We all have those days when we just can’t get the brain juices flowing. Or maybe you want to try something new or just shoot in a new area. Everyone can use a little inspiration every now and then, especially if you want to create something different. Here are some of our favorite photoshoot ideas for you to try, from desert landscapes to the coolest props:
Photoshoot Ideas: Desert Glam
Tired of endless cars and people getting in the way of your shot? Move it out to the desert where you’ll have nothing but sand and dirt for miles. Use that empty space to your advantage to create some negative space in your photos. Fashion photoshoots in the desert are some of our favorites as well. Take a look at Alberto Villa’s work on The Hub to see how he contrasts the sandy backdrop with cool clothes for some amazing images. You can even stick around after the sun goes down to get some shots of the night sky when all the stars will be more visible. If your hometown doesn’t have a desert of its own, the beach can be a great alternative for a similar look. Try to go during non-peak hours to accomplish the same “deserted” look and shoot directly in the sand.
Photoshoot Ideas: Add a Mirror
While props can sometimes be a burden when used incorrectly, using a common item like a mirror can create an unexpectedly cool result. Photographers like Robin Bigge use a mirror to photograph some stellar portrait images. They can also be useful if you want to tell a story or place them in an outdoor setting like above. Another pro when shooting with a mirror is that it allows you to see more of your surroundings with an added dimension, both in front and in back. Just be sure to not accidentally catch yourself in the mirror while shooting! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles of mirrors, placement, lighting and more. The possibilities can be endless when you stretch your creativity.
Photoshoot Ideas: Play with Exposure
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of a photo, so it only makes sense that you should play around with exposure to create something fresh and new. One of the most popular methods to achieve these kinds of photos is a time lapse with long exposure to create light trails and other effects. Tim McDonald uses a slow shutter speed combined with steel wool to create the circular light painting above. He also uses similar settings to achieve the light trails of the cars passing in the street while the rest of the image remains still. When playing with the exposure in your images, try to cut out other light as much as possible so it doesn’t affect your final image. You’ll also want to have your tripod handy to avoid any movement at all while your shutter is open.
Photoshoot Ideas: Head to a Diner
What better place to channel your inner 50’s vibes than a picture-perfect diner? Complete with neon lights, tiled floors, and the cutest chairs, diners are the perfect backdrop for portraits and other images. Sit at the counter and order a basket of fries that double as the perfect prop. Or get creative and set your model on the floor like Canyon Schmerse in the image above for a different perspective and angle. Don’t be afraid of adding more props too such as colored sunglasses or retro outfits to make your photo even more unique. Just don’t forget to clean up any mess you make and be respectful of those eating around you!
Photoshoot Ideas: Get Crafty with Clothes
Add an unexpected element to your next photo shoot with a piece of clothing or even just some extra material. Use them as an added prop to create some dimension in your photos by having your model wear it in various ways. These can be particularly useful if there’s some wind in the air so you can capture a photo while the clothing is blowing in the wind like photographer Dusty Knapp in the photo above. Not a windy enough day for your shoot? Make your own wind and motion by holding the material yourself so it looks elongated with an almost 3D effect such as the photo to the right. You can even shoot with different colored clothing, different textures or at different times of day for a variety of photos.
Photoshoot Ideas: Add a Silhouette
Want to grab your viewer’s attention in a split second? Use the lighting to your advantage for a stunning silhouette that stands out. Create contrast in your image by using a lit background or even a reflection like Cory Large does in his photo above. Be sure to keep your ISO as low as possible to avoid grain and noise in your photos. While you want to set your exposure for the background of your photo, be sure to focus on your subject so it comes out sharp and crisp. Don’t be afraid to adjust your contrast in Photoshop or Lightroom either! You can also create a double exposure effect using both your silhouette and a lit background like the photo above to the right. Try incorporating elements like city lights or a galaxy to make your background pop even more. Of all the photoshoot ideas, this one is bound to impress a sense of wonder and magic to your view.
Photoshoot Ideas: Use a Sphere
Not only can a clear sphere help you add a new perspective to your photos, it also captures the whole scene in a miniature image. Grab a sphere (we recommend a Lensball) for your next photoshoot and experiment with different backgrounds and angles. Don’t be afraid to set it in the sand, grab a water shot or toss it in the air! You can even have your model hold up the sphere like Bryan Gwynn does in the above photos. Its size makes it the perfect prop to carry around so you can use it whenever inspiration strikes. Most spheres will also invert the image so you’re sure to get an unforgettable shot.