We all know the feeling of being in a creative rut - those times when we don’t quite know what to shoot and feel a little lost, or else we are fed up photographing the same things, in the same place, and in the same way, and feel we need a bit of a kick up the rear end.
In both those cases a photography project or creative exercise can really help!
It sounds weird, but actually being able to shoot anything we want, at any time we want, is sometimes not great for feeling creative! It can lead to overwhelm and paralysis, and in those situations, actually LIMITING your options, or shooting to a strict, pre-defined theme, will actually let your creative juices flow a heck of a lot more freely.
That’s why I spent a lot of time last year coming up with not one, not two, but TWELVE different photography projects or creative exercises you can, one for each month of the year :-)
In this blog post, I’m listing all 12 of these projects you can do in the coming year: so you never run out of ideas again! They also range from long(ish) projects that will span the whole month, to shorter ones that will just take you half an hour, so it really doesn’t matter how much time you’ve got, you should find something for you here.
Have a scan through the list, see which ones take your fancy, and then just click on the link to learn more. (Many of these also come with freebies, so make sure you download them too!)
Ready to feel more creative, improve your photography skills and take images that you will love? Then check these out:
Photography Project #1 - Shoot A Day In Your Life
A Day In Your Life Project is a simple concept - all you have to do for this project is to take a number of images from throughout the day, from when you get up, to when you go to bed, capturing a range of different photos as you go about your day. This will help you document your day, and also get you taking images in different places and light, so it’s GREAT for enhancing your skills and getting creative! Just follow the link below to get some tips, see an example, and grab a free Lightroom collage at the same time!
Photography Project #2 - Create A Photo Essay
A Photo Essay is simply a way to tell a story through your photographs, but this time using a group of images that all work together to tell a tale. The good news is you don’t have to guess what photographs to include in a photo essay, there is a simple framework you can follow that will help make sure you capture the important points of your story, so be sure to click over and get the deets, plus a free cheat sheet.
Photography Project #3 - Focus on the Kitchen
This creative exercise is all about finding new ways to shoot in one single location, in this case, the kitchen. By limiting our options and forcing ourselves to stay in one location, it helps us think of different ways we can approach the scene, which in turn helps us feel more creative! It’s super simple too, and can be done in a hour, so a great one if you like a short and sweet project :)
Photography Project #4 - Use Framing as a Composition Tool
Using a single composition tool is a great way to really understand the different ways you can compose your photos, and get you used to seeing the different opportunities within the frame. This particular exercise is all about using framing as a tool, which is SUCH a great composition guide to have in your arsenal, so check it out and learn more about all the different ways you can frame your photos at the same time.
Photography Project #5 - 30 Photos in 30 Minutes
This particular mini project is perfect for days when you are feeling a bit creatively blocked or stuck in a rut. This has to be one of my most favourite exercises, and proved to be really popular with followers of Live Snap Love, so I do recommend you give this one a try! The title pretty much says it all, but to learn more about it, and an example of my 30 photographs, head on over and check out the full details.
Photography Project #6 - Currently
The idea behind this photography project is to shoot some pictures using a list of seven "currently" prompts. These prompts will allow you to document what your life looks like right NOW, and not only that, but it will get your creative juices flowing as you need to decide how to capture these thoughts, feelings and actions. So, it's documentary, but with a creative edge :-)
Photography Project #7 - Summer Scavenger Hunt
Who doesn’t love a Scavenger Hunt? No-one that’s who. Yep, this one is yet another one of my faves. Head on over to the details of this project you’ll find a list of 40 prompts in a downloadable PDF file, print it out, and then all you need to do is go forth and capture what’s on the list. This is also a great one to do with your kids, who seem to love getting involved too (i.e taking over)
Photography Project #8 - One Subject, 10 Photos
This is classic artists exercise, and it’s one that I think you find helpful whether you are a beginner or more advanced photographer. All you need to do is find a simple object to photograph, and then take 10 different images of that object. (You’ll see an example over on the post with all the project details so you can see what I mean) This one is great for when you just want a quick project that gives great results!
Photography Project #9 - Fall Scavenger Hunt
If you enjoyed the summer scavenger hunt then you’ll love this one too - a Scavenger Hunt for Fall! Another big favourite with Live Snap Love readers, so if you’d like to do it too when falls rolls around, then head on over to this post and download your pdf prompt list and get cracking!
Photography Project #10 - Project 365
A Project 365 is a very simple idea - you take a photo each day for 365 days. However, there are a couple of things you should consider before you get started, just to help make sure that your Project 365 is a successful one! I have not one, but two, different resources for you: one to help you get started, and one to make sure sure you keep going with it!
Photography Project #11 - Create a Photo Series
For this challenge, you need to create a photo series. This is different from a photo essay (which together tell a story with a beginning, middle and end) as in a photo series you are photographing to a common theme. This project can be as long or as short as you like: you could come up with a theme that you could shoot in a couple of hours, or one that could last all year and beyond! Find out more about how to put your photo essay together, and some ideas for subjects or themes for your essay below:
Photography Project #12 - December Daily
A December Daily is simply when you take a photo every single day leading up to Christmas. So for 25 days you will be taking an image each day, and documenting the season. This makes it a really simple challenge, because you don’t have to work to any list, or think too much about getting a series of images, you just simply have to take an image a day.
That’s it All twelve challenges in one place for easy reference! Hope you have as much fun doing these challenges as I did :-)
If you want to download these to have handy, then grab this FREE download which has these 12 different creative exercises and projects written out for you! You'll never feel stuck or in a rut again :)