7 Photography Projects to Jumpstart your Creativity - Digital Photography School

7 Photography Projects to Jumpstart your Creativity

Pin ItIn this post Jennifer Jacobs from iffles.com shares some tips on how to spark creativity in your photography.

Image by kk+

Image by kk+

Let’s face it, no matter how much we take our camera out, there’s only so many pictures we can take of our kids, pets, house and garden before we start itching to shoot something else… but what?

Hopefully this list of projects you can undertake will inspire you to find something creative to shoot.

1. 365 Days

The most popular of the projects on this list, there are multiple variations of the 365 project.  Typically, it involves taking a self-portrait every day for a year – the only rule is that you have to hit the shutter button (or remote) and at least some part of you must be in the photo.  It doesn’t sound so bad at first, but believe me, there’s only so many photos you can take holding the camera at arms length before even you get bored.  Suddenly you find yourself doing things like wrapping yourself in christmas lights, jumping in piles of leaves, or taping your mouth shut.  For inspiration, check out the 365 Days group on flickr.

365days.jpg

If a photo-a-day seems like too much of a commitment, you can do one self-portrait a week for a year – a 52 Weeks project.

If the self-portrait part makes you a bit squeamish, you can either round up the kids and get pictures of them everyday for a 365 kids project, or you can just do a open-topic 365 project where you just have to take a picture of anything every day for a year.

2. 52 Photowalks

I use the term “photowalk” pretty loosely here.   While photowalks often include groups of people walking through cities together, all capturing images of the same landmarks from their own point of view, I’m being slightly more liberal with the term.

Basically, I’m saying you should get out of the house once a week with your camera.  I looked through all my photos from my first year with my DSLR and realized about 90% of them were in or around my house.  So I got up and walked out the door once a week. I’ve been to local parks, abandoned buildings (careful with this one: it can be frowned upon or even illegal to poke around some abandoned buildings), downtown and other small towns near me.

52photowalks.jpg

Besides adding a bigger variety to my photo collection, I’ve noticed two other side effects from this project so far: I’ve discovered all sorts of parks and areas of downtown that I didn’t even know existed, and I’ve been able to go to places that I already knew and see them from a totally different viewpoint.  For instance, the picture above is of a local amphitheater.  I’ve been there a number of times and never thought much of it… but being there when the park was empty, and walking to the back of the stage looking out has given me a completely different perspective.

3. 100 Strangers

This is a project I personally don’t have the guts to do, as I’m bit shy (that’s the whole reason why I’m behind the lens to begin with!), but I know some people doing this project and I’m loving their results so far.  The idea is to approach someone you’ve never met before, ask if you can take their picture, and talk to them a bit to get some kind of backstory, and then upload the photo (and a short description of who they are and what you talked about) to flickr and add it to the 100 Strangers group.  Then repeat 99 more times.  

Not only will get photos of different people in your collection, but you just might make a new friend or two. You can, of course, skip the flickr part and do this project on your own, but you would gain a lot of inspiration from the group.

4. A-Z

Once again, there’s a couple ways you can go with an A-Z project.  You can pick a place and try to get a picture of objects that start with or represent each letter of the alphabet (for instance, it might be easy to take a photo of the grass for G, but Q is going to be harder, maybe a picture of a kid running around could be Quick, or a picture of a completely still pond could be Quiet).  You can also try this with numbers, too – take a photo of one acorn on the ground, two ducks by a pond, three trees grouped together, etc.

a-z.jpg

The other interpretation of this project is to take pictures of things that look like the letters A-Z.  Take a look at the photo above, it’s actually a chain to a porch swing, but the one piece looks like a letter S.  Once you start this project you’ll start looking at ordinary things – buildings, cloud formations, playground equipment, etc. – in a complete different way, giving you a new perspective on things to photograph.  This project can also be done with numbers, too.

5. Pick-A-Something

Pick something and try to get a collection of photos representing it.  For instance, pick a color and try to go all day photographing only red things, or try only getting pictures of things that are square when you’re on a walk.  I was once at a cookout and, while I took photos of other things, I also tried to get  photos of people’s shoes.  

pick-a-something.jpg

The upside of this project is that it, once again, gets you to start seeing ordinary things in different way – taking a snapshot looking down at everyone’s shoes is going to start to get boring, so it forces you to start thinking creatively.  The downside of this project is that people are going to start giving you weird looks for crawling around on the ground taking pictures of shoes while everyone else is enjoying hamburgers and potato salad.

6. Go Mono

During my 365 (open-topic, not self-portraits), I decided to take one month and do all my photos in black-and-white.  My goal was to get better at converting photos to black and white, which I think I did, but I noticed I was also starting to see things differently, and figure out what photos would look better in mono, and which ones wouldn’t.  

gomono.jpg

There were also a few surprises, like the leaf with water drops on it that you see above.  If I hadn’t been doing a month of mono, I would have edited that photo in color and loved it, and left it like that.  But I converted it for my 365 project, and I loved it even more.  Surprises like that made the whole month worth it.

7. Scavenger Hunt

A photo scavenger hunt is simple. You need someone to come up with a list of things to photograph (they can be actually things like “railroad tracks”, or they can be more conceptual like “fun with friends”, or even techniques like “shallow depth of field”). Then, a group of people all go out and interpret the list how they want and show them to the group.  As with a lot of the other projects I mentioned, it really gets you to start looking at ordinary things in a different way.  Looking for a list?  Do a search in the flickr groups for “scavenger hunt” and you’ll come up with a number of groups that have hunts going on.  Including a DPS Scavenger Hunt group, made up of other DPS users that posts a new list each month.

PS from Darren: Also check out our weekly Assignments in the DPS forums for a little inspiration – we nominate a topic for each week for everyone to take a photo on – it can be a lot of fun and a great way to get out of a creative rut!

Update: also check out these Photography Ideas to Kickstart Your Photography.

headshot.jpgAbout the Author: Jennifer Jacobs is an amateur photographer who runs iffles.com – a site for photography beginners.  She’s also addicted to flickr and you can follow her stream here.


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  • http://www.olary.com Bob O’Lary

    I enjoyed the suggestions for projects, and fully support any ideas that get you out there and shooting, anything and everything. there is something to be photographically learned from ANY assignment, and the more you shoot, the better you get at it. I AM troubled by one niggly part of Jennifer’s explanations though. that being, the fact that she is shy and doesn’t want to be the “subject” of images saying “That is why I am BEHIND the lens”… As a life-long photojournalist and commercial photographer, I see a slight bit of dishonesty, or at least duplicity in this attitude, where a photographer induces other people to pose when they themselves would not do so. I never EVER ask any model to do ANYthing I would not do myself in front of a camera. I just see this attitude as kinda like “I want you to do something for me, but I’d NOT do the same for you! I see it as an issue of intellectual honesty in one’s work. I am not talking about a theatrical performance, or a public display of any sort. just an agreement between a photographer and a model. Otherwise, this is a GREAT BLOG!
    Bob O’Lary

  • http://www.flickr.com/groups/100picturechallenge/ Betty Timm

    We have a group on Flickr called 100 Pictures. It’s a list of a hundred easy-doable subjects!
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/100picturechallenge/

  • http://nidulario.wordpress.com Ramiro

    Hey thanks for the article it was very inspiring. I’m in a 365 project right now, and i guess than I’m going to use some of your ideas to keep it up.

    Thanks again!!

  • LindaClaudette

    Great ideas! I’ve been in a rut because it’s been so brutally hot to do anything. I’m going to take this to heart!

  • http://tomdurkin.me Tom Durkin

    Great ideas, I may well try the A-Z one :)

  • http://jacquiehedlund.blogspot.com/ jacquie

    These are great ideas! So inspiring, thankyou :)

  • http://365nightsofhell.blogspot.com/ Tuukka

    Got very excited of all these, but finally brewed my own cup of tea: http://365nightsofhell.blogspot.com/

    Thank you so much :)

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/zwieselchen/ Zwieselchen

    I am at stranger 75 of the recommended 100 strangers project on flickr, right now. It is the best photo project I’ve ever done, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
    Btw, it is ther perfect project to turn a shy person into an ex-shy person. :D

  • Cassie

    i keep logging on to my computer and looking over these ideas. ireally want to do the 100 stangers project because i think it would be fun and boost my selfesteem and photography abilities. Any tips on types of people to shoot (photo wise)? great post ! (:

  • joey

    I, LOVE this article! Thank you! I am going to try the 100 strangers project.

  • Trice

    Sounds like some really good ideas!

  • kendall

    omg i like how you think :{)

  • shiela

    Great list and suggestions! Nice to know that I’m not the only one that gets “grid locked” sometimes. I’m doing a 365 project now, and have been fretting about what comes next. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/gtpete Pete

    The 100 strangers project has changed the way I interact with people as well as improving my portraiture skills.Building my confidence to walk up to complete stranger is never easy but once you’ve done the first one it really just gets easier each time. It such a buzz to challenge yourself to be brave enough to converse with anyone young or old, male or female & hopefully shoot a a couple of frames in the process.
    The real unexpected benefit is that i get to meet so many interesting people in this amazing world.
    I have to admit i am addicted & i wont be stopping at 100!

  • http://www.chrisptaszenskiphotography.wordpress.com Chris

    Great ideas! As a new photographer, I am going to practice these techniques. thanks!

    Take a look at mine (still relatively new) http://www.chrisptaszenskiphotography.wordpress.com.

    My most recent blog contains pictures of my trip to Spain. I called it …. A taste of ‘Espana’. Leave a comment and follow, let me know how I am doing!

    Chris

  • Dan Francis

    Awesome…I find a place were photography tips is real…thanks.

  • http://50mmstreettog.blogspot.com/ Dipayan Bhattacharjee

    I’m carrying out the 100 Strangers project myself right now… But being a slightly shy kind of a person, I change the rules a little for myself… I don’t talk to any of these strangers… OK, maybe I talk to a few, but mostly I don’t… I just try and isolate them completely from the crowd that they are in and then take the shots…

    Have a look and feel free to leave your comments:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/xedmundian/sets/72157629544756221/

    (P.S – The project is not yet complete and still in an ON-GOING stage)

  • http://www.monuclubfunda.com manihs kushwaha
  • http://pattyinspain.blogspot.com.es/ Patty

    Fabulous ideas!! My friends and I are looking for photo assignments and this page has given me great ideas for us to walk about Barcelona and photograph. Thanks

  • http://www.vaughnbarry.com Photographers in Barrie

    Awesome, I need a creativity kick in the a@# and I think the A-Z project is exactly what the doctor ordered. Thanks so much for the great ideas!

  • http://www.edveronda.com Ed Veronda

    Thanks so much for the inspiration. I took your suggestion, and made this video. It took a few full days, but this post of yours really inspired me.

    http://www.edveronda.com/2012/05/19/alphabet-video/

    http://www.edveronda.com/2012/05/19/numbers-video/

    Thank you!!

  • Nat

    Oh My Love this!! Extremely helpful & peaked my creative juices! Excited to start my own photo project now!

  • anupam

    Great ideas…thnx a ton

  • http://www.analevitt.com Ana @ http://www.blogger.com/home

    I just started my project and I am very excited. Thank you for all the great ideas and tips you provide!

  • http://flickr.com/mhdbadi Badi

    I once started my 365 project but I failed. I was so busy in a way I was skipping days so I stopped.

    From the list above, A-Z project seems the best one for me and I am going to start it soon.

    Thanks for the suggestions, really helpful and inspiring :)

  • Maggie

    The 365 project is a bit intimidating to me, especially if it’s self-portraits! But the once-a-week thing sounds pretty good to me, so I’ll definitely try that :)

    ANOTHER thought is to pick a spot anywhere that interests you (probably outside) and mark the place with chalk or tape or something so you can come back to that same exact spot and take a picture daily or weekly of that same spot. It’s challenging if you are a person that travels a lot, but if you don’t I think it would be an excellent project because when you have your year’s worth of photos, you can make a GIF of them or a slideshow, and it would be very cool to see the seasons change if where you live has dramatic weather.

  • Arielle

    I like this. It has given me so many ideas. Thanks :)

  • Shehab El Gamal

    yea , it’s really great discussing some good points,

  • Aivis Grisevs

    great article :)

  • Photographer

    This is a great article that really makes me want to try out your photography techniques.

  • zoey

    im only 12 years on and im really interested in photography and your site helped me looads i especialy like the a – z one and i will be starting this soon :)

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  • Kristina saeli

    I’m trying to do the strangers one in a foreign country where I don’t know the language. It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

  • chesi

    Thx alot seriously article inspire me to do project on photography…

  • LocoPoco

    Thanks, this is really good. I’ll do this over the summer :-)

  • Ahmed Mounir

    Wow what a great ideas I liked all of them, specially 52 photo walks and 100 strangers …. I will be starting one of them soon

Some older comments

  • Maggie

    June 17, 2013 02:55 pm

    The 365 project is a bit intimidating to me, especially if it's self-portraits! But the once-a-week thing sounds pretty good to me, so I'll definitely try that :)

    ANOTHER thought is to pick a spot anywhere that interests you (probably outside) and mark the place with chalk or tape or something so you can come back to that same exact spot and take a picture daily or weekly of that same spot. It's challenging if you are a person that travels a lot, but if you don't I think it would be an excellent project because when you have your year's worth of photos, you can make a GIF of them or a slideshow, and it would be very cool to see the seasons change if where you live has dramatic weather.

  • Badi

    May 15, 2013 10:21 pm

    I once started my 365 project but I failed. I was so busy in a way I was skipping days so I stopped.

    From the list above, A-Z project seems the best one for me and I am going to start it soon.

    Thanks for the suggestions, really helpful and inspiring :)

  • Ana @ http://www.blogger.com/home

    May 6, 2013 04:01 am

    I just started my project and I am very excited. Thank you for all the great ideas and tips you provide!

  • anupam

    February 27, 2013 06:22 am

    Great ideas...thnx a ton

  • Nat

    September 2, 2012 03:34 am

    Oh My Love this!! Extremely helpful & peaked my creative juices! Excited to start my own photo project now!

  • Ed Veronda

    May 20, 2012 04:08 am

    Thanks so much for the inspiration. I took your suggestion, and made this video. It took a few full days, but this post of yours really inspired me.

    http://www.edveronda.com/2012/05/19/alphabet-video/

    http://www.edveronda.com/2012/05/19/numbers-video/

    Thank you!!

  • Photographers in Barrie

    May 16, 2012 05:56 am

    Awesome, I need a creativity kick in the a@# and I think the A-Z project is exactly what the doctor ordered. Thanks so much for the great ideas!

  • Patty

    April 30, 2012 07:56 pm

    Fabulous ideas!! My friends and I are looking for photo assignments and this page has given me great ideas for us to walk about Barcelona and photograph. Thanks

  • manihs kushwaha

    April 8, 2012 09:25 pm

    plz kust see this page
    www.facebook.com/manishawesome.photography

  • Dipayan Bhattacharjee

    March 16, 2012 01:20 am

    I'm carrying out the 100 Strangers project myself right now... But being a slightly shy kind of a person, I change the rules a little for myself... I don't talk to any of these strangers... OK, maybe I talk to a few, but mostly I don't... I just try and isolate them completely from the crowd that they are in and then take the shots...

    Have a look and feel free to leave your comments:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/xedmundian/sets/72157629544756221/

    (P.S - The project is not yet complete and still in an ON-GOING stage)

  • Dan Francis

    January 31, 2012 11:55 am

    Awesome...I find a place were photography tips is real...thanks.

  • Chris

    January 31, 2012 04:22 am

    Great ideas! As a new photographer, I am going to practice these techniques. thanks!

    Take a look at mine (still relatively new) www.chrisptaszenskiphotography.wordpress.com.

    My most recent blog contains pictures of my trip to Spain. I called it .... A taste of 'Espana'. Leave a comment and follow, let me know how I am doing!

    Chris

  • Pete

    November 26, 2011 05:41 pm

    The 100 strangers project has changed the way I interact with people as well as improving my portraiture skills.Building my confidence to walk up to complete stranger is never easy but once you've done the first one it really just gets easier each time. It such a buzz to challenge yourself to be brave enough to converse with anyone young or old, male or female & hopefully shoot a a couple of frames in the process.
    The real unexpected benefit is that i get to meet so many interesting people in this amazing world.
    I have to admit i am addicted & i wont be stopping at 100!

  • shiela

    November 26, 2011 05:36 am

    Great list and suggestions! Nice to know that I'm not the only one that gets "grid locked" sometimes. I'm doing a 365 project now, and have been fretting about what comes next. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • kendall

    November 3, 2011 07:25 am

    omg i like how you think :{)

  • Trice

    October 26, 2011 11:09 am

    Sounds like some really good ideas!

  • joey

    October 18, 2011 06:58 am

    I, LOVE this article! Thank you! I am going to try the 100 strangers project.

  • Cassie

    October 10, 2011 02:40 pm

    i keep logging on to my computer and looking over these ideas. ireally want to do the 100 stangers project because i think it would be fun and boost my selfesteem and photography abilities. Any tips on types of people to shoot (photo wise)? great post ! (:

  • Zwieselchen

    October 5, 2011 04:33 am

    I am at stranger 75 of the recommended 100 strangers project on flickr, right now. It is the best photo project I've ever done, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
    Btw, it is ther perfect project to turn a shy person into an ex-shy person. :D

  • Tuukka

    August 14, 2011 10:12 am

    Got very excited of all these, but finally brewed my own cup of tea: http://365nightsofhell.blogspot.com/

    Thank you so much :)

  • jacquie

    August 12, 2011 09:20 am

    These are great ideas! So inspiring, thankyou :)

  • Tom Durkin

    August 10, 2011 06:13 pm

    Great ideas, I may well try the A-Z one :)

  • LindaClaudette

    August 10, 2011 10:04 am

    Great ideas! I've been in a rut because it's been so brutally hot to do anything. I'm going to take this to heart!

  • Ramiro

    August 10, 2011 04:10 am

    Hey thanks for the article it was very inspiring. I'm in a 365 project right now, and i guess than I'm going to use some of your ideas to keep it up.

    Thanks again!!

  • Betty Timm

    August 10, 2011 02:42 am

    We have a group on Flickr called 100 Pictures. It's a list of a hundred easy-doable subjects!
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/100picturechallenge/

  • Bob O'Lary

    August 10, 2011 02:37 am

    I enjoyed the suggestions for projects, and fully support any ideas that get you out there and shooting, anything and everything. there is something to be photographically learned from ANY assignment, and the more you shoot, the better you get at it. I AM troubled by one niggly part of Jennifer's explanations though. that being, the fact that she is shy and doesn't want to be the "subject" of images saying "That is why I am BEHIND the lens"... As a life-long photojournalist and commercial photographer, I see a slight bit of dishonesty, or at least duplicity in this attitude, where a photographer induces other people to pose when they themselves would not do so. I never EVER ask any model to do ANYthing I would not do myself in front of a camera. I just see this attitude as kinda like "I want you to do something for me, but I'd NOT do the same for you! I see it as an issue of intellectual honesty in one's work. I am not talking about a theatrical performance, or a public display of any sort. just an agreement between a photographer and a model. Otherwise, this is a GREAT BLOG!
    Bob O'Lary

  • Laura McHugh

    August 10, 2011 02:31 am

    I am doing a 365 photo a day challenge with a friend. We each post a photo every day. My friend is taking hers exclusively with her iPhone. It is fun to see how our random photos can go so well with one another. I did the same challenge last year with three other people and we got an art show out of it where we each exhibited 10 of our best from the year. I can't imagine a day now without at least one photo.

  • emily j.

    May 23, 2011 07:06 am

    I love these ideas! Thank you! I am finishing up a Project 365 (started on my 30th birthday in June 2010) and looking for a project/challenge for my "new year". I am particularly drawn to the 52 PhotoWalks idea as my honey and I will probably be moving in mid-June and it would be a great way to encourage us to explore and document our first year in a new neighborhood.

  • Dave Zimmerman

    May 5, 2011 08:32 pm

    I did a 52 week project in 2010 of a Redbud shrub the state planted in a highway right of way. I ended up making a photo book of it. Now I'm doing one out my front window. I take at least one shot a week, and more if something interesting is going on. It does challenge the creativity. Here's my Flickr set of the shrub: http://www.flickr.com/photos/onefstopoff/sets/72157623222848544/

  • JustKate

    April 28, 2011 11:44 am

    Thanks so much for writing this! I want to try all of them!! :)

  • Kelly Foos

    April 21, 2011 01:58 am

    hi!

    i have a blog call Hello Kelly (i copied the link into the website space) and i was looking for photo projects to discuss on there and actually do. i googled it and this was the first hit that came up. i love these ideas!

    i just wanted to let you know that i'm going to list about 5 of these ideas on Hello Kelly and i will link credit to you!!

    i can't wait to try some of these.

  • emma smith

    April 15, 2011 09:44 pm

    thank you for these ideas! helped me so so much, i now know what to do for my project, i was struggling so badly! :) xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Ivan

    April 9, 2011 11:29 am

    Thanks for the great idea, Here is my 100 portraits outcome.
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1856386444094&set=a.1090686462073.2016013.1073833921&theater

  • Emery

    April 6, 2011 01:38 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I'd been trying to think of something I'd really enjoy doing for my major Media assignment, I'm going to the do 100 strangers project!

  • abbelaine

    March 17, 2011 07:12 am

    I lovelovelove this! Scavenger hunt adventures here I come, xoxox

  • Alexis

    March 17, 2011 05:52 am

    I'm currently an AP Photo student and having trouble trying to figure out my 12 piece concentration that is required. These are some great ideas and I can't wait to try them out!

  • Colin

    March 7, 2011 12:44 am

    You should add an update to this post containing a very good project idea... 52 assignments! Just look through the old DPS assignments and do at least one of those every week!

  • Emily

    February 4, 2011 02:55 pm

    Wow. These are great. I've also recently been putting together a "Seven Deadly Sins" project which I've found challenging and fun. I'm also very shy, but I think I'll try the "100 Strangers" project. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Collyn Carter

    January 18, 2011 09:44 am

    Reader,
    Your pictures give me so much inspiration and I am doing a project for a school competition and you have to edit it and stuff and it's called digital media. Thank you so much and you are very talented at what you do.
    -Collyn Carter
    #15
    God bless you!
    Phillippians 4:13~ I can do ALL things through Christ which strengthens me.

  • Alana

    January 10, 2011 09:07 pm

    Thanks for the really good ideas. i love photography and i was looking for something creative ideas. i cant wait to try them out (:

  • matt haines

    July 31, 2010 08:08 am

    I've had this page open in my browser tabs for about three weeks now, as I found it inspiring. Ultimately though it's biggest effect on me is a purchase: I've been staring at that picture of the Bessa-R in the lead photo so long, I eventually went and bought one! :)

  • gui

    July 18, 2010 11:34 am

    i reallly want to do the stranger one.. but im to afriad of going up to people:/ my moms like how can you be a photographer if youre afriad to take pictures of people, but i think im gonna suck it up and try...

    visit my site?
    www.GEBPhotographs.webs.com
    byes.

  • Gin

    June 19, 2010 02:12 pm

    wow, amazing ideas, brilliant for inspiring creativity. I can´t wait to do one of them!

  • kobun the kodok buncit

    June 11, 2010 01:36 pm

    this is a good idea. since my photos taken randomly and not consistent. awright, let's get it on!

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  • Brian Stapleton

    May 29, 2010 08:08 pm

    Was reading the projects list with interest and then this pop up appeared. It took me a while to close it down and get back to the original page. Found it off putting so have decided to leave the website.

  • eileen

    May 19, 2010 10:22 pm

    can i still start the 365 days project even if its in the middle of the year?

  • wtb013

    May 17, 2010 12:35 pm

    Hey, thanks so much for the ideas.... i just got a pentax k-x yesterday and I'm already obsessed. I can't wait to start the photowalk project!!!

  • Annmaree

    April 19, 2010 05:10 am

    Great ideas, thanks a lot! I had never thought of these. I will have to try for sure!

  • katie anna

    February 15, 2010 07:46 pm

    thank you, thank you, thank you!
    this was a lot of help, today is going to be a very creative day, thanks to you!! :) XO

  • Cherie

    February 8, 2010 03:49 pm

    Wow, these are some great idea! Thanks.

  • Kryziz

    January 31, 2010 05:54 am

    I loved this ideas!
    Every project looks awesome, i'm definetly going to try them!

  • Avishek

    January 19, 2010 02:58 am

    These are some great ideas! Thanks so much for putting them together. I will definitely try these out. However, like some others havent mentioned earlier, I am not very confident about photographing strangers either. Infact, I have never tried it out as yet and I suppose that would be the first thing amongst these ideas that I start with. Thanks again!!

  • Pradeep

    October 24, 2009 03:24 pm

    Interesting ideas! though have done most in bits and pieces, A-Z is new! thanks!

  • Lucian Alexandru

    October 19, 2009 07:21 pm

    Good inspiration,

    I tried this on for a few days, and it's done wonders. I strongly recommend these games to anyone who is running low on creativity.
    Here's how I went about it.
    The main idea is II took it as a game, made it fun. No stress, no worries. Mess it up if you must at first.
    The first time I played "1 through 10" - one lamp, two lamps, 3 banister rails, 4 stairs, 5 pipes, 6 wall tiles (the challenge was to do all the photos in the same staircase). Finished in about 10 minutes. Not all were great, but it got me started.
    Then I went to the bar with some buddies, and we made it a challenge. Who can finish a '1 through 10' faster. 1 beer bottle, 2 cartons of cigarettes, 3 people at the table, etc. This was really fun, because it was sort of a speed-run. :)
    I also started playing '100 strangers' -> it's going great, I already took the photo of 21 people, and 2 girls even gave me their e-mail so I can send them the photos. :D
    Next I want to try doing an A-Z with people wearing rock-band t-shirts. I'm quite sure it can be done.

    So thanks for the post.
    Best of luck to you all.
    And GOOD LIGHT ! ;)

  • Shwetashree

    September 24, 2009 09:32 pm

    hi
    recently i came across ur blog. i loved these ideas. Photography has been a dream for me since a long time. n i don't have any equipment . but now my heart is filled with the desire to take up my dream finally..... thank u....!

  • Melvin

    September 19, 2009 11:00 pm

    Its a wonderful post

  • Alfin

    September 18, 2009 12:25 pm

    Very informative post, like it!

  • Reema

    September 16, 2009 09:13 pm

    this came right when i needed it
    thank u sooo much

  • Pauline L

    September 11, 2009 06:35 am

    I love this post. It's the first step just to find inspiration, but it's a different story entirely to stay committed to a project! I'm currently reading Photo Projects by Chris Dickie, who discusses the process of conceptualizing a photography project from beginning to end. He highlights various photographer's work and their rationale behind their ideas. As much as I'm still learning the "technical" side of photography, the process of it still fascinates me!

  • Becky Supapo

    September 8, 2009 03:54 am

    I like this idea a lot...it works on your skills, creativity and experience...if only time is not such a hindrance!

  • gerijean

    September 6, 2009 03:42 am

    FANTASTIC article !!

  • Shelley

    September 5, 2009 08:03 pm

    This is a very inspiring article and has some awesome suggestions. I think I'm going to try one (or more) of these...just not sure which one(s) just yet.

  • jf

    September 5, 2009 05:11 pm

    I've just remembered a couple more. Years ago on a backpacking trip through Europe (many, many years ago)... a friend collected pictures of doors of a all kinds and I collected pictures of old people (I asked permission first, though I didn't explain the category). You can also collect pictures of people based on a theme, like 'friends' or 'in love' etc. Just make sure you're not annoying anybody or violating privacy/breaking laws when you do it... and remember that you need model release forms to sell the photos for stock, if that ever comes up.

    Here's an even better one, something I did with our five-year old on a family vacation to Barcelona. Take a piece of paper and write a list of shapes with checkboxes next to them (I drew the actual shapes since the five-year old can't read the words). Then you take your camera and, if you're inclined, let the child hold an inexpensive digital camera or even one of those disposable cameras, and go on a "photo safari" trying to find objects that match the shapes.

    Of course, anything can go on the checklist. What was nice about the shapes is that it inspired a lot of creative interpretation of whatever we were looking at. A circle became oranges in a tree, the headlight of an old motorcycle, the stone window on the tower of an old building, swirls in a cornice of another building, etc.

    My son loved it... had a great time finding the shapes and made some sharp observations looking for them, had a great time hanging out with Dad and using the camera, and took some pretty good pictures too.

    One more idea... whenever we go to the zoo, I take the camera with the telephoto and collect closeup shots of the animals, which I can then reprint in one of those photobooks along with the animal names... as a kind of homemade kids book. Again, you could do the same for any subject matter. You could even construct a story out of photos and try to take t hem in that sequence.

    Last idea... my mother is a great cook. She once said, "I wish I'd taken a picture of every meal I've made over the last 40 years." So now, at my urging, she keeps a digital camera in the room where she and my father eat dinner every night... and my father takes a picture of the meal before they eat (he's a bit of an amateur photographer, or used to be). My plan is to sort through the photos, pick the best ones, then go back to my mom for the recipes... and assemble those into a photobook too.

    Wow... once you start thinking along these lines, the possibilities are endless!

  • Anna-Belle

    September 5, 2009 03:15 pm

    Thank you for this article. Ive become very busy and have not been doing enough photography so Ive been trying to figure out ways to get back out and get some stock photos. This article is wonderful and I did not know the flicker website was so helpful i will go check that out also! Thank you very much! Also do you have any suggestions on where to go to set up a good inexpensive photography webpage for my business?

  • joanmg

    September 4, 2009 11:16 pm

    Terrific! Thanks for helping me get out of my "photo block" mode. I'm heading out to try b&w for a month.
    ';

  • Erica Conner

    September 4, 2009 10:12 pm

    This was an just what I needed! I started the A-Z project about a year ago, and never finished it, am definitely getting it done now... and as soon as I complete it I am SOOO doing the 100 Strangers! I am not shy at all, and think it would be the best compilation of pictures ever! I am stuck int he studio so much now doing women in their panties I have been feeling like I had lost inspiration! This was just the article I needed to remind me why I love photography so much! Thanks!

  • Cliffs

    September 4, 2009 09:30 pm

    Great ideas, especially for this budding novice.

    A spin on the A to Z (I've done that one) try Z to A and/or with the appropriate number of the alphabet letter... as in A = 1, Z = 26. Therefore; take a picture at a zoo then one of 26 ducks and on down....

  • Narendra Vekaria

    September 4, 2009 08:38 pm

    Very inspiring projects that I personally use as guidelines thoughout my photographic career. Excellent way of teaching begginers where to start and how to become an artist. Especially the black and white project. Just as a tip for Black and white, try recovering those underexposed picture you have taken, that shows noise when bringing up the levels, then convert to Black and white;

  • Mark Helm

    September 4, 2009 02:55 pm

    Great Ideas will be trying these soon though maybe the 365 can wait

  • Robin

    September 4, 2009 02:23 pm

    You have some great ideas on here. Thank you so much. I was getting stuck in a rut!

  • Chris

    September 4, 2009 02:03 pm

    I have been feeling really flat with my photography lately, getting busy with work and other things, and just haven't been inspired to get the camera out. This article is something that I'm going to use to get moving again, so thanks for it. Much appreciated.

  • Mike

    September 4, 2009 12:55 pm

    Now this is a article I have been needing to get for a while a photowalk once a week is just what I need to get me to take some shots vary good info Thanks

  • jpm8jpm

    September 4, 2009 11:35 am

    cool...need more extra effort but they are all worth trying! tnx for the tips nice!

  • Laura

    September 4, 2009 09:17 am

    Wow, that's a great article of ideas. Thank you for sharing, I will definitely be trying a few (if not all) of those out!!

  • Jacques

    September 4, 2009 07:15 am

    Great list. If I may suggest another: Lock yourself in the bathroom and take 100 pictures, you'll need to start being creative after 20 shots.
    Thanks again for the article.

  • NaysWay

    September 4, 2009 05:24 am

    This project is right on time. I'm starting to get bored taking photos of my own kids... you know that's bad.

  • Nishant Ghadge

    September 4, 2009 02:34 am

    Great post! these projects sound very simple and easy to execute, but once you start doing it, turns out to be great experiences.. we recently started the weekend photography walks (have done only a few so far) but surely it helps. And when you are done shooting what ever had inspired you so far or what you had seen and thought of doing you start clicking the pictures that expresses you, beyond this its capturing the moment with all its glory and innocence, action and silence, and everything that matters or nothing at all. You start making pictures.. but for all this to happen you need to start.. and i believe this article does provoke you to do exactly that.. so pick up your camera and start clicking.. happy shooting!!

  • Mulchand

    September 4, 2009 02:30 am

    this is really really an amazing article. My friend and myself run a weekend photography group called, 'Mumbai Weekend Shoot', in Mumbai, India, I will surely implement something from here.

    Personally also, this has really given me a lot Inspiration. Great job. Kudos.

  • Michele

    September 4, 2009 02:22 am

    I've read many articles attempting to give me creative ideas about photography. They typically have the save top 5 ideas - use a different perspective, composition, use natural light, etc... However your article really has given me some ideas! Really like the A-Z and 'pick-something'. I think I can get my kids involved in the A-Z... Thanks and great job on the article!

  • Hector Caroselli

    September 4, 2009 02:17 am

    These are great ideas. Thank you. Reading this article reminded me of a former photography instructor. In the days of film he assigned us to load a 36 exposure roll of film in our cameras and take 36 pictures of the same object. It was a great assignment. According to him the best image on the roll usually happens between 18 and 22; and he was right more often than not.

    Thanks again for the article.

  • Mandi

    September 4, 2009 02:10 am

    This post rocks! Thanks so much.

  • Amy Willard

    September 4, 2009 01:50 am

    You can check out my on going photoessay of my shoes, called "Life of my Chucks!" Check it out! http://www.lifeofmychucks.blogspot.com!

  • jf

    September 4, 2009 01:31 am

    Excellent suggestions... may I throw in another one? "A Month on Manual"... I'm a longtime amateur photographer who recently (finally) went ahead and got some very nice photo equipment (a Canon 40D with an assortment of lenses), but found that I had more power than i knew what to do with.

    A pro photographer friend suggested that I switch off the Auto-focus, shut down the auto ISO, Aperture, and everything else... and just shoot for a month on "M." I'll tell you, it was incredibly tough at first. I missed plenty of shots I might have gotten on a do-it-all-for-me setting.

    But just a week or so into it, I found myself looking at situations even without my camera in hand, and putting together combinations of what might be the right exposures, aperture, and ISO in my head. Beforehand, I had a vague understanding of what each of those does. Afterward, I had somehow tapped my way into understanding that fine blend. What's more, I gained some near-instant mastery of all those buttons and dials on the camera.

    I'm still at it today, with plenty more to learn, but this simple exercise alone has put me leaps and bounds ahead of where I was before. Definitely worth trying.

  • T

    September 4, 2009 01:30 am

    This is really cool.....thanks

  • Sara

    September 4, 2009 01:25 am

    This is great, I was just thinking I need some different ideas and this definately helped! Thanks so much, I really like the mono for a month because I need to get better at the B&W thing too. Can't wait to start.

  • Lola

    September 3, 2009 04:26 pm

    As a full time photographer in Australia myself, new ideas and inspiration can be as dry as he land out here :)
    I love to read and look at other peoples work and these project ideas are really good ones to kick us all up the butt and get out there!! I look to share a heap of info, tips and may just try out one of your projects - I'll post back when I do!! Thx - Lola

  • Albert Habib

    September 3, 2009 02:21 pm

    It's inspiring to receive a different direction. Going snap-happy with a new DSLR only sustains one's enthusiasm for so long. Now that I have used my various lenses I'm attempting different things and your suggested projects are making me view photographic opportunities differently. Thanks.
    Ozzie DownUnder

  • To1d

    September 3, 2009 01:09 pm

    Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  • Alex Ristea

    September 3, 2009 12:33 pm

    I love the A-Z one, and tried it out today. Check out the pics! http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexristea/

  • alan

    September 2, 2009 10:52 pm

    some really great ideas here! i plan on putting some of these to use. i, personally, didn't like the 365 project for some of the same reasons listed above. while i felt it helped me, as a newbie, learn my camera and some basic composition skills, i found myself really forcing myself to get a shot a day just to share it, regardless of how poor or uncreative it was.

  • Srikanth

    September 2, 2009 07:22 pm

    i should definitely do some of these... Especially the 2nd one...
    Thanks a lot... I had got into something of a creative vaccum lately... This helps :)

  • Dave

    September 2, 2009 11:31 am

    Some great ideas....sometimes what you're looking for is right in front of you...

  • Joel

    September 2, 2009 07:16 am

    This is going to be really challenging ! :-)

  • Jeroen Nieuwhuis

    September 2, 2009 07:09 am

    I'm working on my own 365 days project, taking a picture with my mobile phone each day and upload it to flickr! currently i'm on day 51!

    If you want to see it's on the following link: www.flickr.com/photos/jeroennieuwhuis/
    feel free to leave a comment :) !

    Greetz,

  • Radek

    September 2, 2009 01:08 am

    Thank you for great ideas. After I'm done with my One Photo a Day project I'll take on photo walks. I will definitely apply Pick-A-Something in my project!

  • ra

    September 2, 2009 12:23 am

    genius ideas!! i'm dying for more time to get behind the camera, and now when i do, i have plenty of ideas with "ok what now?!" thanks!

  • SMII

    September 2, 2009 12:22 am

    Wow.. it's good projects that improve your photo skills.

  • Kaye

    September 1, 2009 11:37 pm

    This is exactly what I needed to jumpstart me from my slump. I really love some of these ideas. Especially the Scavenger Hunt and Pick A Something! I'll put these to use for sure.

  • Mack

    September 1, 2009 10:35 pm

    Great article! VERY inspiring! :)

  • Eric Mesa

    September 1, 2009 10:30 pm

    I got so inspired with some of those ideas up there. I'll have to try some of them out when I finish up my 365. I'm slightly less than 1/3 of the way through. Some days I get really inspired and some days it's just a quick snap, but I've played with a lot of things like strobist photography that I wouldn't have otherwise. Here's my set:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericsbinaryworld/sets/72157616897325894/

    And here's another creative one I've been doing - seven days of shooting the same subject. I'm not doing it every day in a row, but so far I've looked at this tree in my backyard in ways I wouldn't have otherwise.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericsbinaryworld/sets/72157622016232430/

  • Amy

    September 1, 2009 07:36 pm

    I like these, especially the Scavenger Hunt Idea. I do some photography at bike races and there is a lot of waiting around. I've become really into taking pictures of litter. It's amazing how you can photograph it and it doesn't look so bad and it's funny what you'll find. I once found a computer monitor on top of a hill in the middle of the Sonoma Valley..............lone sneakers, bottles, candy wrappers, pringles cans on railroad tracks. I just really like that

  • darren

    September 1, 2009 07:25 pm

    Excellent ideas. Very helpful. Thanks!

  • Gavin

    September 1, 2009 07:03 pm

    The idea of 100 strangers is very appealing to me. I'm also way too shy, but I see colourful characters on the street all the time, whom I would simply love to photograph. Need to do it.

    Any chance you could share with us how you edited your mono leaf shot? I think it is really great.

  • Heather

    September 1, 2009 12:33 pm

    Great post! I love the A-Z idea, and I'm looking forward to starting that one!

  • spookie5150

    September 1, 2009 12:32 pm

    These are all excellent ideas. I'm currently doing a variation of 365. I started a photoblog and am posting an image every day. This doesn't mean I shoot every single day, but when I do go out, I have to get enough material to fill the days that I don't shoot.

    Not only is it a great exercise for getting me out there with my camera, the comments and constructive criticism I get from people who view my blog are very supportive and educational. I've started looking at others who post on the same hosting site and am getting inspiration from their work also.

    It's all about getting out there with your camera. Whatever does that is a good exercise.

  • Joan Mayer

    September 1, 2009 10:55 am

    What a great article! Saw your link from the Xshot group on FB... I love photography, just for a fun hobby - and these are ALL great ideas! Thanks for getting the creative juices flowing!

  • Mei Teng

    September 1, 2009 10:50 am

    A good list of photo projects. I might want to give this a try soon.

  • Bernard Goh

    September 1, 2009 10:25 am

    good article, it give me some ideas

  • Daisy

    September 1, 2009 10:02 am

    awesome post! I'm currently doing the 365 project, but I am definitely saving this link to come back to next year once I've finished with my current project (can't take too many on at once ya know) ;-) Thanks for all the great ideas!

  • Kristy

    September 1, 2009 09:07 am

    There are so many great ideas here... not to mention that the photos posted are so varied and unique. I LOVE the idea of, "100 strangers", but like the author; I'm not sure I could summon up that kind of assertiveness!

  • Luke

    September 1, 2009 08:58 am

    Great ideas. I'm going to start one of them tonight, just not sure what yet.

  • Amy

    September 1, 2009 08:52 am

    I am new to photography, though I've enjoyed taking pictures my whole life. I now mostly do cycling photography. I'm a bit of a homebody otherwise and don't know if I could gather up the courage to go out and do these assignment. Although it would be good mental exercise to do so wouldn't it??

  • Marcy

    September 1, 2009 08:14 am

    I've done the 365 challenge-- I used my son as my subject, recording each day of his first year of life. I may not have gotten *every* single day (I think I missed about 50!!), and some days the pictures were crap, but it was a fun way to make sure I took lots of pictures even on days I didn't quite feel like it, and the motivation came and went-- and came back again. It may not be for everyone, but I certainly am glad I did it, and will do it again when I have another kid. I made a book of my 365 at the end of it, too. =)

  • Holly

    September 1, 2009 07:14 am

    Thanks for this article!
    I'm gonna have to try one of these.

  • Beth

    September 1, 2009 07:10 am

    I like this article! Good tips for thinking outside of "me and my friends doing stupid things while holding the camera at arms length". I'm definitely going to try the ABC one and look for clouds resebling the letter Q!

  • Rosh Ravindran

    September 1, 2009 06:50 am

    This is really cool... all these projects require you to look out for what you want to shoot... which helps you in finding many things

  • Gary Denness

    September 1, 2009 06:50 am

    A 365 doesn't have to include the photographer. Lots of people (myself included!) just grab a photo, any photo each day. I'm nearly done, Day 317 is in the bag. It's great to look back on, like a photographic diary.

    http://3six5.co.uk/

  • Jeesica

    September 1, 2009 06:49 am

    Love this article. I am in the middle of two 365 projects and it really does help me be creative. I don't want all my pictures to look the same.

    I'm already looking into a new photo project for next year. The Scavenger Hunt sounds fun!

  • Ilan

    September 1, 2009 06:42 am

    I find the 365 project bit strange.
    After few days, when you get tired of it, you no longer shoot photos so you can 'improve', you shoot and upload photos just so you can reach the 365 goal.

    I think the best thing to do, is just take a camera with you every time you leave the house. The opportunities to take a photo will reveal themselves.

    This is what I captured when walking by the beach - http://www.ilanbresler.com/2009/08/quiet.html . I can only envy the peace of mind of that one :)

  • Sabrina

    September 1, 2009 06:33 am

    Hmm, this post makes me think I should consider photography as a hobby now! I never thought about how many interesting things you can photograph...

  • Prototype

    September 1, 2009 06:25 am

    Excellent ideas! I will suggest as part of some photowalks me and a few friends will be going on as we approach fall in NYC

  • killlashandra

    September 1, 2009 06:04 am

    Great ideas for projects. Sound like they could potential other flickr groups too. :)

  • Lyndon

    September 1, 2009 06:00 am

    Very cool post!! I don't know which one I want to start first? Maybe I'll start at the top of the list and work my way down :)

  • dead

    September 1, 2009 05:50 am

    wow a lot of great ideas, i need to do some of these :)

  • RinceyNZ

    September 1, 2009 05:43 am

    when I was in London, I did a series of photos (back in the days before *affordable* dSLRs) called "The Real Monopoly Board" (the Monopoly Board I grew up with was based on London landmarks - Mayfair, Old Kent Rd, etc)....

    So I thought it would be fun to get a photo of each of those landmarks....

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