Sooner or later, we all run out of things to photograph. Or we think we do.
In truth, there are countless subjects worth photographing – and many of them can be found in your house, in your backyard, or on a short walk.
I’ve compiled a list of more than 100 photography ideas, which I share below. It includes dozens of things to photograph along with lots of example photos. So if you’re looking for cool photos to take or you’re in need of inspiration, read on!
Note: I include a handful of idea categories, including nature, people, animals, events, and architecture. I recommend you start by tackling a category you’re not especially familiar with; that way, you can spend time exploring an area of photography that feels fresh.
Things to photograph in nature
There is a whole wide world out there, and it’s waiting to be explored by you and your camera! I’m not just talking about natural subjects that your eyes can see; I encourage you to find what is hidden underneath and behind and inside.
First, pull out your closest-focusing lens and capture the surfaces of the natural world. Try photographing:
- Trees, branches, and bark
- Fruits and vegetables
- Tall grass
Don’t just go for the typical nature shot. Adjust your angle, experiment with different settings, and do what you can to shoot from close and far away.
Also, photograph these natural subjects at many different times: noon, golden hour, dusk, and everything in between. Don’t forget to photograph after it rains.
Then bring out your wide-angle or telephoto lens and spend time capturing:
- Orchards (in bloom or full of fruit)
- Pumpkin patches
- Sunflower fields
Next, explore water. If you’re up for it, consider purchasing underwater housing for your camera. Here are just a few water-related items to take pictures of:
- Water spraying from the sprinkler or hose
- Creeks, ponds, lakes, and oceans
If you’re interested in more unusual nature photography ideas, consider shooting the ground, such as:
And if you’re more of a people photographer, bring some friends along with you on a morning walk and include them in your photos. You might capture beautiful shots of people on:
- Dirt roads
People photos to capture
Looking for some people photography ideas? Here are a handful of subjects you can photograph from home:
- Twins and triplets
- A whole family
- 3+ generations
Note that there are many ways to photograph people. You could take posed shots, of course – but you might also capture candid moments.
And don’t pressure yourself to go big. Just find somebody you can take pictures of. You don’t have to know what you’re doing; just aim your camera and something interesting will emerge.
If you have a child, you can capture an infinite number of possible photos. For instance, you might photograph them:
- Playing with bubbles
- At a playground
- Riding a bike
- Playing sports
Maybe you prefer to photograph friends? That’s okay, too! Grab a friend and photograph them:
- In an interesting job
- Engaging in a hobby
- Playing (or listening to) music
- On a farm
- Playing sports
- Having fun with paints
- Working with tools
- Acting very professional
Really, you could produce an entire portfolio just by photographing one person over a month or two.
Animal photography ideas
If you like the idea of capturing animals, now’s your chance to get started. Consider photographing:
- At a farm
- At a vet
- At a shelter
- At an animal rescue
- At a pet store
- At a zoo
- At an aquarium
- Local wildlife
- Fish and other water creatures
Event photography ideas
Events combine plenty of great photographic subjects, such as people, places, food, and interesting activities. You can find plenty of events listed on city websites, but consider capturing household events, too.
Here are just a few events to photograph:
- Local charity events
- Animal shelters
- Farmers markets
- Boating events
- Air shows
- Car shows
Enter photography contests
I know, I know: You can’t take a picture of a photography contest!
But most contests have themes, which means they offer plenty of photography ideas! In other words, if you photograph for a contest, you can let someone else think up the subject matter. Then you can try to capture it in the most interesting way possible.
(And who knows? You might even win!)
Search for contests on/in:
- Your city website
- The local paper
- Photography magazines
- dPS challenges
Architectural things to photograph
Architectural photography might sound a little boring, but in my experience, it can be a whole lot of fun! You don’t need to restrict yourself to the “standard” architectural subjects (like real-estate interiors and churches). Instead, try your hand at a few of these unusual photography ideas:
- Old buildings
- City neighborhoods
- Modern buildings
- Glass buildings
- Train stations
Pay careful attention to your perspective, and – if necessary – shoot wide and make distortion corrections during post-processing.
Things to take pictures of: meaningful objects
Still life photography is a great way to memorialize precious objects. You can create complex still life arrangements – or you can capture single items.
Note that you can aim to convey the essence of your subject, or you can strive to tell a story.
Here are just a few meaningful objects to photograph:
- Products for a small business
- Crafts for a friend’s Etsy store
- Family heirlooms
- Museum artifacts
- The items on your desk
- Your cameras
- The furniture in your house
- Junkyard items (such as rusty old cars)
- Prepared food
- Food at restaurants
Capture the seasons and the time of day
Looking for a more contemplative photography idea? Then consider a photography project that spans several months (or even years).
For instance, you might produce a series of photos that aims to convey the essence of:
Or you might produce a photo series that captures the essence of:
- Cloudy days
- Stormy days
You might also select a single subject (perhaps from the photo ideas shared in previous sections), then capture it across several seasons or across an entire day.
I’ve shared plenty of ideas about what to take pictures of…
…but in addition to all the options mentioned above, consider how you can use different techniques to capture unique shots.
For instance, regardless of your subject matter, you might capture:
- Black and white shots
- Close-up or macro shots
Also, consider the different results you can achieve by focusing on:
100+ photography ideas: final words
Hopefully, you’ve found this list – detailing over a hundred things to take pictures of – useful!
You have plenty of potential subjects. So grab your camera and start photographing!
Now over to you:
Have any additional photography ideas to add to my list? Share them in the comments below!