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300 Plus Photography Ideas

Updated on August 31, 2017
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years.

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CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

300 photographic ideas is not the ultimate list of subjects worth photographing but it can definitely get you started if you ever find yourself in a rut and seem to have nothing to photograph. It is mainly put together in alphabetical order but not in an "exact science" method.

Most photographers, whether they are professional or amateur, go through periods where they seem to have run out of ideas for things to photograph.

If you take a moment to reflect and start by looking at everyday, common, ordinary things you can slowly start to envision photographic projects and it is always wise to get paper and pencil and make a list of subjects, ideas and so on whenever they pop into your head. Do not leave it to memory since you risk forgetting.

There is an unlimited number of possibilities and each carries a subset of variants but each also offers a distinctive set of qualities that can make the project fun and enlightening at the same time, even lucrative.

Granted some are more commercially viable than others but all projects can be used by commercial enterprises in one form or another.

A lot depends on the quality of the shot, the technical applications and aspects and the subject matter itself but everything can be sold as someone somewhere is sure to have a need for each photograph.

Approach your photography as the passion that is supposed to be, the reason you became a photographer of sorts, why you bought the camera in the first place and you see why almost anything is "photograph-able".

From this list you can also do themes. Themes are good for learning disciplines and many commercial projects will require that subject matter be organized into separate themes anyway so learning how to group themes is a good exercise no matter your photographic level of expertise.

You can focus on similar subject matter like toys;antique tin toys, or bisque dolls. Doors; open doors, closed doors, antique doors. People; portraits, nudes, silhouettes, couples, kids and so on. Animals; mammals, birds, insects, large, small, wild or in zoos.

Similar techniques like wide angle, only one lens, macro, zoom etc.

Just remember that if doing themes it is advisable to concentrate or rather look for similarities which is the most common technique or even opposites.

Pick one theme at a time and see it through to the end before you start another.

Note: this list will be updated regularly to include new techniques, ideas or themes as they become known.

(CC BY-SA 2.0
(CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source
CC BY-ND 2.0
CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source
CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source
CC BY-ND 2.0
CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source
  • Abandoned architecture (dilapidated), abandoned anything like cars
  • Americana
  • Animals; all types, all sizes, subcategories; Predators and Prey, Insects, Amphibians, Fish, Reptiles, Farm, Pets
  • A Day in The Life of
  • Action Figures; i.e Star Wars Storm Troopers posed in funny poses
  • Aquariums
  • Antiques
  • Angels; statues
  • Anime Figures
  • Artworks
  • Arches; natural, man made
  • Architecture and structures; all types
  • Autumn colors
  • Alleys
  • Bad Weather; weather in general
  • Baldness
  • Balloons
  • Bare body parts
  • Bark
  • Barns
  • Barriers & Openings
  • Bicycles,Tricycles, bicycle parts
  • Bikes, motorized
  • Blend In; model interacts with a life size painting, graffiti etc. Models should blend in as much as possible to look as if he/she were part of the artwork.
  • Black and White
  • Blimps
  • Bolts
  • Body Paint Art
  • Bottle Caps
  • Bones; animal or fake and use as still life
  • Books; especially antique
  • Bottles; empty, full
  • Bubbles; Soap bubbles work great.
  • Bridges; at daytime and nighttime
  • Broken Glass
  • Bronze
  • Before & After
  • Candles
  • Campsites
  • Car Details; close ups, cars in general
  • Carnivals
  • Caves
  • Cemeteries
  • Celebrations
  • Clowns; funny, scary
  • Choices
  • Church Windows
  • Churches
  • Circles; natural and man made
  • City Skylines

CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source
CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source
Cover by Lies Thru a Lens on flickr
Cover by Lies Thru a Lens on flickr | Source
CC BY-SA 3.0
CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source
CC BY-ND 2.0
CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source
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CC BY-SA 3.0
CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source
CC BY-SA 3.0
CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source
Public Domain
Public Domain | Source
Public Domain
Public Domain | Source
Public Domain
Public Domain | Source
jeff medaugh
jeff medaugh | Source
CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source
CC BY-ND 2.0 DE | Source
CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source
Public Domain
Public Domain | Source
Public Domain
Public Domain | Source
(CC BY-ND 2.0
(CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source
CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source
(CC BY-SA 3.0
(CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source
CC BY 2.0)
CC BY 2.0) | Source
Public Domain
Public Domain | Source
CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source
public domain
public domain | Source
Public Domain
Public Domain | Source
Public Domain
Public Domain
CC BY-SA 3.0
CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source
(CC BY 3.0
(CC BY 3.0 | Source
Public Domain
Public Domain | Source
CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source
CC BY-ND 3.0
CC BY-ND 3.0 | Source
  • City Street Scenes
  • Close ups
  • Cloudscapes
  • Cold
  • Colors; all colors individual and in groups
  • Colored Pencils; close ups to show detail and texture
  • Columns
  • Cyanotype
  • Contrasts in coloration
  • Contrast; new things next to old things
  • Coins
  • Covered Bridges
  • Clocks; New & Old,Cuckoo Clocks
  • Cosplay
  • A Country
  • Culture
  • Curves
  • Customized
  • Dancers; ballet, classical, flamenco etc
  • Decorations
  • Demonic
  • Demonstrations
  • Devilish ( naughty )
  • Decay
  • Disappearing Technologies, Professions
  • Draperies
  • Dishes
  • Documentary
  • Dominating scenery
  • Door Knobs, door knockers, Doors
  • Dots
  • Drawers
  • Duplicates
  • Eggs; painted eggs, funny faces etc
  • Embrace
  • Emergency Situations (be tasteful)
  • Environmental, ecological theme
  • Events
  • Eye Glasses
  • Eyes
  • Fairy Tales; Scenery reminiscent of a fairy tale or models in costumes, i.e Red Ridding Hood
  • Feathers
  • Feelings and emotions
  • Femininity
  • Fences
  • Festivals, Holidays, and subcategories i.e sexy Christmas, Sexy Halloween
  • Fetish
  • Fire
  • Fire Engines
  • Fireworks
  • Fire Hydrants
  • Fire Places
  • Flags
  • Filters -colored, neutral density, polarizes etc
  • Figurines
  • Flowers- macro, from below, from above, silhouettes, petals
  • Foggy Landscapes
  • Food
  • Food Coloring drops in water
  • Forms in Nature
  • Forests
  • Fountains
  • Fungus
  • Frames
  • Framing subjects within the scene
  • Freeways
  • Frozen; naturally occurring and man made
  • Fruit; all fruits
  • Fruits in water
  • Gadgets
  • Games; board games
  • Gardens
  • Gates
  • Gears
  • Glass; through glass, only glass
  • Gold
  • Ghost Towns
  • Graceful
  • Graffiti
  • Habits
  • Hats
  • Hallways
  • Handles
  • Harbors
  • Harvest
  • Heavenly
  • Hidden
  • History
  • Horizon
  • Horses
  • Hot; temperature, and "hot" looking
  • Hot Air Balloons
  • Hunger
  • Ice
  • Inclines
  • Indian Ruins, Indian themes
  • Indigenous Things, People
  • Industrial
  • Inspiration
  • Iridescent
  • Iron; rusted, new, weathered
  • Isolated Objects
  • Jails; exteriors and with proper permission
  • Jets
  • Jewelry
  • Jobs
  • Joints
  • Journalistic Approach
  • Jugs
  • Junk Yards; especially at night and illuminated with colored filters
  • Juxtapositions
  • Kids and their Pets
  • Keys
  • Kites
  • Knives; hunting
  • Landscapes
  • Lazy
  • Lamps
  • Lanterns; antique, brass
  • Learning
  • Leaves
  • Letters
  • Light; painting with light, using steel wool to create flames, multiple exposures etc.
  • Lightning
  • Locks
  • Machine Parts
  • Masculinity; manliness
  • Masks
  • Mass of subjects or anything found in nature in mass
  • Marine Instruments; antique, close ups, brass
  • Mirrors
  • Miniatures
  • Metaphors
  • Money
  • Monuments
  • Moods
  • Moss, any mossy surface
  • Marquees
  • Muse
  • Mushrooms
  • Nature Taking Over Man Made Structures
  • Neon Signs
  • Night
  • Night lights
  • Nighttime street scenes
  • Nudes
  • Noodles
  • Numbers
  • Nuts
  • Objects; the strangest the better
  • Odd Couples
  • Old Everything
  • Olympic
  • Opposites; dichotomy
  • Oil & Water
  • Opulent
  • Ornaments; Christmas and other holidays
  • Pairs
  • Paper Abstracts
  • Parallel Lines
  • Patterns
  • Peeling Paint; weathered surfaces
  • People; portraits
  • People at work
  • People walking with pets
  • Perspective
  • Pencil vs Camera; draw something and cover part of a real subject i.e drawn fingers on top of real hand
  • Pictures in Pictures
  • Piles of Things
  • Photographic Techniques and Themes: Abstracts, Bokeh, Macro, Photojournalism, Photovoice, Photowalk, Afocal, Vintage Print, Surrealism, Subjective, Boudoir, Solarization, Silhouettes, Candid, Silhouettes, Glamour, Time Lapse, Action Shot, Motion Blur, Zoom In, Vernacular, Vintage Print, Motion Blur, Photo Montage, Forced Perspective, Panorama, Soft Focus, H.D.R High Speed, Narrative, Feature, Minimalist, Kirlian, Pictorialist
  • Phobias; all phobias in general
  • Polished
  • Product Photography
  • Porches
  • Railroad Cars and Railroad Tracks, Steam Engines
  • Raindrops
  • Rainbows
  • Red
  • Red Dresses, ladies in red
  • Reenactments
  • Reflection in mirrors, glass or water or most anywhere where you find one
  • Religious motifs, scenes
  • Re-Birth; New Plant Growth
  • Resorts
  • Rivers
  • Roadscapes
  • Rocks
  • Round Things
  • Rows of Things
  • Ruins
  • Rust
  • Rustic
  • Sand Dunes
  • Sand Patterns
  • Stained Windows
  • Sea Shells
  • Seascapes; daylight and nighttime
  • Seasons; all seasons and colors of each
  • Self portraits
  • Shadows
  • Shoes
  • Signs
  • Sky Lanterns
  • Skulls; animals or fake
  • Sleeping People, animals
  • Stock Photography Theme
  • Smiles
  • Smoke
  • Smoke Trails
  • Snow
  • Snow Flakes
  • Softness
  • Speed
  • Spoons
  • Sports
  • Spring
  • Splashing water, naturally occurring or man made i. e kids splashing
  • Stacks
  • Stairs
  • Statues
  • Sensuality, sexy
  • Still life, still life by candlelight, still life recreations from works of art
  • String Instruments
  • Symbolism
  • Sunrise
  • Sunset
  • Superstitions
  • Sweets
  • Swings
  • Tattoos
  • Teddy Bear; toys in general, new and old
  • Textures
  • Tin; Tin cans
  • Thrift Stores, Flea Markets and Antique stores
  • Thread; colored yarn, close ups
  • Tombstones; careful with details such as names unless they are very old.
  • Tools of a particular trade, tools in general
  • Transport
  • Tree Knots
  • Trees
  • Ugliness
  • Umbrellas
  • Uniforms; parade of uniformed people
  • Urban
  • Utensils
  • Vacation
  • Valves
  • Vegetables; all vegetables
  • Vices
  • Vignettes
  • Vines
  • Visitors
  • Watches
  • Water
  • Waterfalls
  • Weathered Wood ;weathered surfaces in general
  • Wet
  • Wheels
  • Wide Angle Everything
  • Windows; open,closed, weathered etc.
  • Woods; focus on the texture
  • Xylophones
  • Yachts
  • Yo-yos
  • Zig Zag patterns
  • Zippers
  • Zombies; cosplay, dress up etc
  • Zoos; the locations as well as the fauna
  • 365 Days; take a photo everyday for an entire year. i.e one location, one subject, a general area, the weather etc.
  • One Day Project; done in conjunction with other photographers from around the world. Each photographer takes one photograph of a special location where they live and the resulting images can be published to in essence be a representation of "one day in the world"
  • 1000 something; 1000 feathers,1000 wings etc
  • 100 Strangers

Did this help you think of new photo projects?

See results

Regardless of which ideas you take form this article, approach any projects with the complete understanding that every photograph must be exactingly prefect and technically flawless.

Although you may be doing the project from a personal standpoint always do each project as if a client had commissioned you for it.

Keep in mind that everything worth photographing has probably been photographed countless times. It is up to you to offer your viewers new perspectives on a subject.

The images must be pleasing to look at or challenge the viewer in one way or another. Another key point to be aware of is doing proper research into your subject matter.

Browse through publications and seek photo samples of your intended subjects to see what is typically photographed and how.

I hope to occasionally update 300 plus photography ideas so keep in touch.

© 2014 Luis E Gonzalez


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