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21 Cool Projects for Photography Ideas at Home

Last updated: March 13, 2024 - 16 min read
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Are you looking for some fresh and creative photography ideas at home? We’ve gathered a list of ideas you can try!
These ideas are great if you’re new to photography and want to push your creativity to the next level. Or, if you’re a seasoned enthusiast in a creative rut, this list will reignite your imagination.
You don’t have to try them all. You can just try a few to test yourself, and if you have fun, you can keep going. You can learn new skills and techniques, but at the end of the day, photography is just about having fun!

21 Cool Projects for Photography Ideas at Home

Before we go through our list of photography ideas, there is something else that might keep you motivated… Setting up projects for yourself is a great way to maintain your enthusiasm for photography.
Sometimes, setting yourself a brief to follow can encourage productivity and creativity. You can set yourself daily, weekly, or even yearly projects. The time is entirely up to you.
The subject can be anything you find in your home. For one week, you could focus on shadows. The next one could be your cat. Our list below will help you keep your photography projects fresh and creative so you never run out of ideas.
Another way to find projects and stay motivated is with online photography forums. Being part of a community can help you stay enthusiastic. The forums often have creative photography projects you can join, and the other users will also have tips and tricks to share.
photographer shooting an image of her reflection in a small mirror

1. Go Wild With Pet Photography

Pet photography is a great way to start taking photos at home. Our animal companions bring us so much happiness and joy. So why not capture that with your camera?
The key to pet photography is capturing their personality. It’s about creating images representing how you feel about your dog, cat, or hedgehog. The images you create can be shared with others or kept as priceless mementos.
There are different styles and techniques you can use when photographing your pets. You can capture their natural behavior around the house. You could even pretend they are a wild animal and you’re a wildlife photographer if you like!
You can also take a more structured approach. You can take a formal portrait or even create your own scene for the pet to inhabit. You can be as creative as you like, and the photos will surely put a smile on your face.
hedgehog in a teacup

2. Get a Taste for Food Photography

It seems like everyone is taking photos of their food these days. Our social media feeds are filled with food. But you can take your food photography to the next level. It isn’t just about showing people what you’re having for lunch—food photography is a serious business.
By using different shooting and lighting techniques, you can turn your food into a work of art. You can take your humble, home-cooked food and make it look like something you’d pay top dollar for. After all, before we eat with our mouths, we eat with our eyes.
With a few tricks, you could even turn your pie into a Picasso!
food photography of a salmon salad

3. Create Dramatic Scenes With Shadows

Shadows are everywhere, but we often fail to notice them. But once you make an effort to look for them, you will find that shadows add patterns and drama to the scene. Shadows can change the atmosphere and restructure the composition of your scene. They are great for creative photography.
Shadow photography can be abstract and dynamic. Or, you can also use shadow to add intrigue to your portraits and still life.
You might find ready-to-shoot lines and patterns around your house. But, you can also get creative. Make your own shadows using everyday household items. You can add lines, patterns, and texture to your photography.
Shadows give you incredible scope for creating photography ideas at home.
creative shadows of cutlery

4. Whet Your Camera Skills With Water

Water is another excellent subject for creative photography ideas. You find it in different areas of the house, and you can use it in different ways.
Rain is the perfect place to start. You can capture the raindrops on your windows or the ripples they create in your pond or birdbath. You can contrast the wet weather outside with the inside of your cozy kitchen.
Water is also easy to manipulate. You can use water droplets on different surfaces to make shapes and effects. Water in glass also manipulates light, creating interesting shadows. And, you can create ripples on the water’s surface when it’s in a container, just like in Jurassic Park!
Photography ideas at home are endless when it comes to water, even inside the house.
splash in a glass of water

5. Capture Patterns Around Your Home

Patterns are all around us. Some are artificial, some natural. Others we might not even notice, and others we can create ourselves.
One photography idea is to take photos of the patterns on your tea towels and tablecloths. You could also use denim and corduroy from your wardrobe. And the wood grain on your tabletop or guitar can provide stunning natural patterns.
This photography idea will help you see the world in a new way. The patterns are there for you to find!
sticks and planks of wood side-by-side

6. Create Stunning Still Life Images at Home

Still life is a creative photography idea that is full of versatility. There are so many still life photography ideas for you to try.
The subject is completely up to you. It could be food, utensils, bottles of alcohol, or family heirlooms. And the studio can be your kitchen tabletop.
Still life photography is also a great way to experiment with composition. You can learn to ask yourself important composition questions. How do I frame the subject? How many items do I include? How do I light my subject? These are all things you can play around with.
This photography idea is about turning the mundane into a masterpiece. Get your camera and try some still life photography at home.
still life photo of flowers in a jug and oranges

7. Use Reflections to Create Surreal Images and Illusions

Mirrors are a useful tool for photographers to get creative in the home. Whether on the wall or hand-held, a mirror can work magic in your photography.
A mirror can be used to add light or create space, expanding a scene beyond the standard frame of the photo. They allow you to see from different angles at the same time. And you can create illusions and surreal effects by using multiple mirrors.
Another creative photography idea is to introduce a mirror into your portraiture. You can use the mirror to frame your subject, creating a frame within a frame. This is great for self-portraits too.
using a mirror to create a frame within a frame

8. Create Spooky Scenes With Smoke

Smoke is another element you can use when looking for photography ideas. With its many connotations, you can use smoke to add mystery and danger to your photos.
First things first, be careful. Real smoke is dangerous, so it is best to use artificial alternatives like dry ice or aerosol sprays. Incense sticks are another option.
You can use smoke to bring a spooky atmosphere to your still life photos. Or, you can use lights to highlight the patterns of the smoke. Add mystery to your images using smoke to conceal elements of your scene.
Smoke can also be used in portrait photography. A common trope in old-fashioned close portraits was to have the subject smoking a cigarette. The smoke adds extra texture and intrigue to the photo.
smoke from incense on a black background

9. Take Portraits of Your Nearest and Dearest

Portraiture may seem a bit traditional, but it’s an excellent photography idea if you want to get creative at home. If you live with family or friends, your subjects are right there.
In portrait photography, your camera captures the subject’s identity. You can take intimate photos of those you love. The subject could be your children or your grandparents.
The photos don’t have to be serious. You can play with the form using different styles and techniques. Some examples are close-up portraits, framing just the face, or you can try a more candid style.
You can also use different rooms of the house for varied lighting effects. And your subject may have a personal link to a specific room. Using settings this way will enhance the subject’s personality and your photo.
Portraits let the photographer flex their creative muscles. And, you’ll create photos you can treasure.
portrait of an old man in black and white

10. Indulge Yourself With Self-Portraits

Is a self-portrait just a selfie? Not really. Although you are still the subject, a self-portrait is far more than just a selfie. It’s a great way to experiment with photography ideas.
Self-portraits allow photographers to play with the form, even if they live alone. You don’t need a tripod—you can use any surface in the house. Having a camera with a timer is beneficial, but you can also use mirrors to capture yourself.
You can use different rooms of the house and curate your own set. You can use costumes, mirrors, or any other props you like. Have a look around your home. There will be a load of things you can use to get some great portrait photography ideas.
It’s also a great creative photography idea for introverts. The self-portrait can be used to portray parts of the personality they may not feel comfortable expressing in public. You are your own subject. The self-portrait is an opportunity to present an image of yourself, whether true or false.
creative self portrait

11. Make Bubbles With Oil and Water

Oil and water don’t mix. But don’t worry, that’s why using them for photography is such a great idea.
The oil bubbles sit on the water, creating beautiful shapes and patterns. You are then able to capture the beauty with your camera. And a macro lens is definitely a bonus with this kind of photography.
You can manipulate the bubbles for different effects. To add other effects, you can use colored oils or add food coloring to the water. Light is another fantastic way to change the atmosphere or add creative elements.
You will need a few bits and pieces for oil and water photography. And, it could get messy, so be prepared. Nonetheless, it’s still one of the more creative photography ideas at home to try.
macro image of oil and water

12. Explore Color and Patterns With Flower Photography

Flowers have been the subject of many artists over the centuries. And they can still be an excellent subject for trying out creative photography ideas.
In many ways, they are the perfect subject. They are colorful and manageable, and they stay still, unlike your dog! This allows the photographer to take their time. They don’t need to rush. They can focus on getting the right image. It’s great for experimentation.
You can use any camera for flower photography. A macro lens can get great floral shots, but you can make great images with your standard lens. You can even have a go with your smartphone.
If you are running out of photography ideas, send yourself a bunch of flowers!
macro image of a flower

13. Trim The Fat and Go Minimalist

Minimalism is another photography idea you can try out at home. Minimalist photography is the exploration of space and sparsity. It’s about simplicity and starkness.
When it comes to minimalist photography, you use negative space to emphasize the subject or scene. You are looking to make a clean and precise image without clutter.
Minimalism has a broad scope. You can have minimalist still lifes or landscapes. And minimalist portraits are an excellent photography idea to play with as well.
Minimalism is perfect for creative photography. Just remember, less is more.
minimalist image of a paper boat

14. Double the Fun With Double Exposure

Double exposure is a fantastic photography idea to experiment with at home. And, it’s a lot simpler than you may expect.
Double exposure is when you overlay one photo over another. And in some cases, it’s not just two images. This can be done “in-camera” or in post-production using Photoshop.
This technique allows you to add surreal effects and textures to your images. And no photography genre is off-limits. You can play with landscapes or portraits. Or you can use the laying effect to add humor to your photos.
Double exposure is a great way of experimenting. And it can take your photography to a whole new place.
double exposure of a portrait and landscape

15. Manipulate Time With Time-Lapse Photography

If you want to experiment with your camera at home, time-lapse is a great photography idea. You don’t need loads of equipment. You only need your camera, your subject, and some time.
Time-lapse with where you shoot the same shot multiple times at regular intervals. It allows you to document your subject for extended periods. You’ll need a wide aperture, but the shutter speed is up to you.
The intervals between the shots can vary. You will want short intervals for something fast, like a moving car. Maybe just one second. But if you want to capture something slow, like a blooming flower, you can extend the intervals.
Time-lapse is an excellent idea for creative photography in the house. You can document the flowers on the kitchen table or people moving around the room. Or, you can capture the light coming through the window throughout the day.
time lapse

16. Carve Up the Hours With Time Slice Presentation

Another creative photography idea is a time slice. It’s a way of presenting your time-lapse images in a fun and exciting way.
If you have several images of the same scene at different times of day, you can take a slice of each one and put them together. You can then display the time-lapse from start to finish in one image.
Time slice is an excellent way to be creative with your photos in post-production. Photoshop is ideal, but you could even use Microsoft Paint.
time slice of a city scape

17. Broaden Your Portfolio by Creating a Home Studio

Making your own home studio can be cheap and easy. And you don’t need to be a professional photographer. It’s an excellent photography idea that will allow you to get creative without leaving the house.
Creating a home studio doesn’t mean you must remove all the furniture and paint the walls white! You just need to set aside a space you can dedicate to taking photos. It can be a corner of a room or even a tabletop.
If you are doing larger, whole-body shots, you can pin bedsheets to the wall to create a white background. If you’re working on a surface, you can use white or colored paper. And for lighting, you can use any household lamp you have.
If you want to get some product photography shots, you can create your own infinity curve or lightbox.
Making a home studio is a fantastic way to create great images of portraits, products, or pets. It’s cheap, easy, and great for creative photography at home.
setting up a home studio to photography a brown suede shoe

18. Use Depth of Field to Create Different Moods

Another excellent photography idea is to experiment with depth of field. No matter the photography style, you can experiment with the depth of field in your images.
Depth of field refers to how much of your photo is in focus. A photo with a shallow depth of field will have its subject in focus, while the foreground and background will be out of focus. For images with a deep depth of field, the full photo will be in focus.
You adjust the depth of field by changing the f-stops on your camera. For shallow depth, you will need a wide aperture like f/22. And for a deep depth of field, you’ll need a narrow f-stop like f/1.4. To get the correct exposure, you will have to adjust the shutter speed.
For real estate or landscape photography, a deep depth of field is beneficial. It keeps the whole scene in focus. For something more intimate, where you have a singular subject, you may prefer a shallow depth of field.
No matter what genre you’re shooting, you can get creative with depth of field.
using a shallow depth of field to create a blurry bridge image

19. Spice Up Your Photography with Homemade Filters

Add some effects to your photography by creating your own filters. These DIY options are cheap and easy to source, but they are great for a creative photographer on a budget.
Be careful, though. Do not put anything directly on the camera lens. Substances like Vaseline and lipstick can ruin the glass coating, causing irreversible damage to the lens.
To give your photo a dream-like haze, take some clingfilm or a sandwich bag and wrap it around the front of your lens. You don’t want to cover it; you want to encircle the lens with plastic. It will blur the outer edges of the image.
You can also try sheets of transparent colored plastic. You can use more than one sheet to create more colors and a heavier blur. Another option is to use a prism close to the lens.
Trying your hand at some DIY is a great way to expand your creative photography at home. Have some fun and create your own lens filters.
using a prism as a DIY filter

20. Experiment with Photomontage

You can get creative in post-processing with a photomontage. It’s easier with digital images. But it’s great fun with film photography too.
Photomontage is where you take many photos of the same subject and combine them to create one image. Much like cubism in painting, you can play with perspective and form. You can capture your subject from different angles and put the photos together in a surreal and textured photomontage.
You can also use photomontage for landscape photography. By using many photos, you can expand the frame of the final image. You will achieve a panoramic effect.
Creating a photomontage is an excellent photography project you can do at home. The subject and style are up to you. Check out David Hockney’s photomontages for inspiration.
rikshaw photomontage

21. Get Up Close and Personal with Macro Photography

Macro capture is a creative photography technique you can try at home. Get up-close and personal to your subject and stretch your horizons as a photographer.
It isn’t just close-up photography. Macro photography is about capturing the very small but making it look large. You want the subject to dominate your photo. Flowers and insects are excellent subjects to start with, but feel free to experiment.
Getting a good macro lens is the best place to start. But, you’ll also need to understand depth of field. It’s the technique to give the subject a powerful presence in your image.
If you are curious about the very small, the macro niche is a perfect creative photography idea for you. To learn more about macro photography, check out our Macro Magic eBook!
macro image of a fly on a plant


No matter the reason you’re staying in, our list of great creative photography ideas at home will give you something to try. Being inside doesn’t mean you can’t create great photos!
Play around and use what you have at your disposal. Combine props with new photography techniques, like depth of field or time-lapse.
The possibilities are endless. Being at home is no longer an excuse not to pick up the camera. Turn it on and have a go at some of our great photography ideas to try at home!