If you want to be a better photographer, the best thing you can do is take photos – lots of them, and as often as you can. There’s an endless supply of excuses we can come up with as to why we don’t practice, including photographer's block and not knowing where to start. So next time you catch yourself saying “But, I don’t have an interesting subject to take photos of,” pick one of these 10 themes and run with it.
Do you own a dog? Grab your camera and take your pup for a field trip to practice some action shots while Fido enjoys a romp around the park. Playful kitties make great subjects too, as do horses, reptiles, fish, or the pet rock you’ve managed to keep alive since middle school..Don’t have a pet of your own? Do you know someone who does? Chances are they’d love to have some sweet photos of them!
Practice training your eye and mind to take a closer look at things by examining the interesting world of textures that surrounds us all. If you have a macro lens or reverse ring you can get really up close and personal, but feel free to use any lens you have. Still not sure what kind of texture to shoot? Try these things for a little inspiration: fruit, wood, leaves, concrete, bricks, woven fabric, paper, sand, rust – before long you’ll be seeing the texture of everything.
If you or someone you know is a collector of things, think of interesting ways you can shoot it to create a photographic taxonomy of sorts. Collections come in all different forms and could include just about anything from geodes to antiques, coins to toys, and just about everything in between.
4. Smoke & Fire
We move around in a variety of ways and transportation can make for an interesting photography theme. Look for cars, airplanes, boats, trains, skateboards, bicycles, even horses and carriages could be considered transportation.
6. Raid The Refrigerator
There’s no shortage of food photography inspiration – all you have to do is browse Instagram for a minute or two and you’re bound to see someone’s dinner. But, if you’re not feeling up to cooking, take a look around in the fridge and pantry to see what you have that would make a nice still life portrait. Fruits, veggies, grains, coffee beans, leftover sushi you probably shouldn’t eat anyways…
Shapes, lines, arcs, intersections – you can find geometric patterns in just about everything if you look hard enough. From the seashells to architecture, the food we eat to patterns found in floor tiles. Find the geometric patterns in your life and photograph them.
Pick a color, any color then head out the door to go on a self guided photo walk through town. Keep your eyes open for your color of choice and photograph the things you see it appear on. Look in shop windows, peoples clothing, flags, front doors, trees, birds, etc…
9. The Countryside
Take a relaxing drive out to the country and take in all the bucolic sights and scenes it has to offer. Depending on where you live, you may find rolling hills or vast flatlands full of cornfields. Old barns and buildings make for great photos and be on the look out for cows, sheep, chickens, and other interesting farm animals, too. Don’t trespass onto private property, but exercise your eye for composition and refine your ability to choose the best lens for the job by finding ways to photograph farm life from the side of the road.
Grab a copy of the local newspaper and browse through the coming events page. Find an event that strikes your fancy and is open to the public then head on over to photograph it. Maybe you enjoy sports and want to photograph the 5k run or the little leaguers play ball. It could be a farmers market or craft fai, a fishing derby, or political rally. Find something that interests you and capture it.
Sure, spending some time behind a computer screen reading tutorials here on Light Stalking can arm you with a healthy dose of information, but if you’re not picking up your camera and practicing what you’ve learned, it’s not doing you a whole lot of good. So, no more excuses for photographer's block, get out there and start shooting!