Photography Project Ideas for Your Portfolio 

by | Mar 6, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Photography Project Ideas for Your Portfolio 

by | Mar 6, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

 Photography Project Ideas for Your Portfolio 

By Shelbi Jackson 

Photography is a cool and exciting field of work. However, it can be challenging to find unique, fascinating assignments.

You may find yourself in a tough spot where you have the necessary equipment, but you are unsure of what projects you can handle. Or, you are past the beginner stage and want more lengthy, detailed assignments.  

 First, here are various areas to focus on in the beginning stages of your career: 

  1. Still Life
  2. Self-Portrait
  3. Your Children
  4. Animals
  5. Cobwebs

Keeping these ideas in mind, let’s explore how you can take advantage of each of these subjects. 

  1. Still Life

When you first start practicing, it makes sense to start with a simple object. It can be daunting and confusing trying to juggle multiple items at once. Something like a Rubik’s cube or house décor item is acceptable to use.  

Once you can manage that, still life is a great area to move to next. It is a collection of items usually placed against a plain backdrop. This concept is not difficult to grasp either.

Still, due to incorporating other things, it is better to consider this as a second stage to help you hone your skills. Photographers can use fruit, books, hardware tools, and even electronic items against a light or dark backdrop for photoshoots. 

When you experiment with the lighting, make sure you think about the focal points of the image. Which parts are hidden by shadows? Which sections are highlighted by the light? How do these objects work for the overall composition? Considering these aspects helps your photo look better. 

The items you use in your work can give viewers an idea of your mindset and interests. Using lots of colors and natural elements can imply that you have an upbeat personality and enjoy spending time outdoors.

On the other hand, photos consisting of very dark backgrounds and tons of skulls may indicate you have a fixation on mortality. What would viewers take away from looking at your photos? 

  1. Self- Portrait

One of the most common and controversial subjects in photography is self-portraits. Due to its influence on the modern age, people think there is very little skill in portraying yourself on film.

However, many photographers have proven that it is possible to display different sides of themselves on camera. Anything from facial expressions, items in the background, and other focal points of your image can provide more information to your audience. 

  1. Your Children

Elaborating on the self-portrait idea, you can apply similar methods to portraying other people. Your kids are excellent subjects for this project. If you do not have kids of your own, you can reach out to a family member or friend for permission.  

 Children differ in age, personality, and energy levels. It is essential to be aware of this fact when you are capturing them on film. It is natural to want to depict them having fun, but there are times when children are not in a state of playfulness.

What about moments when they are anxious, taking a nap, or calmly expressing themselves to someone? With the consent of your kid subjects, capture a mixture of moments in their lives. Variety enhances your portfolio for the long term and keeps people intrigued. 

  1. Animals

After mastering people on film, why not try animals? Like human beings, animals also display different sides of their personality.

You can also gain new perspectives based on how you take the shots. Getting on an equal level with them, capturing the eyes, and catching them in unexpected moments make fun, intriguing compositions.  

Another thing to keep in mind is extremes. Getting up close or standing back can give you the best results for your photoshoots. Getting close provides an unusually intimate insight into the animal world; standing back gives context and provides playfulness. 

  1. Cobwebs

This idea probably stumps you. How can you capture something hard for the human eye to see? While it is one of the most challenging assignments you will pursue, it is doable. Cobwebs are virtually intangible objects, but cameras can capture them with help from the environment.  

 Moisture in the air is an obvious way to capture stellar images. Keep an eye out for areas in the early morning or late evening when mist settles on the land.

And again, let the environment take care of moisture for the cobwebs. Spraying water on them tampers with their makeup and will not provide a natural shot. 

Moving Forward 

As you develop new skills and find your unique style, you will likely want to explore more in-depth, bold projects. Here are three ideas that will keep you occupied for more than a couple of days. 

  1. The 52-week Project

This project requires a considerable amount of your time and attention. The 52-week project involves taking one photo each week for a whole year. While this sounds overwhelming at first, taking a few days or a week to plan your photoshoots out helps.

You can have a monthly theme (one month of landscapes, one month of nature, and so on) or a specific theme for each week. Based on your schedule, you can figure out which one is more convenient for you. 

  1. Limit Yourself to 24 Photos

Photographs are best when taken with care and meaning. When you venture out to photograph things, try limiting the number of photos you take. If you found yourself taking 50 or more a day, this is more than you need.

By only capturing 24 images, you cause yourself to photograph at the best possible angles and improve your work habits. You can train your eye to get meaningful snaps.  

  1. A Musical Song or Album

People usually take photos first, and then come up with a title for their collection later. A creative approach to a portfolio is to pick a title first and plan your images around it.

For example, you may like the album title “Wake Up, Sunshine” by All Time Low and want to use it for your work. Now that you have this premise, you can find subjects that emulate positive energy.

Anything such as nature, smiling babies, and cute couples can serve as focal points. Besides music albums and titles, song lyrics can apply to specific topics in a poetic sense. They can help illustrate and communicate a film shot even more.  

  1. Only Use a Smartphone

Are you worried about lacking a hi-tech camera? If you do not have the means to own one or want another device to use, consider your smartphone. Smartphones are usually on everyone’s person when they go outside. You can experiment with different features your camera app offers.  

Photo artists can practice lighting, moments of capture, and composition on a basic level with smartphones. And suppose you desire more of a DSLR-like quality (DSLR is a digital single-lens reflex camera).

In that case, it combines the optics and mechanisms of a single-lens camera. Apps like iSyncFlash and Slow Shutter can provide you with the crisp, high quality found in digital lens cameras. Make use of what you already own.  

Can You Make Good Money Doing Photography? 

You can have a decent salary as a photographer. However, you may not gain as much success in the first year or two of your career.

Photography requires hard work and patience. There are good-paying jobs available, but you will have to prove yourself first. Think about how skilled you are and how much of an asset you will be in the long term. 

What Photo Ideas Are Not Suitable for a Portfolio? 

Your personal preferences and creative style influence how impressive your portfolio is.

You may find that you enjoy capturing animals, moving vehicles, and crowds on film. However, children and large events are areas that do not interest you or suit your skillset.

Everyone is different, so no general set of ideas is suitable for everyone. These are things you notice as you advance in your career and build on in your future.

Also, remain consistent with your content. It makes a statement about you and your brand. 

 Sources: Digital Photography School, Make Use Of 



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