Oh, man! You’ve got a free day to spend with your camera and you’re stumped on what to shoot. There are a lot of things going on around you wherever you go. You just need to find something to focus on (pun intended, again). So what will it be this time?
Sometimes the inspiration to explore new and interesting ways to take photos requires a bit of a shove. As photographers, many of us tend to find ourselves pigeon-holed in a particular niche and that can stifle our creative urges.
Thankfully, there are many ways to get creative with different photography styles. They won’t just provide you with a creative outlet, they may even introduce you to a new method that you may adopt or explore more seriously when it’s time to give your regular photo style a rest.
It’s a lot like going to a fast-food restaurant. There’s a whole menu of options and you won’t know what you like if you don’t give some of them a try. So, here are some suggestions we will call creative photography tips. Get ready to have your mind blown as we take you on a tour of the creative photo menu.
Here Are Our 30 Creative Photography Ideas for Beginners:
1. Still Life
Since we aim to bring you some creative photography ideas for beginners, it’s best, to begin with, the still life. I mean, is there something easier to capture than this?
Not only that it’s easy to experiment with the lighting and various camera settings, but you can also capture whatever you want! “Still” life is everything that’s still and doesn’t move, but capturing corpses or skull is a bit…well, hardcore.
However, you can still capture various decorative items, cooking elements or even food. Be sure to use lower ISO settings and do some processing later as these photos can turn out much better if processed. Believe me – you’re going to master it in no time!
2. Water Drops
This one may be a bit complex, but hey, all you need is some water and a glass in which you can let it drop. Alternatively, you can capture raindrops, but this one is a bit wet and can get you ill. And you don’t want to get ill, do you?
When capturing a water drop, it’s essential that you get really close to the subject and carefully set your shutter speed. The shutter speed is essential to capturing tiny and fast-moving objects.
Get close to the glass with water, set your aperture to f/18 or f/22 and use shutter speed like 1/600 sec to get the best results. This one takes some time to get to perfection, but the results are always jaw-dropping!
3. Baby Moods
Babies often express their moods pretty violently. A happy baby will always smile and a sad baby will be flooded in tears. In some cases, they can be scared of their own fart – that’s hilarious!
And here you are, with the camera that you can use to capture all these emotions! Get up close and personal and be sure to disable your flash, as it can seriously damage the baby’s eyes and make it scared.
Instead, use natural lighting or various lighting sources to take a perfect photo. These photos will turn hilarious and will often invoke some emotions in people, which is all you want from this kind of photography.
Related: Newborn Photography: How Do You Take Newborn Pictures Like A Professional?
4. Bokeh & Particles
While using Bokeh mode is popular when taking selfies for Instagram, you can get a lot creative than that and include some particles. By particles, we think about bubbles, light or even steam.
You can begin by pouring a hot beverage in your glass, get close to it, and focus on the glass. If there’s steam coming out of the glass, it will be blurred just perfectly, creating some of the most authentic photos you’ve ever seen.
Alternatively, you can place your glass in line with the bubbles in the background and try it again.
5. Lovely Couples
If you need some creative photography ideas for couples, here you are. Taking a photo of couples in love will going to evoke some emotions not only in you but in whoever is taking a glance at the photo. And this is probably very easy to organize and do, as we all know a couple that is deeply in love.
The best way to do it is either capturing the couple as they kiss or smile at each other. Alternatively, you can aim for more spontaneous photos which can sometimes be even better! Be sure to capture all those details and facial expressions. Blurring a background is a great idea, but be sure to adequately use the lighting!
6. Remove the Colors
Black and white photography is actually an art form. There is a lot of skill required to pull off some really amazing images. The composition will be important. With black and white, you can use a lot of different filters to create several different kinds of effects. Try it once and you’ll be hooked.
Capturing black and white photos is nothing new, but it can sometimes be extremely good, especially when capturing some landscapes or even portraits. What’s best of all is that these images can drastically change their tone when post-processed.
You can use Photoshop to accentuate those highlights or shadows, creating a rollercoaster of emotions in a single photo.
And what can you capture in black and white photography? Every single thing! Go mono and you’ll see!
7. Get Some Smoke
Get some smoke, baby! Smoke from cigarettes might not be healthy, but you can always use a smoke machine or any other smoke to create some dope photos. If you can’t, just put a turkey in your oven and forget about it – you’ll get a lot of smoke!
Just kidding, though.
Cigarette smoke will be enough, but later image processing is mandatory to make this work. You can copy and paste the smoke into a new image and reshape it to create various smoke effects that can’t be achieved only with the camera. You’ll be amazed at how well this works.
Related: Do Photographers Edit Their Photos?
We aren’t making this up. By using smoke trails in photos you can create some interesting results. In particular, if you are aiming for something that hints at the mysterious. The images that can come from a frame that captures people and smoke, whether from a cigarette or as an out-of-frame prop, gives you an interesting fogging effect that can be fun to work with.
8. Optical Illusions
We all know about that optical illusion with the Leaning Tower of Pisa where millions of people take photos. That’s called an optical illusion and this example is so mainstream that I suggest you try something unique. The main trick is to play with the viewer’s perception as you perfectly incorporate two objects that are vastly different in size.
Not only is this a great method to exercise your creativity, but it’s also a lot of fun. The idea is to mess around with depth perception. You achieve this by making your main subject either much larger or much smaller than everything else in the frame. This will test your ability to capture photos within the concept and will make you realize that different angles can be a good tool.
Not only that you can use towers and houses, but also people! Place one of your subjects closer to the camera, while the other can be a bit further. And the closer subject can pretend to hold the further on in hand. I mean, there are tons of options and the more you experiment, the wiser you’ll get.
9. Spider Webs
Spider webs are very challenging for an amateur photographer. Not only that but having the right camera and lens is very important. And to be honest, how well will the photo look depends on the time of the day and moisture in the air.
That being said, you want to wake up early and get out in a quest for spider webs if you already don’t have one right above your head or in the corner of the room.
Be sure to get close to it and always use natural lighting. You can use flash, but it will not have the same effect hence I recommend utilizing either early mornings or late evenings.
10. Extreme Weather Conditions
Without our mother nature, photography wouldn’t be interesting and possible at all! Just imagine having to shoot outside without a trace of the sun or having to shoot the nature photos without wildlife and plants.
Thankfully, nature always has some tricks under its sleeves and those are different weather conditions. Now, taking photos of extreme weather conditions might not be that comfortable, but these photos often turn great.
On top of that, nobody will ever dare to step outside on a heavy rain or snow to take a photo. So, if you decide to do this, be sure to keep yourself as safe as you can, and of course, experiment with your camera settings.
11. The Sky is the Limit… Or Not?
But, what about the sky? For a beginner photographer, aiming for the skies is a great idea for adding some punchy colors and vibes to their photos. My love for skies began when I saw some amazing Instagram photos of skies, published by many people.
The main trick here is to catch the right moments such as sunrise, sunset or even clouds. If you shoot a blank sky, you’ll end up with a boring, uninspired photo, which is something you want to evade.
As for the camera settings, you can use lower ISO values since the sky is almost always illuminated. Next time you see a beautiful and colorful sky, don’t hesitate to put your camera to good use.
12. Splash Shots
No, no water drops here. Instead, we aim to throw a solid object into some sort of liquid and capture this moment with a style. So, how you can do it? Well, prioritizing your shutter speed is great for the beginning.
Next thing you want is to fill a container with water and drop some objects in it. For example, you can use fruit like an apple or any kind you want. Incorporate lower ISO values such as ISO100 and ISO200 and use smaller F-stop number like f/8 to get this right.
If you find it hard to capture this moment on your own, you can buy a flashgun that you can shoot remotely. However, I recommend that you practice this on your own. I know – it takes a lot of time, but results are going to make you smile for days to come.
13. Food, Food, and Lot of Food
Many say that you can live without food but not without water…come on! I know you’re probably chewing that donut while you scroll down this article with your arms full of powder sugar. Shooting some food is one of the easiest things to do and all you need is a bowl of your favorite dish or any kind of food.
Another important factor in this photography niche is the lighting. You want to have decent lighting conditions to be able to capture all those tiny details.
When it comes to the camera settings for this scenario, it goes about the same as with still life photography. Lower ISO settings are always welcome and later processing is a must. The shooting angles should be either above or at an angle of 45 degrees. Also, be sure not to stray too far from the food you’re shooting. Keep your distance close!
14. Coffee Art
Let’s admit it – we all love that rejuvenating cup of coffee right before we start our or end our working day. I know many people that would kill you for this kind of therapy and no, I’m not joking! Since I hate drinking coffee, I use this chance to take some nice photos of my coffee cup which I use for photography purposes.
The main point of this photo is the latte art of the coffee or in other words, the shapes that can be drawn at the top of the beverage.
When buying a coffee, you can always ask a barista to draw something special for you and there you go! Grab your baby camera, position it right above the cup and let the magic begin. Be sure to use a simple background such as a neutral-colored table to ensure that coffee remains the main focal point of the photo.
15. Light Trails
Capturing traffic lights and light trails, in general, can be quite a complex thing to do. The fact that you’re going to do it at night is also something to take into account. So, how do you capture some great light trails? The first thing you need to think about is the wind, which needs to be almost non-existent.
Related: The Ultimate Night Photography Guide For Beginners
When it comes to the camera angle and settings, this is something you need to figure out for yourself. For example, turning off the flash is mandatory since having it on isn’t going to capture any light trails.
Try to use shutter priority mode and set your shutter speed at a couple of seconds. For added stability, you can mount your camera on a tripod and the result should be pretty good. After all, if you want better results, you know what to do – repeat until you get it perfect.
16. Family Events
Family events are great for grabbing your camera and start shoving your flash up your family member’s noses. I hope you get this exaggeration, do you? Jokes aside, family events are often full of positive vibes and emotions that you can easily capture.
What’s also great is that you can focus on more spontaneous photos, which always look nice. And believe me, people can notice a spontaneous photo from a mile!
I don’t know about you, but my theory is that emotions that you and the subject feel when taking a photo are directly translated onto the photo. Next time you cook some delicious meat for your family and get to drinking an excessive amount of beer, try to take a couple of photos and process them after you get sober again.
17. Summer Euphoria
Let me say this – I don’t like summer. It’s hot and I sweat profusely. However, taking some exciting photos in the summer is awesome! Summer is that time of the year where we take a little detour and forget about our jobs, trials, and tribulations that bother us during the year.
Not only that, but this time of the year is perfect for some fun photography ideas. You can go to a beach and take some photos, you can also aim for deserts, forests, and even urban locations.
When the sun casts its light upon the ground, everything is illuminated and looks quite nice. And you know what? The summertime ends in just a few days – now get out and shoot while you can!
18. Refractive Photos
To know how to actually shoot a refractive photo, you need to know what this term means. Refraction is when the light passes through water and bends, making the background objects behind it change shape or appearance.
The hardest part of this making this photo is finding the background with a certain pattern. This can be something containing circles or stripes, for example. After that, pour some water into the cups, but be sure that the water levels are different.
Now, experiment with various photo filters and angles, to see which suits you the best. Ideally, you want to stand right in front of the glasses for that refraction effect.
19. High On Speed / 3, 2, 1… Action!
Nailing a perfect action shot is more than just skyrocketing your ISO settings and shutter speed. Oh boy, this is a perfect chance to show your might! Before you begin, you can try to pre-focus your shot and get ready for the subject to enter your frame. Remember that this will ALWAYS take more than one or two tries to get it perfect since we’re talking about moving subjects.
My recommendation is to try shooting in bursts to maximize the chance of capturing the subject. This is probably one of the most challenging photography ideas for beginners, but it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to master it.
There is something really dynamic about high-speed photography. Not only does it give you the only tangible way to freeze time, but it also allows you to capture those moments that are far too fast for us to see and process in our minds when they happen in real time. There is a trick or two to mastering high-speed photography. Four words: tripod, (narrow) aperture, flash, and patience.
20. Photography Gear
We all love our photography gear and we love to brag about it. Don’t you lie – I know you love it, too! But since you love it, why don’t you take some photos of it?
This is a relatively new trend among photographers and I can notice that it works quite well. If you have a fancy lens or any other gear for your DSLR camera, you can place it on a neutral-colored desk and capture it.
You can also use some backgrounds like grass, stones or even the sky. Be sure to get creative and you’ll see the magic happens!
21. Toys and Figures
Capturing some toys and figures is very fun and requires minimal knowledge of photography. The tricky part is to incorporate these figures in the right environment and at the right time.
Since we talk about tiny stuff, you need some good lighting. As for the environment, you can choose any kind. For example, you can use your working desk, you can capture a toy in the park, on the bench, in the city, and much more.
Get close to the subject, use the flash to add some fill-in lighting, and get some bokeh around the subject. This should produce the most satisfying result.
22. Macro Photography
Shooting some macro stuff is a great way to show off your photography skills. It’s also one of the most interesting photography ideas for a project. The essence of macro photography is tiny objects such as flowers and insects, for example.
If you are looking for a way to see things differently, macro photography is one answer. It gives you the only method where you can capture up-close views of rather tiny subjects. It also means that your backyard can become your new photo canvass as you discover and photograph the life that exists in places we typically don’t notice. Bugs and flowers top this list.
Related: Butterfly Photography: How To Photograph Butterflies
To be able to capture this, you need to buy a lens that has the right amount of magnification, to accentuate all the details on the subject, yet make it appear larger than it is.
This will also take some time to master and you need to know a thing or two about lenses. Try this photography idea after you master the less complex ones.
23. Textures and Colors
Abstract photography is all about capturing textures, curves, and lines. Again, we are talking about close-up photography in which you’ll need to use a macro lens. Remember that this kind of photography is called abstract, so placing a focus on unusual shapes is always required.
You can also try shooting without the macro lens, but I found out that the photos always look much sharper with this lens.
We can find colors, shapes, and lines all over us, making this photography niche a bit less complex. You just need to look around you!
Related: What Are The Elements And Principles Of Photography?
24. Shiny Cars
Car photography will never get old. Everything from modern, engine-roaring machines to vintage cars is perfect for capturing. Thankfully, there are tons of car events so you can always attend there and bring your camera with you.
Since we need to take special care of the car’s colors and reflections, we need to have a sunny environment such as sunrise or even sunset.
Another great thing about this kind of photography is that you can take literally any angle you want! However, it’s best to shoot from the front or from the sides, for that vintage look.
25. Tidy Rooms and Apartments
Having a tidy room should be an achievement on its own. And since most of us don’t really have time to fix our messy rooms, because you know… Netflix and chill, we can always take some photos of other rooms and apartments.
I found this idea very interesting since I can shoot from any angle and focus on only one part of the apartment.
This can either be a gaming PC setup, a table next to a window or a huge dining room. I mean, possibilities are endless and all you need is a beautifully arranged interior.
Mirror images are fun. They also can become a fascinating exercise in depth in photo composition. The easy ones come from water reflections but mirrors are also effective props in the world of reflection photography. Again, angles will play a part in the frame as well as your imagination. For best results work with small aperture settings to help enhance the effect.
Related: 3 Reasons Why You Look Better In The Mirror Than In Pictures
27. Long Exposure
Here’s a cool way to show some wacky creativity that can often produce amazing results. When you use a long exposure, and in particular with landscape scenes, you can blur movement which will give you smooth and silky effects.
Clouds will streak and even slow-moving vehicles or people will appear to have a superhuman quality. A tripod makes this a (long) snap.
Aside from cameras that have a ‘panoramic’ setting, you can still create some nifty scene photos with the old school method. Use a tripod and shoot a set of side-by-side photos. With your computer software, simply ‘stitch’ the photos together. The slight change in angle and perspective from one photo to the next will give your photos an interesting look.
Alright, if you are looking for a method that will produce dramatic results, then shooting silhouettes are your best bet. Sunrise and sunset afford you the best times for this. All you do is have your subject between you and the sun. Use slower shutter speeds for brighter images and faster shutter speeds to create a darker image. Play around and see what fun this can be.
One cool way to shoot photos and not have to worry a lot about too many colors and subjects in your frame is by shooting at night. Not only is there an air of mystery with shadows and dark places but there is a lot of different life that lives after the sun goes down. Use your tripod and run extremely slow shutter speeds to capture the mysteries of the night.
Did we give you some new ideas here? For the average photo guy, pointing and shooting will get the job done. But sooner or later you are going to see someone else’s amazing vacation photos or a poster on a wall that makes you think you can do the same thing.
The only thing is, you’ll have to graduate to a place somewhat further from the point and shoot place you currently exist. That’s why we put together this list of different photography styles to give you a chance to explore some new-to-you ways to use your camera.
That’s it for now. These photography theme ideas should give you some motivation to practice photography, but also kill your boredom.
There are tons of ways you can make a unique photo and you don’t always have to carry this list with you. Instead, try to look for perfect opportunities all around you and you should get this feeling for photography pretty fast.
I think it’s finally time to get off your sofa and start doing what you came for!
Also, check our basic tips for taking good photographs.