What Do I Photograph When I Don’t Know What To Photograph?

What do I photograph?

Now that I have my new camera, what do I photograph? I mean, after I have photographed everything around me?

Have you ever come to a place that you just look around for something to shoot but can’t think of anything? It’s kind of like “writer’s block.” In fact, it happens to me quite often. The way I get past this problem is by visiting a few different web sites that have photographer’s challenges.

Just recently, there was one that challenged its readers to photograph hands. Sound boring? Well it was not at all boring. After viewing the photos, I did a search on Flickr and found some very interesting images of hands… Here’s an example:
Descending Memories
Descending Memories by bogenfreund, on Flickr

It gave me an idea, and I stopped what I was doing to take this picture:

don't know what to photographYou know, you always see things in a picture that you did not expect. (I really need to clean my keyboard and use some hand cream :-)) I actually like the texture of the old skin here. It adds character to the photo, but I also like the lens flare that happened from the desk lamp. Of course, the black and white version of this looks way more interesting than the color version.

What Else Can I Shoot?

Pictures of Hands is just a start. It may get your creative juices flowing so you can move to other fascinating features such as eyes or even the back of the head. You would not believe how much interest you can get taking pictures of the back side of things.

Also, think about the season. If it’s spring, beautiful spring flowers photography would result in lots of great pictures. If St. Patrick’s Day is happening, it could spur some “green images.” Allow your brain to conjure up new types of photography and ideas for new perspectives in your images.

Start visiting web sites that have challenges. You don’t even have to participate in the particular web site challenge.. just get the ideas. But why not participate? If you do, you will get lots of valuable feedback from the others who visit. You can even make friends by doing this.

Many times, forum visitors organize photo workshops or meetings so they can work together and “borrow” ideas and techniques from each other.

I have mentioned this before, but joining a Photography club is an excellent way to get ideas. Clubs are always sponsoring trips and events for the members to get out and shoot. You may even get into places that you would not otherwise allowed to enter as a member of the club.

Here is a list of a few web sites and forums that offer challenges where you can get ideas and participate in the fun:

Don’t let this be you..

Some people are just photo equipment geeks. While others struggle to master just one camera. Pretty interesting, right? But sad. It’s way better to have one camera with an idea than six cameras without a clue of what to shoot.

Do you already have a place where you can find new ideas? How about sharing it in the comments section?

Happy shooting!

  • David Hinjos

    This website has given me the inspiration to capture the beauty of nature.

  • Kathryn Turner

    Great ideas Wayne! Thank you, I really like your writing style.

    • wrasku

      Thanks so much Kathryn. Your comment is very encouraging.