Everyday I am looking for ways to improve my photography. Sometimes just having my camera out isn’t enough. I fall into the same patterns and take the same pictures I always take. In order to get better at anything you have to continually challenge yourself and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Photography projects are a great way to stay motivated and inspire new skill in your photography. These photo projects can be done alone, but would be a lot of fun to do with a friend as well. Sharing your photos with each other will keep you accountable and give you an outside insight into your photos.
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7 photography projects that will inspire and challenge your photography
This is a fun challenge if you have kids. Use the month of their birthday to focus on them. This doesn’t mean you can’t take any other pictures during that month, it just means to be purposeful about capturing that kiddo for the whole month. Try to include interests, relationships, and anything else that depicts your child at that age. This photography project will give you a few great shots of each kid every single year.
You have likely heard of this project. The idea of project 365 is to take one new image everyday. Not just snapping a photo for the sack of snapping a photo, but looking for the best photo each day. This project will challenge your creativity, your composition skills, and your overall photography skills. If you don’t think you can do this for a full year, it’s perfectly okay to do a project 30 or whatever number works or you.
A day in the life
This is one of my favorite photography projects because I am passionate about documentary and lifestyle photography. The goal of this project is to capture the gist of your day in photos. Start from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, taking photos of key aspects of your day. This might include a photo of a dark house as you drink your coffee before everyone gets up, preparing breakfast, toddlers trying to dress themselves, riding in the car, a grocery store trip. Any moment that makes up your day is worth photographing. It doesn’t have to be glamorous. It just needs to be real.
30 days of black and white
I LOVE black and white photography, but it is a completely different animal than taking photos in color. Not every photograph is good in black and white. Taking 30 days to shoot in black and white only will teach you to look at your scene differently. You will come away with a new appreciation of light and understand what elements make a good black and white photo.
Choose one day each week (like Mondays) where you will do a self portrait. Getting yourself in photos is equally as important as taking pictures of your family so use this project to get used to being in front of the camera rather than always behind the lens. Get yourself a tripod for this photo project so not every photo looks like a selfie you took with your phone. It’s perfectly okay if you’re not the only one in your photo or if you don’t get your face in the photo every time. Take portraits that show you on that day.
This can be a fun way to diversify your photos. Choose a new theme each month. Themes could be things like architecture, animals, lines, texture. Or they can be more abstract ideas like, opposites, cold, emotion. There are hundreds of themes you could choose and there’s no right or wrong choice. Look through books, around town, or in magazines to get inspired if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas.
As a mom who loves photography, 99% of my photos are of my kids. While I absolutely love taking pictures of my kids, they don’t always help me become a better photographer. You are likely in the same boat. It may not be your kids you photograph mostly, but I bet you have a comfort zone. Use these photography projects to get a new perspective with your photography. You will be excited about how quickly you progress.