Coming up with great photoshoot ideas can feel like a bit of an uphill battle at times.
Just looking around on Instagram it’s not hard to come away with the impression that everything has been done already, and there’s just not a lot of opportunities for photographers to get really creative.
Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth.
Below we share a couple of really cool and exciting photoshoot ideas that are anything but dull, boring, or “same old, same old”.
On top of that, it’s not hard to take these photo ideas as inspiration and twist them a little bit more with your own creativity – really creating special, unique, and likely photos you might not think you could have taken before!
Ready to get right into it?
Try Something Radically Different Than What You’re Used to Shooting
The easiest way to get yourself out of a funk or a photoshoot idea slump you might be dealing with is to shake up your photography style completely, trying something you’ve never tried before just to see what happens.
If you normally shoot gorgeous landscapes out in the wilderness it might not be a bad idea to dive headfirst into the world of portrait photography or urban shots alone.
If you only shoot in the daytime, leave your camera alone until the sun comes down, and then see what you can create.
If all you do is shoot in color, maybe switch things up totally and shoot in black-and-white – setting up your camera to show those black-and-white images before you press the trigger so that you can see the difference in real-time, too.
Anything to break you out of your routine will pay huge dividends.
Frame Photoshoots Like Your Favorite TV Shows and Movies
The odds are pretty good that you have a favorite TV show or a couple of favorite movies that have a distinct style and flavor to them, and they can all give you a lot of great photoshoot ideas, too.
Maybe you create a shoot that you mix the costumes, the locations, or even just the camera style of the directors responsible for making these TV shows and movies possible.
Directors like Hitchcock and Kubrick definitely had distinct styles 100% all their own, and replicating that through your own camera lens can be challenging but also really educational and rewarding at the same too.
Try to bring your favorite shows and movies to life with your own artwork and you might be surprised at just how fun you end up having!
Play Around with Lots of Contrast
One of the best ways to add a lot of visual interest to your photos (and a great principle to build photo shoot ideas off of) is to flood your photos with a lot of contrast.
Think about using contrasting colors, mixtures of old and new, combinations of peace and conflict, artificial and natural, etc. – and then build photo ideas off of those core concepts.
All of a sudden you’ll be flooding your imagery with a lot of visual interest and storytelling. It’s hard not to come away really inspired and even super creative when you set out to produce a shoot like this.
Have a Photoshoot with Extreme Lighting
Extreme lighting photoshoot ideas aren’t just going to challenge you technically (working with extremely bright lights or almost no light whatsoever is always a lot harder than most expect) but it’s also going to push you creatively as well.
Learning to play with different lighting elements, different shadows, and how to frame your photos with everything that extreme it creates can definitely improve the quality of your shots but can also improve your skills as a photographer at the same.
These kinds of shoots are always really rewarding and it’s not hard to imagine you snapping some of your favorite pictures when working in this kind of photoshoot structure.
Compose Your Photoshoot with Lots of Reflections
So much of our world is incredibly reflective, even if we don’t notice it at first.
Puddles and ponds, car windows and polished paint, skyscrapers, mirrored surfaces, and even just the shadows all around us create different kinds of reflections that can be captured with your camera lens.
One of the most creative photoshoot ideas you can have is to simply set out with your camera and see how many reflections you can capture that day, reflections that you come across completely naturally and with zero pre-planning whatsoever.
Move around, play with composition, play with lighting, and play with framing to see what you can create with this type of approach. The odds are you’ll come away very impressed with the work you’ve made when this is your intention.
Play Around with More Motion
Photographers (new and experienced photographers alike) love to capture moments frozen in time that are already frozen – our subject sitting in position, not moving, and not running any risk of creating blur or throwing off our careful composition.
Well, one of the best photoshoot ideas that can really shake the rust off of your work if it’s starting to feel stale is to simply inject a little more motion into the photos that you are looking to capture.
At the end of the day, every single moment that you freeze forever is going to be still when you are practicing your photography – but when you capture motion in those single frames it is still conveyed and adds a whole lot more energy compared to photos that are posed.
Get Creative with Forced Repetition
This is one of the favorite photo ideas of professionals that are really looking to hone their skills and abilities, particularly when they are shooting in a new way.
Shoot either the same subject over and over again, the same composition over and over again, or the same style over and over again – forcing the repetition – to challenge yourself to find even the smallest variation in the smallest bit of creativity that changes absolutely everything.
Forced repetition drives your mind to try and find a way to break free from the monotony. You’ll come up with creative ideas you never would have thought of otherwise, and that creativity can be applied to all of your other photoshoot ideas, too!
Add in Some Props!
It’s hard not to have a lot of fun with photo shoot steps are filled with props – even if those props aren’t super extreme, super wild, or super “out there”.
Base a photoshoot around a flag, a phone, a book, or some glasses, and then see where your creativity takes you from there.
You something that can be easily transported and try and find a way to work your signature prop into all of your other photoshoot ideas, too. This is going to challenge you from creativity and a storytelling standpoint, but it’s also going to allow you to put your own “fingerprints” on your work as well.
Shake Up Your Perspective
Nothing shakes the rust off of a photographer that feels a little stifled faster than trying totally new perspectives.
Instead of shooting from your standard perspective instead think about ways you can get above or below the subject of your photo – or, with different angles of approach that you can use, too.
Lie down, fire up a drone, find a balcony or set of stairs to lean off – climb a tree, climb up on the roof, take a shot from up close and underneath your subject. Whatever it takes to generate a new perspective!
Not only will you be challenged from a technical standpoint with this kind of approach, but you also learn how to frame and compose different perspectives. All of that information will pay off big time with other photoshoot ideas for sure.
All in all, these tips for coming up with new photoshoot ideas can push you to become a more creative and more strategic photographer.
When you challenge yourself to play “outside the box” you’ll learn and grow much faster than you would have if you stayed shooting the same kind of shots over and over again.
Play around with these ideas to see what you can come up with yourself!