are more important than your subject or shooting location. Sometimes, just a little touch of creativity can transform an ordinary image into a remarkable one.
Every photographer runs out of photoshoot ideas occasionally. When that happens, you need an outside impetus to spark new creativity. I’ll share some great ideas to help you break your routines and think out of the box.
So, don’t be afraid to use other people’s photoshoot ideas. Of course, I don’t mean this literally, they are just starting points and you will always come up with some ways to modify, adjust, and put your own stamp on them. Sometimes, someone else’s idea will just remind you of some of your forgotten photoshoot ideas. Or spark a totally new one. Here are some photoshoot ideas.
I am not suggesting you should become a fortune teller. I am talking about a lensball, a crystal sphere that has the best optic quality as professional camera lenses.
A lensball refracts the light and creates stunning visual effects. Just make sure to keep the focus on the sphere and avoid direct sunlight.
I love using cars in my images even though I know nothing about cars in general, and I am not a car lover. But, in photos cars can transform into awesome objects. Oldtimers, new sports cars, small cars, huge cars, they can all add some charm and story to your images. With or without people.
Old and broken cars in unexpected locations can be pieces of art even before you capture them.
Use a Bubble Blower
A bubble blower as a prop? It must be the smallest and cheapest prop. Not to mention that it is amusing. Besides fascinating the kids, soap bubbles are beautiful. Even though they are transparent, they reflect a wide range of colors. They just burst too quickly. Well, not in the image.
Ask your models to blow bubbles, or have someone else blow them between the camera and your subject(s).
I am not playing with you. But, this idea is as playful as it is useful.
Create different scenarios and add some toys. Combine kids and toys, adults and toys or even pets and toys. We have movies with avatars, why not shoot photos with toys?
Use a Mirror
Small changes can make an enormous impact. While carrying a home or decorative mirror can be awkward, it is a fantastic prop to spice things up. There are countless ways to use it. Mirror portraits are pretty common. But, if you take your model out to the desert or forest, reflection in the mirror can add a whole new dimension to your image.
And you don’t have to use people. The decorative mirror in the middle of nowhere adds drama and mystery. You can use it in cityscape shootings as well.
A new life coming into this world is already a story. Pregnant belly sends a powerful emotion and you can start from there. Whatever you can think of, make sure to focus on the belly. You can include father-to-be or big sister/brother.
You can shoot indoors or outdoors. Personally, my favorite location would be nature or garden bursting with life to symbolize creation.
Well, if we talk about mothers-to-be we can’t skip babies. Photographing babies is as cute as it gets. Actually, it is hardwired into our brains to be hypnotized by these huge eyes, chubby cheeks, and giggling sounds.
You can use props and be creative, but often the baby will do all the work. You just have to be ready to capture the moment.
While we usually want the light to fall on our subjects, sometimes it’s better to keep it as dark as possible. Yes, I am talking about silhouettes. A silhouette is a great way to convey mystery and provoke the viewers.
Make sure to set the exposure for the brightest part of your image while focusing on your subject. Even though your subject is dark and the viewer can’t see a facial expression, these images can be dramatic and powerful.
Photo Within a Photo
Photoshop and Lightroom have changed photography for good. While I don’t like relying on editing all the time, it does open a whole new dimension of creativity. Photo within a photo can enhance your story and add some mystery to it.
It’s a captivating concept kind of like the movie ‘Inception’ or those Russian dolls placed one inside another. You could do it without Photoshop, but it would take days instead of hours.
Use Water Reflection
I know this is done a zillion times, but I am not talking about lakes or fountain reflections. Of course, you can use any water body, but to come up with some original shots you should look for peculiar reflections.
On a rainy day, you can capture some fascinating images using puddles.
Embrace the Shadows
A shadow can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It can disrupt your composition and give you a headache when you shoot portraits. But, you can use them wisely.
Shadows are powerful mood setters. Gloomy, mysterious, ominous, reflective, contemplative and many other moods can be enhanced with proper use of shadows. Shadows will also make illuminated parts of your image more expressive and accentuated.
Play With Exposure
Use longer exposures to create time-lapse effects. Combining flash and long exposure will allow you to keep your subject sharp, while the rest of the image will have a beautiful motion blur.
Use Vintage Props or Themes
This idea requires some effort to arrange everything but it is worth it. We tend to idealize the past. It’s a sort of an elusive dream. We keep our (distorted) memories and photo albums with fading images.
Crisp and sharp images with vintage themes have powerful emotional content. So, revive the past.
Shoot on the Mountaintop
Trying different angles is the most common way to create a perfect composition. When you walk up the mountain the view changes dramatically as you go higher. So, you will get some astonishing backgrounds to complement your subject.
If the mountaintop is too much of a challenge, you don’t have to go all the way up. You can position your camera to create the illusion that your model is at the top.
Use Sidewalk Perspective
Shooting from the ground level would inevitably distort the perspective. It’s up to you to use it to tell a story from a different angle. This is actually one of the common ways to use forced perspective. The idea is to use the distortion to enhance the impression.