woman does yoga photoshoot idea

19 Photoshoot Ideas to Immediately Improve Your Photography Skills

Are you looking for some photoshoot ideas?

Do you need inspiration?

Discover 19 photoshoot ideas–all designed to help you get creative with your photos.

Pick an idea, find your subjects, and have fun experimenting!

Let’s go.

1. Organize a Street Photography Session With a Couple

You can do a lot with this photoshoot idea.

Tell your couple to have a coffee…

Walk in the park…

Walk around the city…

Then take photos of the couple in classic street photography style:

No posing. At all.

Just candid shots.

Even better, try to take photos without the couple realizing.

(It’s a bit like being paparazzi!)

And best of all?

This is great training for event photography. Especially weddings.

2. Freeze a Water Drop

Have you ever taken a photo of a water droplet?

All you need is a camera, a tripod, a plate, an eyedropper, and some water.

Fill the plate with water, set your camera on the tripod, and frame the scene.

To freeze the drop you will need to use fast shutter speeds (1/500 should be fine). Set a narrower aperture to get a sharp drop.

Holding the eyedropper always at the same height,  make the drops–and try to capture them! I recommend you take a lot of images to make sure that you get a nice drop in some of them.

water droplet
Using a colorful plate you can get beautiful results. Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash

3. Take Photos of a Pregnant Mother

Having a baby is such a special moment in life.

So making memories?

It’s a must.

Take photos of a pregnant mom.

(And don’t forget about other family members.)

mother and father pregnancy
Pregnancy photos are a great way to keep the beautiful memories of this life experience.

Now, I recommend you start with some basic shots.

But once you have a nice collection of pregnancy photos, you can add some creative images. Images that will add your personal vision to the moment.

You can even make the family paint on the mother-to-be’s belly. They can write the baby’s name, write loving words, or draw (which is great for all ages).

painting a women's belly
Painting the belly is a beautiful activity.
writing women's belly
If you are not so much into drawing, writing the baby’s name is also a great idea!

Another beautiful idea?

Include in the frame some baby things, such as clothes, shoes, pacifiers, or even an ultrasound image of the baby! 

baby's shoes
Focusing on small details with the baby’s name works great.

4. Take Photos of Your Family

Here’s the thing:

You don’t need a special event to take photos of your family.

You can just…do it.

So organize a photo session doing some playful activity, and you will be amazed with the results.

You can shoot anywhere. But if kids are involved, I recommend you go where they can run and play. The beach, a park, or a nearby forest are all great options.

Tell the family to do things such as racing, dancing, jumping, and picking flowers.

The activity might vary–depending on the place and the family mood. So you will need to make use of your imagination and improvisation skills.

Once you find an activity they like, they will start having so much fun that you will be able to take great candid photos!

girl with flowers
Picking flowers is another activity your family can do during the photoshoot

5. Play With the Shadows

When doing portraiture, you can get really obsessed with avoiding face shadows.

Why?

Because shadows often look ugly or unflattering.

But if you want to get creative, I invite you to embrace the shadows.

Don’t shun them. Experiment with them, instead!

Ultimately, see how they affect the mood of the portrait. You can start by projecting a source of light on your model from different direction: front, side, back…

Just be careful to avoid strong light going direct on your model’s eyes.

Photoshoot idea use shadows
Photo by Simonwijers on Pixabay

You can even create the shadows yourself using objects such as curtains or nets.

Again, experiment.

And have fun!

shadowy person
Photo by Pexels on Pixabay

6. Take a Detail Photo

Often photographers just focus on their main subject an dforget about the rest

However, you can plan a different photo session…

…a session that focus on the details.

a close up of a women doinga  deadlift in crossfit
Capturing details is a great way to tell stories

Experiment with close ups (and even extreme close ups).

7. Use Water Reflections

Water.

It creates reflection images–like a mirror.

You can take advantage of reflections in a creative photoshoot. Go to a natural lake or a park and capture reflections in the water.

photoshoot idea reflections in water
A reflection in the water can contribute to the composition and create balanced photos

A rainy day is also a great chance for a photoshoot.

Why?

Because you can go out to play with the reflections in the puddles!

Reflection of a passerby in a puddle
Photo by MichaelGaida on Pixabay

8. Experiment With Light Pads

The photographer Mandy Disher made this technique popular with her beautiful flower images.

If you want to try it, you need a light pad. It is better if it is a big one (A2 or larger will be perfect). A tripod is also helpful.

And of course, you need your subject! This type of photography works really well with semitransparent objects such as flowers or fruit slices.

However, feel free to experiment with other subjects. Choose your composition, place your camera in the tripod, adjust the settings, and have fun!

a great photoshoot idea is to use a lightpad to illuminate your subjects
In your first photoshoot, keep it simple. Increase the complexity of the composition once you get used to working with the light pad

9. Take Advantage of Urban Objects

We are surrounded by a lot of objects…

…all of which can add interest to your photos.

For example, they can act as leading lines for your composition.

That is, they can help you to direct the eye of your viewer toward the focal point of your photo.

Any object can work as a leading line: a wall, a bench, a set of stairs…

So do a photoshoot where you experiment with leading lines. It’s a great way to develop your composition skills.

woman posing next to a building during a photo shoot
In this portrait I used the wall and the lines formed by the tiles to lead the viewer’s eye to Silvia, my model.

10. Frame Your Subjects

This idea can get you some interesting, original photographs.

First, place your subject in a way so that it is framed by something.

Anything that you find around might work as a frame: a window, a door, or even some vegetation.

Now, to get the most out of this effect, it is important that the object will be closer to you than your model.

Then focus on the subject–and use a wide aperture (f/1.2 to f/4).

Your frame will appear blurry. And this will add a neat effect to your photos!

couple framed by vegetation photoshoot idea
Framing your subjects with elements that are blurry directs the viewers to focus more on the subjects

11. Combine a Photoshoot With a Walking Tour

If your model feels awkward, it will show in your images.

So how do you avoid this?

One way is to just spend a lot of time walking around with your model–during the shoot.

You see, walking around will change the atmosphere of the photoshoot. The model will be much more relaxed.

And you can just take pictures here and there…

…which will result in far more natural-looking portraits.

A women walking casually with a blanket around her during a photo shoot
Walking around is a great way to get your models to relax

12. Photoshoot Ideas Based on Hobbies

If you like going out of your comfort zone…

…then photograph an activity you’re not familiar with.

You can ask your model about their hobbies.

Do they play any sports? If so, do a photo session about it!

Cycling, running, or swimming all work well. But it can be any activity–including painting, dancing, or yoga!

woman does yoga photoshoot idea
We organized a yoga photo session to show some of the asanas (yoga postures) that Silvia is practicing these days

Try to tell a story with your photos.

Take some shots of your model getting ready for the activity…

a photo shoot session where hands during meditation is captured
A close up shows a detail of the hands positions during meditation

…and don’t forget to take photos of the details, because they’ll add to the story, too.

13. Do a Photoshoot With Your Pet

This is one of my favorite photoshoot ideas.

Because pets are fantastic subjects for photo sessions.

For one, they’re super cute. And they’re also a fun challenge!

Now, I recommend you use a faster shutter speed to avoid unwanted motion blur.

And fast autofocus?

It’s an absolute necessity.

After all, pets won’t wait for you to lock focus. They’re too enthusiastic for that!

pet photoshoot ideas
Although it can be a challenge, including a pet in your photo adds energy and character to the photo

14. Take Photos of Your Favorite Toy

This photoshoot idea is simple, but very fun. You can do it with adults–or kids.

Just take your camera, some toys, and have fun placing them in different scenarios.

For extra fun, you can also take several shots that together tell a story.

Just do a lot of experimenting!

a photoshoot where a stormtrooper lego in sand is captured
Use your imagination and play with your toys to compose an interesting image. Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash

15. Do a Photoshoot With Just One Direction for the Light

Do you need to practice working with light?

Here’s a great way to do it:

Have a photoshoot…

…where the whole thing is lit from a single direction.

For example, you can have a backlit photoshoot–and only take silhouettes.

A great moment to create silhouettes is during sunrise and sunset, when the sun is closest to the horizon. Tell your subject to stand between the sun and your camera.

Now, you may need to under-expose using the camera’s exposure compensation so that your model will be underexposed, creating the silhouette effect.

silhouette man on bicycle
Photo by renategranade0 on Pixabay

16. Do a Photoshoot in Nature With Your Own Backgrounds

Sometimes you find the perfect nature photography subject…

…but the background is just terrible.

If this is the case, bring your own background! It works perfectly for small subjects such as flowers, leaves, and small critters.

You just need cardboard of any color you like–and your camera!

Place it behind your subject and shoot! You will be be shocked by the results.

Iris Gilboa with black background
This Iris Gilboa had a really distracting background that didn’t let me capture its beauty. I used some simple black cardboard. Problem solved!

17. Shoot With Artificial Lights

Artificial lights can make for some interesting and stunning portraits. Especially if you’re willing to get creative with them!

I recommend you use your imagination–and work with the resources you already have. This will make it far more interesting.

For instance, you can use a simple table lamp to light your model with sidelight.  This type of light is especially good if you want to add some drama to your portrait.

Side light portrait
With a side light you can get quite dramatic effects in your portraits.

You can also use LED lights you might have lying around. Even Christmas tree lights can work!

You can use the LED lights like a necklace or to make a line between your model and you…

Try to use wide apertures (f4 or lower) to get the lights blurry (this effect is known as bokeh).

This will make your portrait look wonderfully dreamy!

LED light photoshoot idea
Using a wide aperture will create a beautiful bokeh effect. Photo by Ptksgc on Pixabay

18. Do a Photoshoot With Soap Bubbles

If you want to have some fun…

Then do a shoot–with a bubble blower!

First, this is a great way of taking photos of families with kids.

But it works great with adults, too!

Related Articles: Kids’ Photography Tips | Best Camera for Kids

woman making bubbles
Ask your model to make some bubbles

Let your subject have fun with the bubbles and take photos while they play with them.

You can try different perspectives to add more interest to the image. You can also have somebody else blow the bubbles and take photos through them. 

shooting through bubbles
Another option in to have somebody else making the bubbles while you take the photo

No matter what you do, you’re guaranteed to get some fun shots!

19. Do a Self-Portrait Photoshoot

Here’s what I recommend:

Do a self-portrait photoshoot.

Why?

It will give you the chance to experience what does it mean to be on the other side of the lens. It will help you relate to your models.

In fact, you can start by trying the poses you usually tell your models to do.

Then you’ll understand how the poses work–and you can tell your model exactly how to nail them.

self portrait of a man
Posing in front of the camera from time to time will help you to understand better what being a model means.

You can also set a scenario to express your mood. Get creative!

Dress up, put on some make up, try new light settings…have fun!

Photoshoot Ideas: The Next Step

Now that you’ve finished this article, you’re a better photographer.

Guaranteed.

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About the author

Sarah Rodríguez-Martínez

I am a self-taught photographer based in a sea-side town close to Barcelona. I love shooting portraits, yoga photography and nature. I have a lot of fun editing in Lightroom, my favorite editing software. Besides photography, I practice yoga, I am a recognized coffeeholic and I hate Mondays. You can contact me easily by both Instagram (@sarahrmphotos) and email ([email protected])

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