Inspiration and ideas for your next photoshoot don’t always come when you need them. Or sometimes, seeing some photoshoot ideas written down can spark your creativity to come up with something similar yourself.
In any case, I’ve compiled a huge list of photoshoot ideas below (and a generator to help you select one), as well as 5 other ways I often use to help you find inspiration for your photoshoots.
Table of Contents
How To Come Up With Photoshoot Ideas
Steal Like An Artist
You don’t always have to invent something new.
Like Austin Kleon shows in his book Steal Like An Artist, it’s perfectly fine to look to others for inspiration and make something your own.
Trying to recreate an image someone else has made is a great way to practice and to learn how to ‘read an image’, or it might spark a totally new concept or theme for a photoshoot.
Of course, Instagram is a great place to find inspiration (see here for some top photographers to follow), or follow my #featurefriday on Facebook.
Another great way to find new ideas is to…
Learn From The Masters
Keep A Photoshoot Ideas Diary
Although I wrote “diary”, this can be anything that helps you remember inspiration.
The main goal is to capture anything you come across online and in the real world that sparks a photoshoot idea.
For example, I have a separate folder on my computer labeled “Photoshoot Ideas”. In there I save images I came across online, screen captures from something that caught my eye, pictures I took with my phone,…
So if I’m going through a photo book and I get an idea, I take a picture of the page with my phone and save it there. Or I might be walking through the city and see a plant that would be great for my next concept, I take out my phone and save it there.
You get the point.
Other options are:
- A box where you put in pages of magazines you’ve torn out because they inspired you.
- Color-coded labels you add to your photo books.
- An online EverNote notebook.
In everything else fails, there is always Pinterest.
It’s even in all of their slogans:
- Find New Ideas To Try
- The World’s Catalog Of Ideas
So go create an account, search for some ideas and start saving them on different boards.
Photoshoot Idea Generator
Either just pick an idea from the giant list below, or hit the red button below to randomly generate one.
Keep pushing it until you find the perfect photoshoot idea!
The Giant List Of Photoshoot Ideas
- Focus on the details.
- Shoot the in-between moments.
- Take a photo with three generations.
- Capture a shot of the wedding bouquet.
- Hold a photo shoot with the bride’s father.
- Use a wide angle lens.
- Create a gobo to project some patterns on your subject.
- Get as close as your lens will allow.
- Photograph one of your grandparents extensively.
- Go on a road trip.
The constantly changing landscape and environment will force you to keep looking for new things to photograph. As most road trips are like a good story (with a beginning, a middle, and an end) it’s also a great opportunity to tell a story with your images.
- Find a huge trampoline.
- Wrap torn plastic or other materials around the edge of your camera to create hazy edges.
- Use a hand-held glass lens or prism, to create blurred, abstract forms.
- Deliberately unfocus lights to create ‘bokeh’.
- Photograph scenes through visible hand-held lenses.
- Use color gels.
Adding some color to your photoshoots is always a good idea, especially if you want to create highly visual and striking images. Get some color gels and put them over your flashes.
- Put objects on top of photographs and rephotograph them.
- Project images onto people or scenes.
- Create pinhole photography with your own pinhole camera.
- Deliberately overexpose a shot, creating ‘high-key’ photography.
- Experiment with camera filters.
- Take unfocused shots and create semi-abstract photographs.
- Use tilt-shift photography to make real things look miniature.
- Photograph things with extreme macro lenses.
- Use frames within frames.
A great idea for a photo shoot to practice your composition is using frames within frames.
- Emphasize reflections (in puddles, windows,…) rather than the objects themselves.
- Create illusions using forced perspective.
- Capture the same scene at different times.
- Photograph things that are submerged in colored liquid or milk bath.
- Photograph things pressed against transparent surfaces.
- Overlay images with double exposure.
- Photograph things through transparent sheets.
- Pretend you are shooting a movie.
- Photograph objects through mottled or translucent screens.
- Create a light painting or drawing.
- Move the camera horizontally, so a moving subject is in focus but the background is blurred.
- Use slow shutter speeds to create blurred movement.
- Shoot during the Golden Hour.
- Try using different background textures.
- Shoot a photo within a photo.
- Use a giant plant and find some creative ways for your model to pose with it.
- Create a silhouette.
- Use negative space.
- Play around with wigs and costumes.
- Use a fisheye.
- Take two photos and make a diptych.
- Incorporate a pet.
- Shoot a roll of film.