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Run out of ideas for pictures?

This may help you to get regenerated

A corn field provided the framing for a fun picture
A corn field provided the framing for a fun picture

Looking for ideas on what to photograph, and drawing a blank? Like writer's block, it happens to all of us at one time or another.


One remedy is to take your camera for a walk. Sometimes just getting out, especially to a place you haven’t been before, and keeping your eyes open, is enough to provide the inspiration you need. Look for new and different subjects in the scenes you come across, and think of unusual angles or lighting techniques you can apply to capture them. Maybe all you need are new posing ideas? Have a look at our Guide to Posing the Female Model or our Posing Guides CD for some great examples of poses you may not have thought of.


If you have already tried a change of scene, another simple way to find inspiration is to look through magazines, on-line portfolios, photography books and galleries. Check out the images throughout our site, for example. Use the Search engine to type in the name of a subject you would like to photograph, or go to the Photography Techniques section for inspiration. Or, visit your library and go through the Photography section to seek inspiration.

You are bound to come across a picture you wish you had taken yourself, or that appeals to you for some reason – perhaps it is the technique involved in making it, an unusual angle, an attractive composition or great use of color.

Identify the image’s appeal, then use it as an inspiration for your photography. Go out and shoot a similar picture to see if you can master the technique or photographer’s style, then ask yourself whether you can improve on it or how you can improve your photography by copying the style.


Finally, one effective means of getting a fresh start is to assign yourself a list of photography projects. Make a list of ten, and try to get through them all, producing pictures you will be proud of. Give some thought to it, choosing projects that will force you to learn new techniques or apply old techniques to greater creativity.

Here is an example of a self-assigned list, one you may wish to take on yourself:

1. Convey a feeling of loneliness in an image;
2. Shoot an abstract of a familiar landmark;
3. Take a portrait using existing light;
4. Use one light for total lighting;
5. Assemble five seemingly unrelated objects in a related theme;
6. Use foreground framing;
7. Glimpse into a child's world;
8. A picture with humor;
9. A picture story of a single stationary object;
10. A composition using large areas of space.

This list is simply an example of one of many similar lists that can help to inspire you. You don't have to use it; you can create your own. Apply your imagination. Think, for example, about areas of photography in which you may be weak, where you could use improvement, and then make up a list based on overcoming your problems and making good photographs you couldn't get before. Or, challenge yourself to do better in your strongest areas of photography, to outdo even the pros. By focusing your attention and effort on just one area of photography or one type of picture you would like to do as well as or better than any pro, you will probably succeed and produce a great photo that will make you proud and lead to further personal photographic inspiration.

The pictures on this page will hopefully give you some inspiration. They show ordinary things, like a corn field, a bonfire and a beach in a new way. We took our camera for a walk, and these are what we got. Well, not totally true. The beautiful model on the right is the one who did the walking when she came into our studio. But, you get the picture, don't you? When things get stale, it's up to you to recharge your photography with new challenges. Hopefully, the ideas above will help to get you off on the right foot.

 Look for graphically-interesting images
Look for graphically-interesting images

 Go out after dark with your camera
Go out after dark with your camera

 Take a radical exposure right into the sun
Take a radical exposure right into the sun

 Shoot an ordinary thing (seagull) in a different way
Shoot an ordinary thing (seagull) in a different way

 Capture a  glimpse into a child's world
Capture a glimpse into a child's world

Find a fresh new model whom you haven't photographed before.
Find a fresh new model whom you haven't photographed before.

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