You have all undoubtedly heard of the 365 project. The project encourages photographers to get out and take one picture every single day, and then to post that photo online. It is a fantastic way to improve your shooting skills; HOWEVER, I have seen so many 365 projects lately that I am beginning to wonder whether so many photographers are doing it because they want to improve their skills, or whether they are all doing it simply because they haven’t discovered the unlimited number of creative photo projects that can be done.
I created this compilation of photography projects to help inspire you to get shooting.
Photography Project #1: Highlights of your life. Re-create significant moments from your life and shoot them in a series: that time Jimmy Johnso next door gave you a black eye, hiking to a lighthouse with your father, going off to college, getting baptized, etc. Even cooler if you have your kids step in as the actors.
Photography Project #2: One landscape. Find one location where you enjoy shooting landscapes, and then visit the location about 10 times over the course of a month. Photograph the same location in different weather conditions, different light, and using your new creative ideas each time you go.
Photography Project #3: Homelessness. Thomas Hawk is a photographer who does a $2 homeless photo project. Whenever a poor person asks him for money, he pays them $2 to pose for a photo. Then the person will have earned the money by working for a few minutes while the photographer shoots, and he gets great photos of interesting people. I really hate business cliches, so I’m not sure if I should call this a win-win, or synergy. Either way, it’s a fantastic project.
Photography Project #4: Fairy tales. Take classic stories such as Little Red Riding Hood or other folk tales and take photos to illustrate the story.
Photography Project #5: Geophoto. Do a project to shoot the geocaching locations around your city. I guarantee you’ll find fantastic new locations. If you’re new to this idea, check out this post where I explained how it works.
Photography Project #6: Self Portraits. Take one self-portrait each day that shows your emotions and happenings of that day. If you do this one, please keep yourself fully clothed. There are quite a few well-known female photographers on Flickr who seem to think we want to see you naked or half naked.
Photography Project #7: Your city’s architecture. Go shoot the beautiful buildings around your city at all different times of the day. I bet you’ll find some interesting buildings that you’d never noticed before.
Photography Project #8: Your meals. Take a picture of one meal a day for a month. Not only is this a convenient way to count calories, you can really learn lighting by learning food photography.
Photography Project #9: Food fight. No, I don’t mean throwing food. I mean to let your imagination run a little wild. Imagine little stories with the food in your refrigerator and shoot photos to illustrate the tales.
Photography Project #10: Downtown fashions. Do street photography of the most interestingly dressed people in the downtown area of your city. No matter where you live, you’ll find more interesting people than you might expect. Spend several nights downtown and you’re guaranteed to get some fantastic shots.
Photography Project #11: A day in the life. Find someone you find interesting and shoot their whole day. Alternatively, you could do a day in the life of a group of people. For example, you could do A Day in the Life of Brigham Young University students. If you were doing this project, you could take pictures all over campus at different hours of one day and show all the interesting things that happen there.
Photography Project #12: Photojournalism. I loved working for a short time as a photojournalist. Where will you find the news? If you live in the United States, you can download a free app for your smartphone that gives you access to the police radio channels. That will help to find interesting things! Just make sure you do it legally…
Photography Project #13: Social Issues. Find a social issue that is important to you and take photos to highlight the struggle. For example, you could do a photo project about teen obesity, the elderly, immigrant farm workers, etc.
Photography Essay Idea #14: Working hard. Think of a few interesting professions around your home and take an environmental portrait of many people while at work. You might recall my photo shoot of a cab driver last month as an example.
Photo Essay Idea # 15: The middle of the day. I see too many photographers using “I can’t shoot because it’s the middle of the day” as an excuse. You can make terrific photos during the day if you learn to do it right. Go shoot during your noon lunch hour for a month and you’ll learn how to do it. I did this last summer every day on my lunch break and I captured a some beautiful shots.
Want to push your photography to the next level? Consider taking an online photography class with me!