Optics Mag is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Read more.

15 Outdoor Photography Ideas to Get You Inspired (With Pictures)

Last Updated on

woman in a sunflower field

The outdoors provides some of the best sceneries for photography. Whether you are doing wedding shots or pure nature shots, the options are practically limitless whenever you go outside with your camera.

Still, you have to keep your photography fresh, unique, and constantly moving. Consequently, coming up with new photography ideas is one of the trickiest parts of being a professional photographer.

If you feel that you are in an outdoor photography slump, you have come to the right place. Here are 15 photographs that can get you inspired:

shutter camera divider

The 15 Outdoor Photography Ideas to Get You Inspired

1. Don’t Turn Around

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Many photographers love taking pictures by the beach. The options for personalizing the photograph and getting breathtaking shots are endless. The beach scenery of this photo makes something as simple as walking away with your significant other stunning.

Of course, you have to get the right angling and shot. The focus of this picture is what makes it so unique. Instead of focusing on the individuals, the photographer focuses on the footsteps in the sand.

2. Play With Focus

a portrait of woman with flowers
Photo Credit: StarFlames, Pixabay

Just like with the photograph above, this photo plays with focus and dimension to get a picture that is one of a kind. In contrast to our first idea, the model is the main focus of this picture, but it looks unique because the flowers in front of the model are blurred. This creates a layer or dimension that stands out from standard flower shots.

3. Umbrella in the Rain

couple under the umbrella while raining
Image Credit: Joel Overbeck, Unsplash

This rainy photograph is another great example of how playing with focus and props can transform a picture. Like with the two above shots, the focus is a little bit blurry intentionally. Because of the unique focus and rain on the umbrella, the viewer continues to look at the picture because it adds something a bit unique.

4. Utah

Image Credit: Pixabay

The great thing about outdoor photography is that you do not need a model or even props in order to get beautiful shots. On the contrary, nature is beautiful in and of itself. As a result, you can get a stunning photograph just by photographing what’s around you.

Take this stunning shot of Utah. It does not require excessive editing, people, or props to be stunning. Instead, it is beautiful on its own, thanks to the natural landscape.

5. Models

person wearing ski googles and helmet
Image Credit: okcolor, Pixabay

For a lot of outdoor photography, nature is the star of the show. With portraits, you don’t want nature to overpower the model. Turn your family or friends into models to beautifully exemplify how you can take stunning portraits in the outdoors.

In this shot, the model is the focus, but she is beautifully contrasted from the detailed work of nature behind her. If you are wanting to take portraits outside, use this photo as inspiration.

6. Backyard Photos

a canada goose on the backyard
Image Credit: Nennieinszweidrei, Pixabay

Backyard photos are another example of how you can make the model the star of your shot while still being outside at the same time. You can play around with natural light and shadows to get an interesting photo that is far different from basic outside shots.

7. Floral

a young woman in a flower field
Image Credit: Leah Kelley, Pexels

Here is a shot where nature is used as props and scenery, but the model does not get lost at all. This photograph is especially impressive whenever you consider the fact that it’s easy for models to be overlooked with flowery props.

However, the models look beautiful, and they are still the star of the portraits, but they are surrounded by lovely flowers at the same time.

8. Outdoor High School Senior Portraits

graduation picture
Image Credit: Pixabay

If you need to take beautiful portraits for senior pictures, make sure the pictures stand out and don’t look cheesy. Going outside and taking photographs and the beautiful nature is a great way to get the pictures you want.

Take these stunning pictures that take place in Wyoming. They use the natural mountainscape in the background to create one-of-a-kind shots that the senior will remember forever.

9. Playing With Plants

Plants Ultraviolet Light
Image Credit: nieriss, Shutterstock

Here is another great example of how you can use nature to create breathtaking senior pictures, though this style of photography will work for any portrait photograph.

This photograph relies heavily on natural lighting and color. Since the lighting and nature are so golden, the black outfit on the model contrasts beautifully. You can use this photograph to get inspiration about how to use lighting and color to your advantage when using the outside as your scenery.

10. Using the Sun

a photograph of a woman outdoor
Image Credit: Garon Piceli, Pexels

Speaking of lighting, using glare from natural lighting is a great way to get an interesting outdoor photograph. This photo shows how intentional glare can create a photo that is unique and breathtaking. Especially when paired with golden hues captured outside, intentional glare creates a vibrant shot that only the most skilled can take.

11. Autumn Photography

dslr camera capturing an autumn landscape
Image Credit: flutie8211, Pixabay

If you are already taking outdoor photos, you might as well take photos that use outdoor or natural crops. These props will fit in with the scenery, but they will add an interesting look to the photo and make it one of a kind.

Take these fall photography shots, for example. They utilize something as simple as autumn leaves to make the photograph stand out from other fall pictures.

12. Moody Portrait Session

American Goldfinch
Image Credit: milesmoody, Pixabay

This moody shot is another great example of how you can use natural items as your photograph’s props. Using something as simple as a branch can transform the picture into something broody and moody. Of course, you can also use outdoor props to create something uplifting, vibrant, or whatever other vibe you are going for.

13. Hair Flips

woman doing hair flip
Image Credit: Tyler Nix, Unsplash

When most people think about outdoor photography, they think about trees, nature, and wildlife. Although this nature definitely embodies outdoor photography, you can take outdoor photography in urban and city landscapes as well.

This picture shows that you can take pictures outside in the city that are just as breathtaking as photographs taken by the sea.

14. Beautiful Wedding Photos

wedding couple in the forest
Image Credit: Redd, Unsplash

Here is another example of how you can still take beautiful outdoor photographs, even if you live in a city. This photograph takes place in Boston, one of the largest cities in the United States. At the same time, this outdoor photography is stunning because it takes the Boston cityscape and water in order to create a unique picture for wedding purposes.

15. Capture the Nature Around You

northern white face owl in bush
Image Credit: Anthony King Nature, Shutterstock

If you don’t live in a major city, that’s OK too. You can actually take stunning photographs outside, no matter where you live. Take this breathtaking photograph. The model is not sitting in front of a breathtaking mountain or a steel cityscape. Instead, the picture is gorgeous next to basic fencing and sidewalks.

shutter camera divider 2

Outdoor Photography Tips

Outdoor photography can be tough. Nature is always changing, and you have to be able to master shots that are not stable. For any new photographer, outdoor photography is a true challenge. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Research Daylight Hours and Weather

Whenever you take outdoor photography, make sure to research the hour and weather of your location. The hour of the day will impact the lighting, as will the weather. Knowing when and what to expect from your outdoor photography can help you plan accordingly.

Have Supplemental Lighting

Even if you plan to take photographs when the sun is out, still bring supplemental lighting. You never know when supplemental lighting will help you get the exact shot you need.

Have a Tripod Ready

Whenever you go to a photo shoot, always have a tripod on hand. The tripod will ensure the camera will be steady, no matter what is happening around you.

Alter Point of View and Angle

One of the most common mistakes that rookie photographers make is taking a photograph head on. Instead of photographing with the main item right in the center, make it off kilter and change the angle a little bit. Doing so will make the photograph more unique and original.

shutter camera divider 2


Now that you have seen 15 killer outdoor photography shots, you can now go take some pictures yourself. Remember, do your research beforehand, have all your needed items at the ready, and try out different angles to get an interesting shot. Good luck!

Featured Image Credit: JillWellington, Pixabay

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.