It goes without saying that pursuing a new photo project idea or theme will expand your skills and understanding, and the benefits could far exceed your expectations. You will learn to see some things in new ways even if they were already familiar to you, and there is always a possibility that a photo project will take you places you’ve not been before, and/or lead to new acquaintances or friends. Here are 5 photography project ideas with the potential to expand your life as you develop your skills.
Explore Friendships – Photo Project Idea #1
The friendships you explore might be between people, animals, or even between members of different species. The possibilities are wide and varied. Some such as schoolmates, co-workers, neighbors, and members of a social or service group are fairly obvious. To expand the concept take a few minutes to think of the less obvious such as birds in the same cage, an elderly neighbor especially well liked by neighborhood children, or families that vacation together.
Volunteer – Photo Project Idea #2
A photo project with the potential for expand your circle of friends and contacts is to helping a non-profit organization with your camera and abilities. You will almost always meet people who you did not know, and the possibilities for longer term relationships improve if you partner with a group whose interests overlap with yours. One more potential benefit in the U.S. is the ability to deduct travel and incidental expenses incurred for the benefit of a bona fide non-profit organization.
Photo Theme Idea #3 – Cook Up Something!
How many people do you know who like food? You can do something special like this fruit extravaganza, photograph family fare, or take your camera to a restaurant. Asking your server to tell the chef how much you enjoyed the food and it’s presentation might prompt a visit from the kitchen, or even an invitation for more photographic opportunities.
Photo Project #4: Survey Your Holdings
Here’s a photo project idea that will do double duty for sure. How many times have you read that you should have a photographic record of items in your home in case they are lost through theft or calamity? If you’ve not taken care of that detail consider documenting the treasures, at least. Whether they are electronics, collectibles, heirlooms, or antiques, they have value that could be difficult to establish without a photographic record. So why not get started now, and why not make your record an attractive one? Shoot from a slight angle to keep flash from creating harsh reflections like the ones in the photo above, and hold the camera level so that objects aren’t running up hill the way the bottom of the mirror does in the example.
Search for Unique Perspectives: Photo Project Idea #5
One sure way to create eye-catching photographs is to show things from an unusual perspective. You will find them if you shoot low, shoot high, shoot close, and shoot from a distance. You might also “shoot through,” photographing the subject from inside and showing a part of the window frame or curtains. If they are too dark you can lighten them with flash &mdash it won’t affect exposure for things very far beyond the window but it will usually give a more satisfying photo. Be sure to position the camera to keep the flash from reflecting back at the camera if you have to shoot through glass. A polarizer can help prevent reflections of other bright indoor objects from appearing in the photo.
If your subject is a well known landmark, look for a vantage point that will give you a view of it you’ve not seen before. There is more on this topic in the post on Fresh Perspectives for Landmarks and Statues.
Self assignments are one of the very best ways to learn photography, and these 5 photo project ideas will build skills and have the potential to expand the range of subject matter in your portfolio.
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