9 Games You Can Play To Spice Up Your Photography


Anyone who has read enough of my articles here on Light Stalking will be accustomed to me mentioning the importance of having fun with photography.

Now, I’m not suggesting that photography will be fun for everyone 100% of the time. For example, there are individuals who cover pretty serious subject matter — war, addiction, poverty. They don’t describe what they do as “fun.”

My point is for photographers, in general, is to keep in mind what originally made you fall in love with photography: you had fun doing it.

You may be shooting now for artistic expression or to raise awareness of a given issue — all noble and serious pursuits, but it started because you loved pressing that shutter button.

No matter how earnest of a photographer you have evolved into, you should still find ways to have a little fun.

Here are 9 games you can play to add some fun to your photography.

1. Restricted Access

Strangely enough, limitations can provide a fantastic boost to your creativity because you’re forced to think — and act — differently than you’re used to.

Limit yourself to one of the following for a predetermined period of time:

  • Manual mode only
  • A prime lens only
  • No people in the shot
  • Shoot in one location
  • A single subject in the frame

Add any other limitations you can come up with.

Photo by Travis Bozeman on Unsplash

2. Baker’s Dozen

Stand in one location and, without taking a step in any direction, make 13 distinct photos.

3. Ten Strangers

Walk around an area you know well and ask strangers to allow you to photograph them. Mission accomplished once you gather ten portraits.

4. 10 x 1

Shoot 10 unique photos of one subject. Exactly how you go about this will depend on whether your subject is capable of moving on its own, but regardless you’ll need to do some creative composing and framing.

Photo by Adrian Curiel on Unsplash

5. Imitation Is Flattery

Think of one of your favorite photos taken by another photographer, or browse a photo sharing site for a photo you really like. Once you find a suitable shot, do your best to recreate it.

6. Self-Inception

Whatever you photograph, find a creative way to insert yourself into the scene. This is more than a selfie — you’ll need to use a tripod and the self-timer on your camera so that you can position yourself in the frame once your scene is composed.

Photo by delfi de la Rua on Unsplash

7. Alphabet Soup

Photograph an object corresponding to each letter of the alphabet. It’s not as easy as it sounds and will probably take you longer than you’d think to complete this challenge.

8. Photo Potpourri

Write single words or short phrases on multiple scraps of paper. Examples might include: “tree,” “motion blur,” “piece of art,” “action,” “shallow depth of field,” “shadow,” “transportation,” “reflection.”

Place these paper scraps into a hat/bag/bowl, draw one and use your camera to fulfil the directive.

9. Virtual Film

Get a taste of the film photographer’s mindset by limiting yourself to taking either 24 or 36 shots. Be selective with those shots — when you hit your limit the challenge is complete (you’ve reached the end of the “roll”) and you have to stop shooting.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


Obviously, these are all just skill building exercises…disguised as fun games. So next time you need to let off some steam or practice a new skill without feeling like you’re actually “practising,” try one (or more) of the activities above.

Further Reading

About Author

Jason Little is a photographer, author and stock shooter. You can see Jason’s photography on his Website or his Instagram feed.

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