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.

30 Photography Ideas for Beginners to Get You Inspired

Last Updated on

woman using camera

You’ve got yourself a half-decent camera and some time to spend framing shots, but knowing what to shoot can be as challenging as getting the perfect composition, especially if you’re still new to the photography hobby. One of the keys is to start looking at things as a photographer and always make sure you have your camera on you. Even carrying your camera will start to change the way you view the world around you.

If you’re looking for inspiration and photography ideas to get you started, we have included 30 below. Read on for your inspiration.

shutter camera divider 2

The 30 Photography Ideas for Beginners to Get You Inspired

Basics And People

1. Still Life

 

Still life is arguably one of the best styles of photography to begin with. Grab a few items from around the house and use the opportunity to experiment with composition, framing, lighting, and more.


2. Baby Photos

 

This one is kind of dependent on having a baby or at least knowing somebody that does and is willing to lend you them for a while. Babies are good photographic subjects because they’re cute, but they also wriggle. However, you don’t have to be bored with your choice of shots and can instead opt for something unique and creative.


3. Couples

 

Portraits of couples, typically happy couples, although arguing couples can also work, are another common composition. Again, it is best if you know the couple in question. Perhaps use an anniversary or other occasion to get in on the act.


4. Family

 

They can be candid or they can be staged, but family photos can be a challenge. By taking your camera to family events, you can not only make the event more exciting for yourself, but the host will surely appreciate a few good photos.


5. Self Portraits

 

Selfies have kind of ruined the reputation of self-portraits, but as well as being a social-media sensation, they can give an introspective look at yourself rather than just a quick snap of how you look physically.shutter camera divider 2

Nature

6. The Night Sky

 

You don’t have to be in the midst of the Aurora Borealis—the night sky is beautiful and stunning at any time. Grab your camera, look up, and start photographing. You can also play around with exposure for some unique images.


7. The Elements

 

Different weather conditions can really change the look of a photo subject, but you can also concentrate on and focus on the rain itself to get some brilliant images. You can do the same with wind, sun, and other weather phenomena.


8. Summer Shots

 

Summer can provide some striking photo opportunities, and by experimenting with the sun at your back or by photographing into the sunlight, you get very different results. Summer photos don’t have to be of family and friends, either. They can be of anything that encapsulates the warmer months.


9. Night

 

Similarly, night time presents unique lighting, and not just because of the dark skies and lower lighting conditions. It’s also a time when cities light up and when stars are beautifully prominent.shutter camera divider 2

Reflection and Lighting

10. Water

 

Refraction is basically the way that light travels and distorts through water and other mediums, like glass. It creates unusual images and gives you the opportunity to experiment and play around.


11. Smoke

 

Smoke photography has become very popular, especially as the quality of cameras and the images they can capture has improved. Some photographers look for naturally occurring smoke while others use smoke bombs to create it.


12. Spider Webs

 

Spider webs are intricate and catch and reflect the natural light even when dry. But when damp, wet, or frozen, they can look especially attractive. Play with light and find the best spot to get the best images.


13. Reflections

 

Common reflection photographs tend to include the subject and its reflection, but they don’t have to. They don’t even have to use water as the reflective surface, although this does have some obvious advantages. Look at windows in cities and even the reflective surfaces of cars.


14. Black and White

 

Black and white photography is a whole art form and it requires more than just switching your camera to black and white mode. It can also be combined with other techniques and ideas, like reflective photographs.


15. Illusionary Photography

 

Optical illusions are popular because they trick the mind—they astound and excite in equal measure. Whether you create your own optical illusion or use existing items and photograph them in such a way as to create an illusion, this is a fun form of photography that can garner a lot of attention.


16. Splashes

 

Photographs of splashes are almost an optical illusion in themselves. Depending on how you frame the photo, you can make it appear to be moving or like the obviously moving subject is stationary. It takes a lot of practice, the right settings, and likely burst photography.


17. Light

 

Light is a critical component of photography. Some shots benefit from low light while others look better with full illumination. You can also use the lighting as part of the image itself, typically providing a moody image.


18. Unique Lighting

 

You can use light in so many different ways when photographing, and by increasing the exposure of your camera, you can get some seemingly impossible and highly implausible pictures.

Food And Drink

19. Food Photos

 

Like selfies, food photos have something of a negative reputation thanks to the modern rash of social media food pics. But food photos do represent a good place to start, and there is a whole and expansive industry surrounding food photography if you’re looking for commercial ventures.


20. Coffee Art

 

Some people love coffee almost as much as food, and while it is certainly plausible to photograph the impressive latte art that the best baristas can do, the dark and light of coffee and milk is just another way that coffee works as a subject.


21. Tea Leaves

 

If tea is your thing rather than coffee, it too can make a good subject. Tea might be somewhat limiting, but there are photo opportunities all around you, so keep your eyes and your creativity open.


22. Product Photography

 

Not only is this another commercial photography idea, but you have “things” all over the place. Photographing them can help you adopt the mindset of a professional or at least a keen photographer.

Photo Techniques

23. Action Shots

 

Action shots are a good way to test all the elements you need for photographing. You need to find good light, ensure exposure and other settings are correct, and you will probably develop a lot of patience to get it just right. This photo uses a toy car to achieve the appearance of a full-size photo, too, so there are workarounds that you can try at home.


24. Macro Photography

 

Even the most seemingly mundane, everyday items can take on a whole new lease of life when photographed well. Macro photography, which basically means photographing very small objects or zooming in and photographing a very small section of an object, can be practiced at home on just about anything.


25. Long Exposure

 

Long exposure means that the camera shutter is left open for a longer period of time than is typical when taking a photo. It essentially captures the trail of moving items and can create very unique-looking images. It is one of the first things that many budding photographers try, but there is a time and place if you want to ensure the best shot.


26. Panoramic Photography

 

Ever since the feature was introduced on mobile phones, panoramic photographs have been seen everywhere. But, as well as using the technique to get excellent shots of the horizon or cityscapes, you can use it to create unusual-looking pictures.


27. Industrial Photos

 

Whether you’re into steampunk or are just a lover of industrial settings, this style of photography is especially accessible for those in an urban setting. Brick doesn’t have to be boring.


28. Silhouettes

 

Silhouette photographs are quite unusual because rather than concentrating on the minutiae of detail in the photograph of the subject, you almost completely eliminate that detail.


29. Graffiti Shots

 

This is another one for those that live in an urban area or like to photograph urban scenes. Graffiti is colorful and bold, and it can be incredibly meaningful. You don’t have to capture the whole scene, either—frame it how you want.


30. Capturing Patterns

 

Apophenia is seeing patterns in randomness, and the human brain is wired to do exactly that. It can also make for some excellent photographic opportunities, although you do need to be prepared for the fact that not everybody will be able to see some of the patterns that you do.shutter camera divider 2

Conclusion

Photography is a popular hobby, and it can become a profession in multiple ways. The best way to start learning is to get your camera out and start taking photographs. Look at existing images for inspiration or start out taking pictures around the house or at family get-togethers. Alternatively, use your next holiday or day trip as an ideal chance to start snapping. Hopefully, thanks to the list above, you have found some inspiration or ideas to give it a go or progress your photography study.

See also:


Featured Image Credit: Billion Photos, Shuterstock

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.

Robert Sparks Profile Picture