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10 Spring Photography Ideas to Get You Inspired

Get inspired with our spring photo ideas!

This article was updated in March 2024 with contributions from Simon Bond and Jaymes Dempsey.

Spring is a fantastic time for nearly every type of photography. There are so many amazing subjects and opportunities: outdoor portraits, macro shots of blooming flowers and budding trees, spring landscapes, and baby animals, to name just a few.

That said, if you’re a beginner, or if you’re just feeling a little uninspired after a long winter, you may be struggling to come up with the kind of spring photography ideas that get you excited to head out with your camera. And that’s where this article comes in handy!

I’ve been excited about photographing in spring for as long as I can remember – I often spend the winter dreaming of spring photo opportunities – and below, I share 10 easy-to-follow ideas for some spring photoshoot fun.

You won’t need to travel far to capture great spring photos, by the way. (Many of these ideas can be tackled in your backyard or at a local park!) You don’t need sophisticated gear, either; I offer gear recommendations with each new idea, but you can capture most of these spring pictures with nothing but a cheap camera (or even a smartphone) and some good light.

Ready to enjoy the beauty of spring? Then let’s dive right in!

1. Focus on the finer details

No matter what you photograph, capturing the details is always a good idea – and that’s especially true when creating springtime compositions.

If you like to photograph nature, you can whip out that macro lens and capture some stunning shots of bluebells, daffodils, or cherry blossoms.

(I absolutely love to photograph the spring flowers, starting with the crocuses in late March/early April, followed by the tulips in late April and May! While I do generally like to use a macro lens for this type of photography, it’s possible to get nice close-up shots of larger flowers, like tulips, with a standard 50mm lens or a smartphone camera. And if you can find a field of flowers, you can always have fun with wide-angle compositions that showcase the amazing colors and patterns…)

cherry blossom petals on the ground
Petals look great when they’re still on the flower – but you can capture compelling shots once they’ve fallen to the ground, too!

If nature photography isn’t your thing, don’t sweat it! Spring is a great time to get out and about, so if you prefer to photograph in cities or at festivals, you can still look for some nice detail shots.

In particular, aim to photograph:

  • Bokeh: Bokeh and detail photos go well together, plus it’s easy to produce beautiful bokeh when shooting close up. Simply widen your lens’s aperture as far as it can go, push your lens to its maximum magnification, then adjust your composition to include colors and/or lights in the background. You can create nice bokeh with any lens, but the effect does work best with macro lenses or prime lenses with a large maximum aperture. And the longer the lens’s focal length, the easier it’ll be to make the bokeh look smooth.
  • Patterns: Nature is full of nice patterns, so use this to your advantage. Flowers can repeat, making for a very nice macro shot. Or you can photograph petal patterns on the ground (once the petals have fallen). At spring festivals, produce is often laid out in patterns, which is ideal for photography.
  • Backgrounds: Photographers tend to focus on the main subject, but did you know that interesting backgrounds are an essential part of great photos? They’re not hard to create, either. Simply adjust your composition until you get a clean, beautiful background effect – using a wide aperture will help! – and snap away. If you’re not sure how to start, try shooting up at the sky on a clear day for a nice blue background, or aim down toward the grass for a green background.
  • Lighting: The best photographers know how to use the light for all sorts of interesting effects, and you can do the same! In fact, a great spring photography idea is to choose a subject, then capture ten images that vary only in their lighting. For instance, if you’re shooting a flower, you can capture light shining through petals, sidelight dramatically illuminating the flower stem, backlight creating an interesting flare effect, and much more.
flowers in spring with bee

2. Explore the wider scene in your spring photography

When photographing spring beauties – such as flowers and plants – you may be tempted to get in close and stay there.

But while this will certainly get you some stunning shots, you can also capture beautiful photos by switching to a wide-angle lens and shooting the scene from afar. Flower beds, blossoming trees, and petal-strewn paths can make for some gorgeous landscape shots, after all!

field with foggy distant mountains
Spring flowers are nice on their own. But if you combine them with an interesting background, as I did here, the result can be spectacular. Note the way the yellows and greens in the foreground complement the oranges and blues of the distant buildings and sky.

By the way, if you’re looking to capture some beautiful spring compositions – especially if you want to include flowers – here are a few recommendations:

  • Check the forecast: Here, I’m talking about both the weather forecast and the blossom forecast. The weather forecast will ensure you head out to shoot when the light is good, while the blossom forecast will get you shooting during the peak flower period.
  • Composition is king: As with all landscape photography, good composition will get you the best results. Aim to balance your spring shots with compositional techniques such as symmetry, the rule of thirds, and the rule of odds. Also look to incorporate leading lines into your photos for a bit of extra dynamism.
  • Add extra context: Remember how I encouraged you to use a wide-angle lens? Go as wide as you can and include some context. For instance, shoot a cherry tree alongside some local architecture, or capture a person walking through a field of petals.
cherry blossoms near a building
You can create unique photos by juxtaposing standard spring subjects, like cherry trees, with more permanent parts of the landscape, such as buildings.

3. Try freelensing

Freelensing is a creative technique that allows you to adjust your lens’s plane of focus without spending thousands on tilt-shift glass. You can produce all sorts of original results full of breathtaking blur effects.

freelensing spring photography ideas

Here’s how it works:

First, make sure your camera is turned off. Carefully detach your lens from your camera, then position it right in front of the lens mount. (You can hold your lens in your left hand while holding your camera with your right.)

Turn your camera back on, then look through the viewfinder. Slowly tilt the lens back and forth, observing how the area of the scene that’s in focus changes depending on the lens’s position.

When you’re ready to take a photo, just go ahead and press the shutter button!

Freelensing requires a lot of experimentation, and you’ll have a lot of failed photos – but the successes will make it worth it. A few approaches to try:

  • Bring the lens closer and farther from the lens mount for different levels of magnification
  • Change focal lengths (though 50mm is a good starting point)
  • Deliberately leave some room between the camera and the lens to allow for light leaks

Note that you can use freelensing to capture creative shots of many different subjects. Many freelensers focus on flowers and plants – always a good spring photo subject, as I mentioned above – but you can also capture interesting portraits, landscapes, and more!

One caveat: Freelensing will expose your camera’s sensor to the outside world, and it increases the chance that you’ll drop your camera or lens. I’d recommend working with a backup camera and a cheap lens, if possible! (I generally freelens with an old DSLR and my Canon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, though in all the times I’ve used the techniques, I’ve never actually damaged my equipment; take from that what you will!)

4. Capture some outdoor portraits

spring photography ideas woman with an umbrella

Spring is an amazing time for portrait photography. You can find some amazing nature backdrops, plus you can incorporate fun flower themes into your spring photoshoots.

Here are a few easy spring photoshoot ideas:

  • Combine the subjects with the trees: Clients love portraits that include beautiful, natural backgrounds. Position your subject(s) in front of trees or flowers, then use a large aperture to blur out the background. Lines of trees can add depth to a photo, while flowers will create stunning spots of backdrop color. For a nice touch, ask your model to hold a flower or two.
  • Do candid spring photography: As the weather warms up and people start to get out and enjoy park life, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to photograph individuals enjoying spring. You can capture people walking through flowery fields, people hiking through forests, people enjoying a picnic on the grass, and so much more.
  • Grab a selfie: It might not be the most original spring photo idea out there, but everyone needs a new profile picture for spring. So the next time you get the chance, capture a selfie (and make sure that you include a flower or two in the frame!).
woman walking through a garden
Daffodils? Green grass? A person walking through the park? I can practically smell the spring scents looking at this photo; can you?

5. Get experimental

Spring photography is a broad subject, but if you spend a bit of time browsing Instagram, you’ll see that most spring photos are often, well, the same.

long exposure road with cherry blossoms
I used a longer shutter speed to capture this spring shot. As a result, fast-moving elements (the cars, the people) are blurry, while stationary objects (the grass, the road) are tack-sharp. If you look closely at the trees, you’ll notice that the blossoms aren’t perfectly sharp, either – that’s because they waved slightly in the wind!

Want to shake things up a bit? Break out those experimental techniques, such as intentional camera movement, image compositing, and more. Here are just a few of my favorite ways to get creative during spring:

  • Try light trails: Spring foliage often grows by the side of the road. Take a walk at night, bring a tripod, and shoot some car light trail photos. Be sure to include some spring blossoms for context!
  • Take a refraction shot: If you haven’t tried crystal ball photography, then you’re missing out! Crystal balls are inexpensive, plus they can create astonishing effects (see the shot below!).
  • Deliberately photograph motion blur: Who says blur has to be bad? Head out on a windy day, set your camera on a tripod, and use a slow shutter speed. If you can capture plants and flowers in mid-move, you’ll create some beautifully abstract results!
lensball flipped on a road
You can purchase a crystal ball for cheap, then use it for all sorts of interesting spring photos. Just bear in mind that a glass ball will always invert the image – so you can have fun playing around with an upside-down perspective!

6. Don’t forget about spring festivals

Most of the ideas I’ve shared above involve flowers and plants – but there are plenty of great shots to capture at spring festivals and religious holidays, too.

Head out with your camera and a couple of lenses (I recommend a fast prime and a wide-angle zoom). Have fun shooting subjects from a distance (so as to capture the ambiance of the entire event). Then get up close for some candid street shots.

Try to tell a story with your photos. What is happening at the event? What is it about? How do people engage?

Aim to leave with a little mini-series that tells the story of the festival!

people marching in a spring parade

7. Capture silhouettes

Spring comes with longer evenings, which means that you have more time to photograph in good light (even if you work long hours during the week!). So why not celebrate the extra spring sun with a fun silhouette photoshoot?

Find a willing subject, then pick a location that includes plenty of open space. You want to make sure that you can compose so that your subject is isolated against the sky; having natural points of elevation (such as boulders) can be a huge help.

Wait until late in the day – when the sun is low in the sky – and position yourself so that the sun is coming from behind your subject. You don’t need to keep the sun in the frame, but ensure that the area behind your subject is extremely bright.

Next, point your lens at the brightest portion of the sky, then use it to set your exposure. The goal is to expose properly for the sky while your subject is dramatically underexposed. It can be helpful to capture a couple of test shots as you refine your exposure (you can always use exposure compensation to brighten or darken the file, or you can switch to Manual mode and adjust your shutter speed).

Finally, set up a careful composition. As I mentioned above, you’ll want an uncluttered backdrop, which is often easy to achieve by getting low to the ground or directing your subject to stand on something, like a rock or a low wall.

And take your shot! If all goes well, you’ll end up with an amazing result, though I’d encourage you to do a bit of post-processing later to bring out the colors of the sky and ensure your subject is plenty dark.

Silhouetted person spring photography idea

8. Look for wildlife

Spring is full of life, and that includes migrating birds, baby mammals, and more! Spend some time out in your local park or nature preserve, and you’re bound to find an animal or two to photograph. Even if you’re not generally into wildlife photography, spring is a great time to get started; see if you can find an area with relatively tame animals, such as a park with lots of regular walkers.

For the best results, you’ll want to use a telephoto lens. A 55-200mm kit lens is generally long enough for large, tame wildlife (such as geese), though 300mm, 400mm, and beyond is best if you want to capture small songbirds and distant mammals.

A red-winged blackbird leaps off a cattail

That said, you can get great shots by going wider and creating more environmental compositions that include both the animal and the surrounding habitat, so don’t feel like a telephoto lens is absolutely necessary.

(And if you want to photograph birds and you don’t mind putting in a bit of extra work, you can always set up feeders in your backyard along with a makeshift blind. Spend some time sitting in the blind with your lens poking out, and pretty soon, you’ll have birds striking all sorts of interesting poses! I tried this a few years back, and after a few hours in my blind – which was really just a tent – I had hundreds of close-up photos of cardinals, chickadees, finches, and more.)

One quick wildlife photography tip: Patience is often rewarded. Don’t simply walk by a subject, take a few snaps, and continue on your way; instead, if you have the time, wait with your lens trained on the animal until it strikes an interesting pose. This can be tough, especially since there’s never a guarantee that something will happen, but when you do get lucky, the results are often spectacular.

9. Photograph street scenes in the rain

Spring is famous for its rainy days, but instead of staying inside, I encourage you to take advantage of the warmer temperatures and head outside with your camera. Go to the nearest city or town, and see if you can capture some moody, rain-soaked street shots.

Here, a 35mm or a 50mm prime lens is often best, though if all you have is a standard kit lens, that’s okay, too. Look for interesting moments and interactions between people, and make sure you pay careful attention to the overall framing of your scenes. It’s easy to lose track of all the elements in your street compositions, but it’s important that you keep everything well organized even when the world looks chaotic!

If you’re up for a challenge, you might even try heading out at twilight. You’ll need a lens with a wide maximum aperture, but if you’re willing to put in the work, you can capture shots that combine umbrellas, wet reflections, and bokeh!

I will add, however, that spring evenings can get pretty cold, especially when the rain is coming down, so don’t forget to dress appropriately.

And if you’re shooting in anything more than a light drizzle, it’s a good idea to use a raincover for protection. These are basically just little plastic bags that fit around your setup and prevent water from damaging the electronics. After years of shooting in the rain, I always carry a few dedicated raincovers in my camera bag, but if you’d prefer to avoid spending extra money, you can always make your own raincover with a trash bag and a couple of rubber bands. (As an aside, I once made a raincover from two rubber bands and a bagel sleeve! It did a great job of protecting my telephoto lens from the precipitation, though I’ll admit that it looked rather silly…)

spring photography ideas a person with an umbrella on rainy streets

10. Have some indoor still-life fun

In some parts of the world, spring – especially early spring – doesn’t look much different from winter. If that’s your experience, see if you can recreate that spring feeling indoors by capturing still-life shots that feature fruit and/or flowers!

Simply head to the store and pick up some pears, apples, cherries, or any other subject you find appealing. Cut flower bouquets can also look great, especially when combined with colorful vases.

Then set up a small studio area in your basement, paying careful attention to the surface you use to display your subjects. (I like to use an old wooden table that I picked up from an estate sale for cheap, but you can use pretty much anything: crates, benches, planks of wood, marble slabs, bricks, even the floor.)

You’ll also want to think carefully about the background here. Plain walls are nice, but you’ll want to ensure the colors don’t clash with your subjects. Another option is to drape something dark behind your setup – I use a large black tablecloth – and go for a low-key look, where the background fades into darkness.

If you own flashes or strobes, you can experiment with different lighting setups, but if you’d prefer to use natural light, that’s okay, too! Just position your still-life setup by a window (some form of side light is generally ideal here, as it’ll give you a more three-dimensional effect).

And make sure you spend plenty of time adjusting your compositional elements. In still-life photography, even a slight change in the subject’s position can dramatically alter the feel of the photo, so the more you can test out different arrangements, the better!

Pear still life
If your spring weather is colder or wetter than you’d like, why not stay inside and have some fun with still-life subjects?

Spring photography ideas: final words

If it’s spring in your part of the world, I hope you found at least a few of these ideas inspiring. I’ll certainly be out and about this spring – photographing the flowers, the landscapes, the outdoor activities, and more. I hope to see you there!

So take a few of these spring photoshoot ideas and have fun! Head out with your camera! Capture some spring photos! And enjoy the warm(ish) weather!

Now over to you:

What spring photoshoots do you plan to do? What do you plan to photograph? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Simon Bond
Simon Bond

is a specialist in creative photography techniques and is well known for his work with a crystal ball. His work has featured magazines including National Geographic Traveler. With over 8 years of experience in lensball photography, Simon is an expert in this field. Get some great tips by downloading his free e-book!
Do you want to learn about crystal ball photography? He has a course just for you! Get 20% off: DPS20.

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