Creative photography has no limits. If you can dream it up in your mind, you can create it using a camera, some props, and a little bit of innovation. While the best ideas start in your mind, even the brightest of artists need a little extra inspiration once in a while. This extensive list of creative photography ideas should help spark a notion for your next project. 

Photo by Igor Putina Licensed Under CC BY 2.0

1. Try Colorful Spiral Light Photography

Spiral light creative photography ideas, also called light painting, is an excellent way to stretch your creativity and add the illuminating effects of colorful light. By swirling glowing lights around and setting your camera to prolonged exposure, you can capture amazing arrays of light. 

You can mess around with different levels, allowing viewers to see background images, or focus mainly on the swirl of the glowing light.

2. Capture High-Speed Photography

High-speed creative photography essentially gives creative professionals the ability to stop time, even at super-fast moments. While you might be able to only glimpse an exploding water balloon, high-speed photography allows you to freeze a still life moment. You’ll have a still life moment catching the water still in the shape of the balloon even after it has exploded.

If you’re new to high-speed photography ideas, start by making sure you have a good DSLR camera. Macro lenses work best, and then you will need a lot of flashes – up to four. As far a shutter speed goes, it doesn’t matter as long as you capture the shot when the flashes are firing. It’ll probably take a lot of practice and probably a lot of tries, but it’s worth it.

3. Light Trail Photography to Elongate Light

With this kind of photography idea, you can capture movement in a creative way, creating luminescent paths of different colors. This is possible with virtually any light that moves, but most popularly with cars.

You can use a long exposure to capture long trails along highways. Make sure you set your ISO to the lowest setting and set your camera up on a tripod for the best results. You should also prepare to take several shots, especially if this is a new artistic trick for you. 

4. Create Light Graffiti with Long Exposure

Creative photography ideas with light are simply breathtaking. Photographers can create impressive photos using the same concept as spiral light photography. Using a bright source and long exposure, draw pictures in the air made entirely of colorful light.

As a pro tip, try setting your aperture to a higher number to set a darker scene. Doing so can help make your graffiti stand out more and appear more evident. 

5. Long Exposure in the Daytime Instead of Night

Try switching things up a little and using your long exposure settings during the day rather than at night. The result? A pretty cool shot featuring moving objects in almost animated, still life, fog-like appearance.  

6. Dramatic Water Splash Images

When you set your camera to a super-fast shutter speed, you can capture the fast movement of even a water droplet. Playing around with water splashes and your shutter speed can make for some awesome photography ideas. Every splash is different!

Experiment with different bodies of water and various things. Come up with unique ideas, like using a clear container so you can catch not only the water splash but the still of the object cutting through the water. Try fruit, toys—any creative object you can find and splash away. 

7. Macro Photography: A Closer Look

Using a macro lens allows you to take snapshots of tiny, detailed objects. If you’re tired of the same old landscape photography ideas, try scaling it down to still life things like bumblebees, flowers, and pencil tips—something that you might not think to capture up close and personal. When you use the macro lens, you can blow up large images of very tiny objects, which can be a very cool contrast. 

water drops on plant

8. Crystal Ball Photography for a Scenic View 

What do you get when you put together a quality camera, a scenic location, and a clear crystal ball? Frankly, one of the best in creative photography ideas. The crystal ball acts as a sort of lens, capturing the entirety of the scene behind it in a small yet wide-angle circle. You can even toy around with focus, keeping the background blurry with the crystal in clear view. 

Imagine an entire mountain range captured in a clear crystal ball with the colors of the scene blurred in the background. That’s creative stuff. 

9. Simple Water Droplet Photography 

Water droplet creative photography is similar to splash the photography idea but scaled down to a single drop. With the right flash speed and a dimly lit room, you can catch the unique motion of a single drop hitting the liquid. 

You can make this even more spectacular by adding some fun colored lighting. The water droplet and its splash will reflect the colors of the light, and the end photo is definitely worthy of a frame.  

10. Oil and Water Bubble Snapshots

If you’re into abstract ideas, try photographing oil and water mixtures. Since the two separate as you let them settle together, mixing them creates fun, shiny bubbles. Add a macro lens and some creative, bright colors to really spice things up.

The critical thing to remember here is lighting. Oil and water shots can be incredibly fresh, but if there’s not enough light, the colors you add to the shot won’t come across as vibrant. 

11. Create the “Bokeh” Effect

You can achieve creative photography through the Bokeh effect in photography by using a wide aperture to create a soft and blurry background. This photography idea can be administered with basically any subject and setting, but one of the most popular ideas in this area is to use lights and keep them out of focus. 

Using lights gives the photo a warm glow, and they make for excellent backgrounds to clearer images. For example, several strings of Christmas lights could make a standard portrait come to life.

12. Snap Motion Blur 

Try to intentionally catch objects, animals, or people in motion, using a single exposure to create a blurred effect. Rather than seeing a clear image, you’ll see the range of motion blur in a unique streak of still movement. 

13. Capture Shots Out of Focus 

Also known as soft focus, this creative photography idea lends itself to a complete blur, rather than a background or foreground blur. You can play with various levels of focus with this technique. Some of your photos may have a slight blur and allow your viewer to identify the scene, while other ones use high blurring levels to meld shapes and colors.

14. Find Interesting Reflections 

Reflections are an excellent way to add depth and perception to a still life photo. From mirrors and phone screens to puddles and lakes, the ideas are endless when it comes to reflections. You can reflect entire scenes, create funky shapes, or mirror a person’s expression. 

reflection of water drop

15. Unique Double Exposure Film

When you use double exposure techniques, you can create a fascinating image composed of two different shots. By using different levels of opacity, you can mix nature with humans, cities with trees, and oceans within wine glasses. Get creative with things that don’t normally go together and overlap them. 

16. Add Words to Your Shots

Photos don’t have to just be objects or people; you can add meaning to your shots by including words, whether through your lens or adding text in afterward on editing software. Perhaps a landscape inspired some creative words of wisdom and hope, or a sign on the subway spoke to you in its loneliness. Words can say very little, yet mean a lot. 

17. Capture Images Through Other Objects 

You can secure some visually spectacular special effects by shooting through objects. You can use anything to create a fun shot: leaves from a tree, streamers, lights in front of your camera, feathers, grass, flowers. Shoot close through an object with the subject of your photo in the background for a refreshing twist. 

18. Use Shadows to Your Advantage

In some cases, shadows are bad ideas in photography as they can distort faces and make it hard to see details. However, you can also create some interesting shapes and creative effects when using shadows to your advantage. Some quality backlighting can help you achieve some appealing shapes and outcomes while evoking a certain feeling or vibe from viewers. 

19. Catch Retro Vibes 

Vintage photos have a way of making us feel nostalgic, and using different tints, filters, and vignettes can help us transform our art into old-fashioned displays. Try yellow filters and sepia shades to achieve a retro look on any shot. 

20. Create Smoke Art 

Smoke moves like nothing else, so capturing it on film can result in some frame-worthy images. You can even enhance things by adding in some light, color, and objects. In a safe environment, you can burn candles or incense and manipulate the smoke using your hands or a little bit of wind. The effects are creative and ghostly. 

21. Art of Refraction 

Refraction is basically another way of saying inversion, and you can make this happen in photography when you shoot with things like drops of liquid. By using this effect in photos, you can capture a background image twice: once as is, and once upside down within the droplet. 

22. Yummy Landscapes: Food Photography

Have you ever made a dish that looked so good, you just had to take a photo of it? You can absolutely create yummy-looking landscapes, capturing dinner tables, fields of vegetables, and much more. With the creative lighting, angles, and ideas, your photos and images will look positively edible. 

top shot of food

23. Creative Photo Retouching

Of course, you can always take your film and make it unique using various creative photo retouching and creative ideas. Depending on the program, you can do all kinds of creative things, from airbrushing and filters to cutting and duplicating. 

24. Include Chalk Drawings for a New Scene 

Chalk drawings are such a fun way to liven up standard photography. Draw a creative scene on the sidewalk and have your subject step right into it. It’s frivolous, fanciful, and different. You can have your subject “hold” balloons, “climb” up a mountain top, or “ride” a horse; photo shoots ideas all from your driveway. 

25. Freeze Flowers in Ice Cubes

Everyone takes pictures of flowers, so it can start to feel a little stale after a while – even with different types of flowers. Revamp flower photography by freezing plants into ice. The ice can magnify, sharpen, and distort the flowers, giving you some really awesome images and photos. Plus, you can always get creative food coloring or lights for a better photo shoots idea. 

26. Use a Rubik’s Cube 

Rubik’s cubes are full of color and shine and make fun subjects for any photo shooting ideas. You can add them to any techniques, whether it’s a blurred effect, a splash, or motion shot. You could also edit other images or photos onto the square of the cube and mix them up for an abstract feel. 

27. Experiment with Different and Unique Camera Filters 

These days, there are so many different filters and lenses you can mess around with. You can turn an ordinary photoshoot idea into something special by merely switching out your lens, like using a fisheye effect, a black and white filter, or a wider angle. Don’t forget that you can also experiment with filter ideas on your creative photo editing software. 

28. Set Steel Wool on Fire

When you set steel wool on fire, you end up with brightly glowing, scorching embers. When you add motion to this sensation, you can capture magnificent shots of spinning and streaking embers, and it’s completely unbelievable on film.  

yellow steel wool light

29. Try Using the “Wrong” Lens 

Every professional photographer knows that there’s a “correct” lens for every situation. However, sometimes using the “wrong” lens can make for some exciting and even beautiful photoshoot ideas. Give it a try and see what happens!

30. Toy With Shapes and Frames

Creative photography ideas with shapes, lines, and frames can turn out to be captivating visuals. A dull and uninterested still life could benefit from the addition of differently shaped additions.

Try implementing shapes, both naturally and intentionally, like adding frames and boxes or capturing images and photos through windows or glasses. Use objects like bottles, vases, and statues to create depth of field and height in a lacking scene.