Don’t Let Your Camera Collect Dust: 10 Inspiring Ideas For Photography

Nancy Messieh 20-04-2013

Finding inspiration for your photography can sometimes be a challenge. We’ve already taken a look at five places you can go online to find inspiration for your photography 5 Methods To Find Inspiration For Your Photography Online Read More , but there are also a few offline methods that can easily kickstart your photo-taking – with just a little bit of dedication on your part. There’s no better way to keep yourself shooting on a regular basis than committing to taking one photo a day Swap Your PJs For A Camera - Try Taking A Photo A Day And Improve Your Photography Once, there was this interesting news item about the man with the perfect memory. No…Mr. Gordon Bell wasn’t a freak; as a research scientist he just used modern technology to record every waking moment of... Read More .


That said, it can also be extremely challenging, and you’ll probably find yourself falling off the wagon a few more times than you’d prefer. We’ve put together a list of 10 projects that you can use to keep yourself shooting through your Project 365, or that you can simply use to shoot on a regular basis.

Go to the Same Place Every Day for Photography Ideas

Is there a place you go every day? On your commute, you take a specific metro, get off at a specific station, pass by the same park every day? Pick one spot and document how it changes day by day. By the end of the year you’ll have a fascinating study in how one specific place has changed over time. Or if you live in a busy, dynamic city, you can show just how much one specific place can change from one day to the next.

Pick a Lens

photography ideas

Rather than find a specific theme or subject to focus on, why not pick a specific lens? Pick a fixed lens if you really want to challenge yourself. When you’re limited to using a fixed lens, like the 50mm for example, you’ll find yourself pushing yourself to find creative images around you. If you want to get really creative, opt instead for a lens that creates interesting effects like one of the Lensbaby products, or PhotoJojo’s Diana Lens.

Connect to the Written Word

Songs, poems, book titles, or even stories can be a source of inspiration for photographers. Pick a writer, a poet, or a musician, and use their words as a springboard for your photography. If you’d rather bridge this idea with a daily project, then don’t limit yourself to just one writer or singer – but rather choose a different title, phrase or story as your daily source of inspiration. You can even choose a random word on a daily basis and use that as your point of inspiration.


Take a Daily Self Portrait

We’ve seen several fascinating examples of taking a daily self-portrait in the same place and eventually using it to create a timelapse video. Even if you choose to keep the photos private, it becomes a great way to document your own appearance over the years (if you choose to do it longer than one year). This is also a great concept for parents to document their children’s growth, whether for one year or even longer, as we’ve seen done in the past.

Pick a Theme

Picking a specific theme is another way to make sure that you always keep your eye out for interesting images no matter where you are. Windows and doors are a popular theme that you can find no matter where you are. Another interesting theme that you can opt for is to play with the concept of shadows and light or silhouettes. Come up with a concept that speaks to you, or that is commonly found in your surroundings, and set out to document it as best you can.

Pick a photography style

unique photography ideas

Picking a specific photography style is another good way to find a little bit of photographic inspiration. Opt for taking macro photos only. If you live in a city, focus on street photography or architecture. If you live in a more rural area, go for landscape shots. Even if you don’t want to lug a heavy DSLR around you can still opt for using specific styles with your iPhone – all you need is a lens adapter like the Olloclip 3-in-1 iPhone lens.


Go for Bokeh

Bokeh is another interesting way to create a photo series that is tied together by a specific thread. Bokeh can be a challenge to get right at first, but setting the challenge for yourself is one way to perfect the technique. Using a 50mm lens can often help matters, making it slightly easier to achieve that bokeh effect with less effort on your part.

Pick a prop

unique photography ideas

Picking a small prop that you can take with you everywhere you go can be a cute way to document all the different places you find yourself. It goes one step beyond documenting the places that you go, by bringing a bit of your own personality into the photo. Choosing your prop will probably be the most challenging part of the project – finding something small, portable, and that reflects your own personality is no easy feat – but once you  have it, you can get to taking photos of it around your city, country, or even on your travels abroad.

Pick A Colour

One way to create a striking and cohesive collection of photos regardless of their content is with the simple use of colour. Choose one colour and set out to take your photos with the content predominantly one colour. You could even opt for several different series, each one dominated by a specific colour, and then you’ll end up with a striking collection of colourful photos that will look great on your wall.


Go on Photo Walks

photography ideas

Dedicate one day a month, or more often if you have the time, to going on photowalks. Finding friends to do this with can be a great motivator and a way to make the experience even more enjoyable. It’s not only a good way to keep yourself shooting, it can also be a great way to get to know your own city better. Pick neighbourhoods you dont’t normally go to, go to a botanical garden, or a museum, or simply wander the streets downtown.

Looking for even more photography ideas? Be sure to follow these 10 photography blogs which are a constant source of inspiration 9 Blogs That Will Make You Into An Amazing Photographer There's blogs which try to cover everything related to photography; there's specialized blogs that dive into the niches; there's blogs which only talk about gear, and there's blogs by talented photographers. Read More for any photographer.

Can you think of any projects to add to the list? Let us know in the comments.


Related topics: Digital Camera, Photography.

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  1. sonwabile
    May 2, 2013 at 12:07 pm


  2. Constance Radclyffe
    May 1, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Thx so much for the pi links.

  3. Constance
    May 1, 2013 at 7:21 am

    I have enjoyed this article as I continue to enjoy photography. Your systematic approach is what will help me to focus more on my need to create more in-depth projects , like a series of photos that will tell a story rather than share a single photo depicting a single moment in time.
    Lately I have been using my HTC legend smartphone with great results.
    Tips for the use of lens filters : 1/ use you sunglasses as a filter (I used my yellow sunglasses lens to deepen the yellow paint on the house I was photographing. Worked out brilliantly) .
    2/ make your own set of cellophane filters in the colors of your painters tape to secure you filter over the smartphone photo own. These lens can. Be reusable if you just peel off the tape with the filter still attached & then reaped item to a wax paper sheet. This way you have a few more uses & help recycle as much as possible when necessary . Also, try to wrinkle the filters for different effects.

    Best of luck,


  4. Victor Hurtado
    April 29, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Great recommendations! Thnak you

  5. Stephanie Staker
    April 25, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Thanks for the ideas. You really inspired me. Now to just get out and do it, right?

  6. Jane McCarthy
    April 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Dear Nancy; Thank-you, so very much for the wonderful & inspiring article, on "Don't Let Your Camera Collect Dust"!! Sometimes when we've been in the photography field for such a long time, we sometimes forget to be more artistic with our basic elements & needs. You have inspired me today, to re-look at what was old, is now "new" again...Thanks!!

  7. Dee Wheat
    April 23, 2013 at 12:19 am

    That's one of the nice things about living in the South. We rarely have bad weather here, and even if we do it's only for a day or two at a time! I have birds at my feeders year round, and I took my favorite eagle pic in January!

  8. Onaje Asheber
    April 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Well, I'll have to drop my digital cam and pick up my old Pentax. Nice!

  9. null
    April 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Just the kind f article I need to get my camera back in use

  10. Herb Weiner
    April 22, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    If you want to try something new in photography, try stereoscopic (3D) photography. Although this is possible by taking two shots of a stationary object using a standard camera, it is most enjoyable using a stereoscopic (3D) camera. The Fuji FinePix W3 is a great camera for learning stereoscopic (3D) photography. Refurbished W3 cameras are available for less than $200. Clubs (such as the Cascade Stereoscopic Club in Portland, Oregon) are a great way to meet others interested in this hobby.

  11. Gena Weiser
    April 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Very interesting. I believe I will be keeping this article in my camera bag for the days I need help.

  12. Jan C
    April 22, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Some wonderful ideas here. Many years ago (in the days before digital) I took photos twice weekly of a Mastiff puppy from 8 weeks of age to 7 1/2 years of age with the same large round ball.Of course the ball was the reference point and while the pup grew to 265 pounds, the ball seemed to shrink before my eyes.
    I cherish those photos, as I lost the dog many years ago. I had forgotten about all of this until reading this article. It will encourage me to do the same thing with another subject.

  13. Faizan Ali
    April 22, 2013 at 7:47 am

    I like Prop Photography :)

  14. Mary Torrez-Watson
    April 21, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Wonderful article. My camera has been siting around and I have of late been wanting to get back into taking pictures. Thanks for the inspiration and ideas. Think I will go shooting today, even if it is raining!

  15. macwitty
    April 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Photo Walks are great and sometimes better when do it with other. Do look for it in your neighborhood (google it!) . I have got many new friends by joining different groups. Newer felt me stupid even if they are much better photographer than me - insted I have got a lot of tips both during the walk and at the coffee after.

  16. Scott M
    April 20, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Some very good ideas if you are in a rut with your hobby.I use suggestions from various sites in my feed reader.

  17. Jurmy Chris
    April 20, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I miss those days :(