Photo series come in a variety of interesting styles. But why do photographers love them so much?
Focusing on one theme can help you reinvent your style and improve your creativity skills.
[Note: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here.]
What Is a Photo Series?
A photography series is a collection of images that are linked and showcased together. A series of photos will often have the same theme and have a conceptual bond or are shot at the same location. Photo series are often edited with the same method and in the same style focusing on coherence.
But how do you create an outstanding series of photos? There are a couple of guidelines you should follow.
For a start, have at least 2 or more images in the set. You cannot call one photograph a series.
Make sure that the pictures link together. You can achieve this with the same theme or using the same model.
For example, when I travelled around Europe for the first time, I wanted my pictures to have something in common. I used a plastic flower that I wore in my hair and included it in every picture. I photographed the flower with landmarks. I also captured it with local products such as German beer or Tuscan wine.
I was posting the images on Instagram and created my first photography series.
How to Work on a Photo Series
A photo series can be used to tell stories with your pictures. Every image should be adding something to the story. But they have to be linked together as well.
It’s also important to edit your pictures in the same style. Have the same colour schemes or use the same presets and filters. If the images in the set have all different styles, they won’t look like part of the same series.
When you create a photo series, consider the layout and the presentations as well. Will you showcase your photos in a grid or side-by-side? Or you want your images in a collage. Either way, the presentation can influence how you photograph your series.
You might be wondering where you should start and how you can successfully capture images without losing interest.
Many photographers start big projects, fail a few times, and give up. Failure is normal and shouldn’t discourage you from achieving your creative goals. Start small and create realistic goals. The key is to challenge yourself and always look for inspiration.
If a task is too easy, you’ll lose interest in it soon. If it’s too challenging, the same thing will happen.
Another way to keep yourself interested is to collaborate with someone you trust and admire. You can create double exposure portraits using your own portraits and someone else’s textures. You can even use someone’s free photos and let them know that you created something inspired by their work.
It is really important to find your inspiration for photo series. A great way is to do research on famous photographers and open some photography history books!
Photo series are perfect for every kind of artist. Here are a few photography series ideas to get you started.
12. Tell One Story With Two Photos
You can create a diptych photo series inspired by:
- Elements in nature;
- People’s faces;
- Contrasting colours in fashion;
- Unusual architecture designs;
- Positive and negative emotions.
11. Write a Story on Your Photos
Text in photography is perfect for those who love writing stories or documenting fleeting moments. You can decorate your images with quotes, friends’ signatures, memories you don’t want to forget, and so on.
If you’re not into typography, you can simply doodle on your images. Some photographers draw things in a way that makes it seem like they’re interacting with the people in the subjects.
For example, if you’re a family photographer, you could draw a cute cartoon character smiling at the children in your photos.
If you’re a film photographer, you can physically write on your prints. If you’re a digital artist, you can use the brush tool in your editing program instead. To make digital writing easier, use a tablet.
10. Capture the Same Location
If you want to challenge your camera-handling skills, take photos of the same location throughout a specific period of time.
This can be a day, a month, or even a year. The longer you spend time on one subject, the more interesting your results will be.
It can be difficult to photograph the same location in different circumstances. The weather, lighting, and temperature can all get in the way.
But this challenge won’t hinder your progress if you treat it like a simple, skill-strengthening obstacle.
This photo series might come in handy if you’re a travel photographer.
Document the changes in your favourite locations as the day progresses. You’ll be more present and be able to spend more time in places that you like.
To make your photos look as similar as possible, make sure you mark where you placed your camera.
9. Photograph Strangers
If you learn how to communicate with strangers, you’ll get better at giving directions to models. And at making your subjects feel comfortable in front of the camera.
You don’t have to photograph every stranger you see or put yourself in dangerous situations. Familiarise yourself with street photography etiquette and bring a friend with you.
If you need some more inspiration, check out Humans of New York.
8. Take Photos of Yourself
Self-portraiture can be a fun way to express yourself. You’ll learn more about your camera, and spend quality time in your favourite places.
It doesn’t have to be a daunting task that makes you feel flawed and incompetent.
Capture images during your favourite time of day. This will make your self-portrait photoshoot as comfortable as possible.
Make sure you take photos in peaceful, happy locations that make you feel safe. All of these positive emotions will enrich your photography experience. And this will help you create amazing photography for your photo series.
7. Document Stages of Your Pet’s Life
Like children, pets grow up way too fast. If you love documenting tender moments, create a photo series inspired by your pet’s growth.
This is a long-term project that will give you unforgettable results. I started doing this when I got my cat and was amazed by how fun and inspiring the process was!
Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to animals only. Your series can focus on a family member, a friend, or even a plant.
6. Take Macro Photos of Your Neighbourhood
Travelling is wonderful but it’s not the only key to beautiful photography. Teach yourself how to find potential in details. You’ll find inspiration in places that most people consider insignificant.
This will make you a more skilled and imaginative artist.
To make the most of this experience, use a macro lens.
5. Try Out Conceptual Photography
Conceptual photography is all about artistic expressions and meaningful themes. There’s no limit to what you can do in this genre until it has a strong message.
You can use your editing skills to create levitating people or create unusual props that look like they’ve been Photoshopped.
A conceptual photo series can revolve around a specific theme or focus on many subjects that all complement one another.
If you need some inspiration, check out these photographers:
4. Capture Monochrome Images
Many of us don’t see the world in black & white. If we could, we’d probably want to photograph places and objects that we normally don’t pay attention to.
Black and white photography focuses on strong contrasts, emotions, and environments.
Your black and white photography series will encourage you to sharpen your imaginative skills. And you will find potential in places you usually overlook.
3. Try Out Analogue Photography
Because the digital world has progressed so much, photography doesn’t come with a lot of waiting.
If you find yourself getting impatient often, challenge yourself through analogue photography.
Most probably you will think twice before taking a shot! And that will seriously improve your photographic skills!
If you want to challenge yourself, even more, take film photos of specific people or things. You can experience with both 35mm film cameras and the more advanced medium format ones.
2. Take Photos of Photos
Photos within photos are easy to create and can help you appreciate your surroundings a little more. If you don’t want to spend money on developing photos, print digital images instead.
You can use prints or Polaroid shots to emphasise how much a person has changed. Or you can show off your favourite locations or make your surreal concepts come to life.
1. Find Simple Objects in Your Home
- This leaf guitar below is the perfect example of a bright imagination. Use your imagination and perspective. Look for ways to turn the things in your apartment into beautiful photography subjects.
Photography doesn’t always depend on extravagant locations and expensive equipment.
I learned this after I moved into a small apartment. Because of the circumstances, I could do nothing but experiment with everyday objects and turn them into art.
This taught me how to use details and natural lighting to my advantage.
Challenge yourself by working with a limited amount of items. Use natural light only.
A photography series is the perfect mix of challenging and inspiring tasks. You’ll need lots of time, patience, and persistence to work on them.
In return, you’ll be showered with amazing ideas, new skills, and great photos.
Get your creative juices flowing with our Wow Factor Photography course!