Styled photoshoots can be a lot of fun, and you can get creative with your photography ideas. Unlike street photography or even landscape photography, photo sessions are planned, designed, and organized photography projects that can supply you with interesting material for your portfolio. They also help you find exciting collaborations both inside and outside of the photography industry.
Photoshoot Ideas and Themes
Let’s take a look at a few photo shoot ideas and themes that can help get your creative juices flowing. It’s a great photoshoot idea to take a look at what other photographers are doing in regards to photo shoots, but it’s always best to create your own distinct style.
These photoshoots can lead to more projects for you in the future. They also create an opportunity to meet and interact with people from other industries who could use your photography services.
Did you photograph a wedding cake? Be sure to show those photos to the bakery. If you took photos of wedding rings, find a way for the jeweler to see them. Who knows, they may buy some of your photographs or hire you for future projects.
Remember: Always keep an eye open for potential collaborations when setting up photo shoots.
Maternity Photoshoot Ideas
This is an exciting time for couples and they often want to immortalize these fleeting moments with photoshoots that tell a story. The mother’s body changes rapidly in the span of a few months, and photographers can get creative with the growing belly as they capture the anticipation and magic with their lens.
As the professional photographer, you should suggest a photoshoot idea and bring concepts to the table. At the same time, it’s important to listen to the expecting parents and make sure they are happy with the final results.
It’s important to make the couple feel comfortable before and during the photo session. You can’t get too wild with maternity photoshoots, but you can certainly be creative. You will want to provide the usual belly shots, and the couple expressing love towards each other. If there are siblings, be sure to include them as well.
Here are a few interesting photo ideas to think about when shooting expectant parents:
The expecting mother’s belly is an interesting object that you can have fun with during the shoot. This can make for some fun silhouette shots with her standing in front of a bright background.
Is the mother having cravings during her pregnancy? Why not shoot her eating her favorite foods in an amusing way. It’s a fun way to memorialize something that is distinctive to her pregnancy.
Families are created in many different ways. Adoption is also an expecting time for parents and you can create a photoshoot to symbolize this time in their lives. Bring props like a map or a globe and have the expecting parents point to the child’s original location. Cute handmade signs can also be an interesting prop, such as, “Waiting for You!” and “Growing in My Heart.”
Shoot Photo Ideas with Paint
The expecting mother’s growing belly can be a great canvas for the siblings to paint on. Provide non-toxic paint or washable markers for the little ones to have fun with on mom’s belly and photograph the artwork that they create.
Another creative way to take a great maternity photo is to fill an indoor bathtub with flowers. If you manage to find a portable vintage bathtub, bring it outdoors in natural light. This setup gives off a calming, pure, and artistic vibe, while still emphasizing the baby bump.
Family Photoshoot Ideas
All families are different and there are hundreds of ways to design family photo shoots. The most important thing to remember when shooting a family is to keep them comfortable and try to capture the spirit of their unique family traits.
Be sure to implement some basic family photo tips, such as instructing them on the choice of clothes. The focus should be on the people in the photos, and they shouldn’t be overpowered by bright colored prints.
Don’t let the family get too matchy-matchy in their outfits, but a blended palette is suitable. If the photo shoot includes young children, ensure toys and objects are on hand to keep them engaged.
Shoot Ideas at Home
Are they a quirky and fun family? How about organizing a photo shoot in their home around something that they enjoy doing together? Catch them in the moment and look for unique expressions. This is a lot more fun than the static family portrait photography posing.
Family Christmas Picture Ideas
A holiday photo session is always popular with families who want to extend best wishes to family and friends. Try to have fun with this and make it more amusing than formal. These kinds of photoshoots are a great business opportunity.
Beach Family Photoshoot Ideas
This is another fun time for families. Vacations always conjure up thoughts of relaxation and enjoyment. Capture those moments and turn them into happy memories that a family can hang on their wall.
Pick a TV Show or Movie Concept
One of the most creative photoshoot ideas is to propose a themed shoot inspired by a particular movie or TV show that the family loves. For example, ask them to dress up as their favorite Disney characters and tell a story. You can even use any toys collection they have or stuffed toys as props.
Perhaps a movie they like was shot in a nearby place in their city. Get inspiration from the film, such as colors, lighting patterns, and clothing for your images.
Shoot With Soap Bubbles
Let your models have fun and play with a bubble blower. This is a great way to show the interaction between family members.
Let the children play in the sand and write words to remember their vacation. Sunrises and sunsets on the beach are beautiful settings for these portraits.
Babies and Newborns
Baby and newborn photography present special challenges since they obviously can’t listen to instructions. You need to follow their lead and prepare to be spontaneous.
Come up with a few ideas before the shoot and apply the ones that are appropriate in the moment. Plan for both an active baby and a sleeping baby. Babies sleep when they want to sleep, and trying to keep one awake for a shot just won’t work.
Bring interesting props for the baby, such as baskets, pillows and rolled up blankets. Try to get close-ups of the baby’s features. Use a prime lens with a wide aperture to capture that dreamy shallow depth of field.
Baby Photoshoot Ideas at Home
Style a photoshoot in the family home. You can take photos of the baby with some of the gifts it received, which the family can send as thank-you notes. You can also then approach the vendors of the gifts to offer your photography services.
It’s easy to capture shots of funny scenes when it comes to babies. Sometimes, all you need is to play some songs, put toys, or even do a cake smash. Make sure the baby is not hungry or sleepy, so you can avoid facing a cranky baby.
Friends Photoshoot Ideas
Friends are always fun to shoot together. There is a connection and a fondness that is easy to capture. Direct the photoshoot and gently guide them into poses, but let them be themselves so the photos are more authentic.
Recreate Old Photos
If your subjects have been friends for a long time, ask them if they have an old photo of themselves together. Recreate that old photo by trying to mimic the setting, clothing and pose.
Best Friend Photoshoot Ideas
Best friends have many good memories, and they do a lot of fun activities together. Shoot them doing something that they enjoy together or something they used to do when they were younger. Grown women swinging in the park belly-laughing can make for some amusing photos.
There are groups who go on trips and hire photographers to take group photos. You can stick to some posed shots, while it’s also great if you can capture candid images.
If you are in a different town or province, be creative and find places that are not swarmed by people. These are typically underrated spots in an area. For instance, an old house, a small village, or wooden alleys.
Fashion Photoshoot Ideas
Shooting fashion doesn’t have to be complicated or even costly. Ask around in your circle if there are any aspiring models. You could set up photo shoots for them and provide some photos that can help them get into modeling. This could open some doors to modeling agencies for you as well.
If you can afford it, rent some studio flash lighting to experiment with something new. Try beauty shots in your makeshift photo studio. Research online for tutorials on how to set up and use studio lighting, and have fun trying different things with your model.
Model Poses for Fashion
Take a look at some fashion photography and suggest some poses to your model. Reach out to your local stores, perhaps will provide some fashion items in return for some of your photographs.
Makeup Photoshoot Ideas
Search for aspiring makeup artists and hair stylists in your area who are willing to collaborate in exchange for some photos. Both your portfolios will benefit! Having an experienced stylist at your shoot can make a big difference, and your shots will definitely look more professional.
When shooting editorial fashion, you are showing a certain lifestyle, garments, and products. The shots may either look less or more natural, depending on the hair, makeup, and clothing. The outfit may include multiple accessories, like jewelry, scarves, hats, and bags.
One Pose, Different Angles
In fashion photography, one pose will urge you to shoot multiple angles and perspectives. First, take a shot at eye level or tilt the camera a little bit. You can also try shooting from the sides, top view, and bottom view.
Like in other kinds of photography, shoot from below if you want the model to look dominant in the photo. As a result, the model will look bigger, emphasizing the clothing and accessories at the same time.
Photograph from the top if you want to show intimacy. Keeping your camera close to the model’s eyes enables you to capture emotions better.
Wedding/Engagement Photoshoot Ideas
Weddings are a huge industry to tap into for photographers. Try to start off being a second shooter or an assistant for an established wedding photographer. This will help you build your portfolio while gaining insight and experience before plunging into wedding photography.
If you decide to shoot your friend’s small wedding alone, then you need to prepare. Make a checklist of the major happenings and features of the wedding so that you don’t miss anything important.
New trends in wedding photography tend to be geared towards the more natural and spontaneous shots instead of the static and posed. Be constantly aware of what’s happening around you to grasp all the action. You still will want to set up the traditional group and family portrait shots and make sure that everyone is photographed.
For a fun idea, consider having a photo booth for the wedding party and guests. You can set up a space with costumes and props where groups can come and have their portraits taken in silly and amusing poses.
Again, photograph the rings, the flowers, the cake, and anything else that may allow you to sell your work to the companies which provided them. You may find additional work from the local jewelry store, flower shop, or bakery.
Framing is a great way to take simple, yet creative images. This involves using elements of a scene to create a frame within the frame.
For instance, after positioning a couple in a wedding photo, shoot through a doorway, arches, branches, or fences that highlight the subjects. This produces a composition that draws the viewer’s eye into the subject.
Dreamy Wide Shots
Whether you’re still in the church or reception venue, scout for spots where you can take wide, landscape shots.
For example, bring the couple to the venue’s garden and take shots showing the nature surrounding your clients. If shot under the right lighting, you can make the images look rather dreamy or cinematic.
If you practice drone photography, capture stunning aerial views that show the vicinity of the church or reception venue. Lead your clients to a secluded area to avoid cluttered aerial photographs.
This type of shot can be pretty demanding, so make sure to coordinate with the clients and event organizers about the right time, date, and location to make this happen.
Seasons Photoshoot Ideas
If you are lucky to live where the seasons provide noticeable changes in nature, you should definitely take advantage of a beautiful outdoor landscape.
- During Fall: The changing leaves on the trees is a great backdrop for a portrait session. Play with the colors to add warmth to your photos.
- During Winter: Shooting falling snow is one of the best winter photoshoot ideas you can have. Just don’t use flash and set up your shutter speed based on the snow it’s falling. If it’s a slow fall, use a short shutter speed, and if it’s a dynamic flight, use a long shutter speed.
- During Summer: Even if we tend to avoid flare, nothing screams summer better and it could be attractive in some portraits and landscape shots. Just go outside, shoot from a low angle or use a very wide lens to get some flare in your photos.
- During Spring: Shoot with soap bubbles! Soap bubbles reflect all the colors of the rainbow in a sunny day. Just stick to nature backgrounds and remember these photos will look cuter with baby blowing the bubbles in the direction of your camera.
Pets Photoshoot Ideas
Pets are always entertaining to photograph, but they are also highly unpredictable. Pet photography is a growing industry with many pet owners wanting as many portraits of their pets as they do of their children.
Pet portraits can be done in the home or outside. Talk to the owners and exchange some ideas. Make sure to ask questions regarding the animal’s behavior and be sure to stay safe during the photoshoot.
Always interact in a positive and calm manner with pets. Bring treats! Make sure you have enough goodies and toys to keep the animals active and engaged.
Photoshoot Ideas with Dogs
A fun photoshoot idea for dog portraits is to splash or soak them with water. A wet dog is a funny dog! These make for some very entertaining before-and-after shots.
All of these photoshoot ideas can be used and adapted to help you start your own photography business. Always keep an eye out for ways to expand your portfolio and show your clients your artistic range.
Street Portraits Ideas
Depending on your models, you may photograph them on popular tourist spots or go off track and find hidden locations.
Introduce Motion Blur
Motion blur requires purposeful streaking or blurring of an object in motion. Street portraits with motion blur look more captivating. You can do this by experimenting with slow shutter speed, small aperture, and low ISO settings.
Use Puddle Reflections
One of the most common creative photoshoot ideas is taking advantage of reflection and mirror-like images. You can go natural and capture reflections on a park.
Another great idea is to find a large puddle on the street after heavy rainfall. Experiment a bit with the angles, including reflecting the sky in the water.
Use Colorful Backgrounds
You can’t run out of backgrounds on busy streets. Even so, creative things happen on the streets all day long.
Explore how the shapes of your models relate to the lines and curves of a location. Go to markets, parks, transport areas, pedestrian lanes — places where people usually gather.
Take Advantage of Urban Objects
Typical objects act as leading lines for your photo’s composition, helping your viewers lead their eyes toward the focal point of images. Objects like a wall, a bench, a set of stairs can help put a focus on your subjects.
Instagram Photoshoot Ideas
Today, many clients want to level up their Instagram feeds. With some props and planned outfits, you can easily take various shots. Play with exposure and lighting settings to create better-looking photos.
Add a Mirror
For portrait images, use a mirror to cover parts of the model’s body or reflect a beautiful location. Likewise, you can try shooting through multiple mirrors to create a surreal effect.
This is an excellent way to make interesting self-portrait photos. Double exposure involves combining two exposures to produce a single image. One way is to overlay various images on top of each other, while another is to stitch different scenes into one photo.
Whenever you are styling a photoshoot, remember to look for all of the possible collaborations you can make with other vendors and distributors. Reach out to some of these companies and show them your work displaying their products.
You don’t need expensive equipment to achieve professional looking photoshoots. You just need some prep time and good ideas. Make sure to have good lighting and nice props that fit your themes and scenes. Use your creativity!
Most of all, be sure to help your subjects feel comfortable and at ease during the photo shoot. Some of your best assets when working with people are your smile, friendly tone, and cheerful personality.
Have fun setting up that photo session and watch your portfolio and collaborations grow!