Everyone likes a good photography challenge. But photography assignments can also be very discouraging if they’re approached the wrong way.
A good photography challenge will strengthen your photography skills and inspire you in multiple ways. A bad one will leave you wondering why you even tried photography in the first place.
Here are 12 exciting photography assignments to help you find the right one.
12. Shoot With a Limited Amount of Equipment
Whether you’re a full-time photographer, a hobbyist, or a beginner, you’re probably itching to invest in all kinds of equipment to take your photos to the next level.
But here’s a challenge. Make the most of what you already have first.
Limit yourself to one camera body or lens. This challenge isn’t linked to a specific period of time.
Feel free to create a plan that fits your schedule. I recommend doing this for at least a week.
If you work with the same equipment every day, you’ll become artistically (and maybe physically!) flexible.
For example, if you use a zoom lens only, you’ll have to be extra creative when you shoot indoors.
If you use a wide-angle lens only, you’ll have to improve your cropping and distortion-fixing skills.
11. Take a Photo Every Day for a Year
This daily photo challenge will not only give you an excuse to be creative every day, but also teach you how to find beauty in details.
The 365-day challenge is simple: take a photo every day for a year. Some photographers challenge themselves even further. They come up with specific themes every week or month.
Others also embrace a more spontaneous approach.
Taking photos every day will inspire you to make time for photography. Be open to failure, and get out of your comfort zone.
If you treat this project like a fun assignment, it will help you take your work to the next level.
10. Limit Yourself to X Photos a Day
A photo limit is just as helpful as an equipment limit. Limit yourself to 10, 20, 30, etc., photos a day, a week, or a month.
By limiting the amount of photos you take, you’ll force yourself to be more aware of your ideas and creative needs. Pay attention to what you gravitate towards.
A photo limit will also teach you to be more patient and innovative. Instead of taking hundreds of photos of one location, you’ll have to take risks and experiment with different perspectives.
9. Take Photos With Your Smartphone Camera Only
Modern smartphones are ideal for budding photographers who want to learn more about the technical side of photography.
Take photos using only your smartphone camera for a week. Invest in a great camera app, and familiarise yourself with all of its settings. This will help you get stunning images.
If you’re up for an extra photography challenge, try to recreate some of your portfolio photos with your smartphone camera.
This challenge will give you a break from your camera. And give you a chance to appreciate all of the challenges that come with professional photography.
It might also inspire you to get into smartphone photography!
8. Experiment With a Completely Different Genre
There’s a rich variety of photography genres out there. Underwater, glamour, smartphone, landscape, portrait, just to name a few.
Trying a new one can help you fall in love with photography all over again.
Take a temporary break from your main photography genre. If you’re a portrait photographer, go out and take panoramic photos of your neighbourhood. If you spend a lot of time photographing animals, try to improve your self-portrait photography skills.
When you expose yourself to different genres, you’ll learn a lot of valuable lessons that will come in handy long after the photography assignments end.
7. Photograph the Same Person or Object Every Day
If you often find yourself getting tired of photography, take photos of the same person or thing every day for a week or month.
Like the smartphone photography challenge, this will help you appreciate the freedom of being able to photograph whatever you want.
Photographing the same object will also improve your lighting knowledge. To make your daily photos look exciting, you’ll have to experiment with different angles, types of lighting, and editing.
All of these photography assignments will make you an incredible still life photographer.
6. Quit Social Media Temporarily
Social media can be both a monster and a perfect source of inspiration. If you use it mindlessly, you’ll end up comparing yourself to other artists. You’ll waste a lot of time, and learn a lot of useless information.
Because no one is immune to instant gratification, it’s important to take social media breaks regularly. This can be as simple as temporarily disabling your Instagram account. Or uninstalling apps that fill your day with negativity.
If your job revolves around social media, create Internet-free time when you can take photos or learn more about photography.
5. Create a Stop-Motion Video Using Photos
Stop-motion films, like Isle of Dogs and Corpse Bride, are made of thousands of photos. These are neatly organised to make it look like they were filmed.
You can use the stop motion technique to create your own puppets. Or to cleverly use everyday objects in surreal compositions.
If you need a quick boost of inspiration, check out this video by PES.
4. Take Creative Self-Portraits With a Friend
Self-portraits photoshoots are fun, but they can get a little lonely sometimes.
If you want to challenge yourself without getting bored or tired, take self-portraits with a friend. (Yes, this includes pets!)
As a self-portrait photographer, you’ll have to be in charge of setting up your tripod, finding the perfect light, and posing.
Thanks to all of these responsibilities, you’ll be able to empathise with future clients. And you’ll feel more comfortable in your own skin, and get better at working with light.
Plus, if you take photos with a friend, you’ll find it easier to feel confident in front of the camera and experiment with different angles.
3. Crop or Rotate All Your Photos a Specific Way
It’s normal to have a comfortable artistic routine. But it’s important to get out of that comfort zone once in a while.
If you find yourself taking the same kinds of photos all the time, it’s time to turn your world upside down. Literally.
Crop or rotate your next 50-100 photos the same way. You can experiment with square photos, rotate every photo 180°. Or do something even more unusual than that.
This forced perspective will compel you to look at the world from a different angle and get creative.
2. Include the Same Object in Every Photo
As photographers, we love experimenting with different subjects and locations. As exciting as it is, it’s not the best way to strengthen one’s imagination.
If you want to get better at finding potential in everyday items, include the same object in the next 20 photos you take.
This can be a balloon, an item of clothing, or something as random as a paintbrush. You can experiment with all kinds of genres as long as you include that specific item in every shot.
As you try to make the same object fit into every photograph, you’ll get better at planning your photoshoots. You’ll find beauty in simplicity, and become a more innovative thinker.
1. Invest in a Photo Book and Complete Every Assignment in It
If you want to familiarise yourself with a wide range of photography topics, invest in a photo book.
Photography books can help you learn more about a specific genre. It’ll introduce you to new techniques, and challenge you to get out of your comfort zone.
One of the best things about photography books is their photography assignments section. Almost every book comes with challenges, questions, and tips that can help you become a better photographer.
If you complete all the photography assignments, you’ll learn a lot of helpful information within a short period of time. You’ll also learn how to be patient as you work on familiar photography assignments.
You don’t need to travel the world or break the bank to improve as a photographer.
A single assignment that lasts at least a week can teach you an abundance of lessons. And it’ll help you become a better photographer.
All you have to do is find photography assignments that work for you. Dedicate some time to it, and watch your photography skills strengthen.