ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Writing Tips: Where to Find Picture Prompts

Updated on July 25, 2012

Get Writing Ideas

Use the visual images to spark creative thinking.
Use the visual images to spark creative thinking. | Source

What Are Picture Prompts?

Picture prompts are great ways for writers to gain inspiration to create short stories, poems, and other creative works. There are valuable sites online for writers to access picture prompts, as well as using photos personally taken.

The prompts provide a new focus for writers who may have writers’ block, be looking for a different perspective, or want to try a new writing technique.

The cues can provide the basis for new blog posts on a poetry site or send the writer’s mind in a new direction as he or she finishes the entry for the short story contest due next week. The visual image acts as the spark for creative writing.

Picture prompts can be colored or black and white. Writers can print the pictures or refer to them on the computer screen, if that technique works better to spike creativity.

Where to Find Picture Prompts

Personal Photos

Writers can use their own photos, which are likely sitting in a box or stored on the computer. For example, reflect on a photo that seemed interesting at the time that the shot was first taken.

Easy ways to take more photos:

  • Bring the camera along on a walk
  • Keep camera in a favorite purse or bag; have it on hand
  • Explore favorite places through the eye of the lens

Be careful, however, not to spend the allotted amount of time reminiscing about adventures; transfer the thoughts into creative writing and keep the original goal in mind too.

Creative Websites

Yes, there are sites dedicated to using pictures to spark creativity in writers.

Creativity Portal, for example, has a Prompt-A-Day Generator specifically for 365 Creative Picture Prompts. Each day there is a new image to view on the site! What a great surprise when authors log onto the site each day.

Were you aware of picture prompts before reading this hub?

See results

Photo Databases

Peruse the beautiful images of Pinterest and there are many photos there to spark the creative mind.

Search the site for a certain topic or simply look at what has recently been pinned by connections on the network. There is even a Writing Picture Prompts group to join!

Authors can also use photos posted at Flickr, SlideShare, and other image-based websites as visual images to aid with the creative process. If writers are sharing the pictures online with their creative works, however, they need to ensure proper attribution is attached to the images.

What Ideas Are Inspired With This Photo?

"Criccieth" by Tom Curtis.
"Criccieth" by Tom Curtis. | Source

Picture prompts are a useful way for writers in creating poetry, short stories, and other creative genres. Writers can peruse photo-laden networks such as Pinterest, subscribe to websites that specialize in the prompts, or use personal photos. The benefits are large as new ideas are created that may not have reached fruition had the pictures not been viewed.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      5 years ago

      Great Hub! I'm never far from home without my camera. Pictures can capture so much and add tremendous value to our written word.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      That is great, thanks for the positive feedback!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      My partner and I stumbled over here different website and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to looking into your web page again. learn more

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Glad to be able to help boost creativity! Thanks for the great comments :)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 years ago from Dubai

      Great idea, picture prompts. When I am racking my head about what to write, now I know whereto go. Thank you and voted up.

    • europewalker profile image


      5 years ago

      Very helpful hub, never heard of picture prompts. Thanks for sharing.

    • remaniki profile image

      Rema T V 

      5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Oh, this was a wonderful hub Christy. Very useful. Thank you for sharing this knowledge with us. Cheers, Rema.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks Michelle for your share and great comment!

      web923, glad to hear this hub helps you! Pinterest is fun and now motivates us too!

    • web923 profile image

      Bill Blackburn 

      5 years ago from Twentynine Palms, California

      I too was c0mpletely unaware of picture promts, so this was a most useful and awesome hub. I frequently visit and often find inspiration browsing through the pics, so on an unconscious level perhaps seeking inspiration. Again, this was an awesome hub!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Keeping this hub for reference, Christy, and joined the Pininterest writing prompts group. Thanks for sharing, and will share too, as notes on the FB community page.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Oh Gina, yes I sooo understand what you mean about needing more time in the day. Some days just fly by!

    • Gina145 profile image


      5 years ago from South Africa

      This is something that I'm vaguely aware I should be doing, but somehow I never do.

      I wish I had more hours in the day to do everything I want to do.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi Audrey, glad you are finding the prompts helpful!

      Thanks Jools, that NaNoWriMo is quite the hit!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      5 years ago from California

      These used to throw me, but I have been using more of them lately! Thank you for the info!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools Hogg 

      5 years ago from North-East UK

      Christy, great ideas - might come in useful for NaNoWriMo. Hope you get lots of hits.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Awesome comments Michael, Steph, and Denise! Thanks for taking time to comment and all the best for your future hubs!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      5 years ago from North Carolina

      I took an online class from Ed2Go and they discussed this. In fact, it was one of our assignments. Very good info here thanks. Rated up/U/I

    • StephSev108 profile image

      Stephanie Marie Severson 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thank you for the info. This will help me tons.

    • Michael Tully profile image

      Michael Tully 

      5 years ago

      As a newbie who constantly struggles with "idea deficit syndrome" aka writer's block, I found this article to be like a life preserver thrown to a drowning man. Thank you, thank you, Christy! Voted up, useful, interesting, awesome.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Ruby, there you are, that's a great strategy!

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 

      6 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      This hub gave me a great idea for all my pictures. I have been doing it backwards! Write about the pictures instead of finding pictures to match what I write, duh! Thanks!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @sujithbeta, welcome! Glad you enjoy the post.

      @Jeff, Awesome! Hope that the creativity sings for you this weekend.

    • sujithbeta profile image

      Sreejith k 

      6 years ago from Kerala, India

      Wow very useful information for me. I am new here. thank you so much

    • howlermunkey profile image

      Jeff Boettner 

      6 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Awesome hub Christy, another one of yours that's hitting my archive. Thanks for the creativity portal link. Voted up and sharing!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks @girishpuri, glad you find it helpful for you.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 

      6 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Very helpful hub and useful for future write ups, thanks

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks @dwachira for the bookmark. So glad you will refer to this article; having creative prompts does help me if I need that extra push. Take care you.

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 

      6 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      What a good way to keep us writing, with all these ideas i think writers should not encounter writers block, i have not found myself asking what to write next but if that ever happen, i have bookmarked this article for perusal. Voted up and useful.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks Aubrey, I hope this hub helps spark creativity in some readers!

    • CrazedNovelist profile image

      A.E. Williams 

      6 years ago from Hampton, GA

      Voted Up, Interesting, Christy.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Mary, you could always bookmark the site and then check for prompts that way. Did the newsletter fall to your junk/spam filter of the email?

      @Rajan, Thank-you for the share and the nod for creativity. You are a great support!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      I subscribed to their newsletter but have not received anything yet. You know I get impatient about these things, I'm just so anxious to give them a try.

      Thanks again for this, Mary

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      This is a brilliant idea and I bet one that will give a lot of creative ideas for sure. Never thought of this before I read this.

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

      This idea needs sharing so doing the needful.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Keith, glad you are recalling great memories :) I love those suggestions. Now to dig up some of my photographs... Thanks for stopping by to read and comment today.

      @Nell, Thanks - for both the read and the birthday mention!

      @shalini sharan, glad it's helpful for you.

      @Vinaya, Excellent! When you are stuck for ideas, this one will be helpful for you :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I used to love writing stories via picture prompts in grade school :) They are an essential tool for writers who are suffering from writers block. If need be, I highly suggest some writers to pick up photography, take some pictures, and write ten "hint fictions" (i.e. 26 words or less) for each picture. Then, the writer could pick out one (or combine 2 or more) and work out a flash fiction (500 words or more) in correlation to the picture. After that, the writer can try to describe the scene in the picture in a short story fiction (less than 25K words)

      I have to say, this is definitely thought provoking and fun! Thank you for allowing me to recall on my past in grade school :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Such a great idea christy! and Happy Birthday!

    • shalini sharan profile image

      shalini sharan 

      6 years ago from Delhi

      this is a really useful hub, thank you for sharing it

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      Christy, this is very useful hub. I'm bookmarking for future reference.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank-you everyone for your great comments, votes, and shares too! Your support is great and I love that so many of you are heading out to use picture prompts. I love encouraging others and being a motivator so my heart sings as I read the positive comments here! If you do create any hubs from picture prompts please stop by and let me know - I would love to read them!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      6 years ago from New York

      Useful and well researched Christy. We can never run out of inspiration, because our lives are full of it. Picture prompts do help .Thanks for sharing!

    • vespawoolf profile image


      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is a great idea! I must admit, I often find inspiration in cooking magazines and food blogs. I'm going to put this into practice today...I need inspiration to get out a couple of hubs. Voted up!

    • myownlife profile image


      6 years ago from london

      very useful hub having full of tips.


      Thanks for sharing.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image


      6 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Awesome hub! Never thought of using pictures for inspiration. Great ideas! Voted up and thanks!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The picture inspired me to think of how much i like to go to the adirondacks with Micah! Your hub inspired me to be more creative with my photographs!

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 

      6 years ago from Northeastern United States

      Picture prompts are a great idea. Thank you for writing about them. There are days when my inspiration has run dry. I'll remember this and take a picture journey till something buds! Voted up!

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      6 years ago from US

      This is worth looking into. I think most of my ideas come from reading hubs I am interested in and then commenting open up different ideas. Sometimes I will even remove a comment because it has so much of a good idea! lol

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks for the Creativity Portal link! Bookmarking. Picture prompts are a great idea for anyone looking for writing inspiration.

    • kygirl89 profile image


      6 years ago from West Virginia

      I love using pictures as inspirations for my writing. They really do help a lot.

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      I've never heard of picture prompts will check it out. Good information for everyone to use. Thanks so much voted Up.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very useful information. Some of my hubs has no picture because I don't have it in my computer and I am afraid to use the pictures of others. I don't want to pirate or violate the copyright. Voted up, useful and interesting. Thanks again ChristyWrites.

    • Angelme566 profile image


      6 years ago

      This is so useful to me..thanks for sharing ..Voted !

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Useful, Christy! Wonderful sharing for those who need to spruce their articles with a few pictures! Voted up, sharing!

    • shalini sharan profile image

      shalini sharan 

      6 years ago from Delhi

      thank you for the information

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and useful. Great information and idea about picture prompts. Thanks for sharing. Passing this along to my followers.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this information. There's so much opportunity out there for writers. Your idea on pininterest is one that I will have to look into. Always a great read when I visit your hubs!

    • profile image

      Jane Carroll 

      6 years ago

      I haven't used this technique in a while...think I'll give it a try!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Just got back from a nice vacation, doing the California theme parks tour with my adult children as well as family members from Kaua'i, so I am in dire need of a writing catalyst. This picture prompts concept sounds like just the thing. Hope to be using some of the vacation photos as such soon. I love reading your articles, Christy, because I always come away from each experience feeling like I just left the coolest college writing lecture. Thank you so much!

    • jonmcclusk profile image

      Jonathan McCloskey 

      6 years ago from Cinnaminson, New Jersey

      When I was in school, my English teacher's favorite activity was pictures prompts. The stories were always unique to the individual and none were of the same theme. You've brought me back to a warm point in my life with this hub, ChristyWrites, and I thank you for that feeling.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Great hub Christy! I often go the other way though--write and then find work that fits--music also helps me--but that might be another hub--yes?

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi @mary615, thanks for the visits! Right on, you signed up for the site :) Yes, if you want to post the pic online you need to link back to the site of whoever originally posted that picture/photo to give them credit. I'm excited to see what you come up with! I love prompts. Hope this helps!

      @bdegiulio, Hehe thanks! The web is such a big place and I love to teach others - so glad you find the hub useful! Thanks for the compliments (picture of me smiling).

      @Bill, wow thank-you for the amazing words that I take to heart.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      Hi again, Christie, I clicked on the link you provided. Looks really interesting. Looks like if you use someone's picture as a prompt, you have to give that person credit, is that right???

      I subscribed to their newsletter.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Very interesting Christy. Where do you get all of these ideas? You continue to amaze me with your knowledge. And of course, a big thank you for sharing all of this knowledge with those of us who have missed the bus when it comes to the on-line writing world.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What a great hub Christy! You keep churning out one helpful hub after another, and every single one of them has a pearl of wisdom we can all use. Bravo you friend with the dazzling smile!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      What??? I never heard of picture prompts! I have to check this out. Thanks for the info. We could all use some "prompts" sometimes.

      I voted this UP, and will share.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)