15 Photography Assignments to Challenge and Inspire

15 Photography Assignments to Challenge and Inspire

Photography assignments allow you to experiment with something you have never tried before and play around with different photographic approaches. With such an assignment, you will challenge yourself and develop your skills.

15 Ways to Make Photography Assignments

This list of photo assignments consists of 15 points, so I am sure that you will find the idea to your liking.

1. Self Portraits

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The first task is a no-brainer: just take a self-portrait picture each day. Don’t forget to use a tripod and shutter release aside from regular shooting with your arm extended and holding a camera.

Since you will be the model, feel free to unleash your creativity with all sorts of make-up, outfits, poses until you figure out a proper look. Remember to use props as well. Then share your shots with the world via social networks or the dedicated Flickr and Twitter groups.

2. Color Challenge

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Here is one of the greatest color photography assignments for the urban environment photos. Bring the camera with you and take pictures for several hours. Pick a color (or ask a friend to choose it for you to complicate the task) and photograph subjects of the chosen color only.

Once you are done, you will find yourself seeing this color everywhere! Then pick the best shots and merge them into a collage or mosaic in Photoshop.

3. After Dark

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Practice with night photography and try taking pictures after dark. In case you are outside the city, you may shoot moonlight or star trails. While being in the city, capture light trails of vehicles or buildings with the light-up windows. Regardless of the location, experiment with light-painting by means of long exposure photography and moving a flashlight across areas of the scene.

4. Crop or Rotate All your Photos a Specific Way

One of the best photography practice assignments is to neglect your comfort zone and try something new for a change. For instance, if you have a tendency to snap the same kinds of photos, you should modify their perspective.

Try an approach to cropping or rotating your next 50-100 shots that differs from your regular one. Play around with square photos, 180° rotation or whatever else you can come up with. Once you get out of the familiar artistic routine, you will be able to perceive the world from another angle and get creative.

5. Quit Social Media Temporarily

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Social networks can serve as an excellent source of photography inspiration or lead to a complete lack of it. If you use social networks without critical thinking, you may start comparing yourself to other photographers, which will be a total waste of time and effort.

While it may be one of the hardest photography assignments these days, taking a hiatus from social networks is highly important. Log off your Instagram account for some time or uninstall apps that leave you in a bad mood.

In case your job requires staying online on a daily basis, devote some of your time to non-Internet tasks, like taking pictures or gaining knowledge on photography. I suggest taking some online photography courses.

6. Shoot Every Day for a Month

If you wish to become a better photographer, you shouldn’t stop shooting. By taking pictures constantly, you will receive more feedback and will be interacting more actively with the world.

One of the most widespread photography class assignments is to take one picture each day for a month. Do it with the help of the smartphone, DSLR camera or any device that can photograph. But don’t take meaningless pictures just because you have to. The shots you take should resonate with you in one way or another and be valuable to you.

The Zen masters suggest that you have a “daily practice.” When we repeat something, we become closer to recognizing the “truth”. You may read a great number of photo theory books, but you won’t be able to shoot properly. Only through practice, repetition, feedback and constructive criticism, you can grow as a photographer. Remember that this assignment is about forming a habit, not about taking a perfect picture each day.

7. Experiment with a Completely Different Genre

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The array of photography genres is truly vast. Underwater photography, glamour, smartphone, landscape photography, portrait photography – that’s only a beginning. If you feel like you are losing interest in photography, switch to another genre.

Try staying away from your primary photography genre for a while. In case you shoot portraits, go outside and capture the area where you live in. If you are involved in photographing pets, play around with self-portraiture. By getting familiar with various photography genres, you are widening your photography horizons and gaining new knowledge that may come in useful one day.

8. Put Together a Photo Album

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We live in a digital world, and even nowadays’ photography comes mostly in a digital form. We constantly find ourselves sharing our photos online. It is a rare thing to print photographs, even touch them, let alone create something physical out of them.

That’s why one of the greatest photography tasks is to compile a photo album. You can buy one at a store or online. Print the desired shots in the small 4×6 size. I suggest collaborating on this task with your friend, child or partner. Think of the main idea, theme or story of the album. Put all the printed shots on a surface and consider how you will lay them out in an album, how you will pair them and in what sequence.

No wonder that our parents and elderly relatives used to create a photo book together. It is a nice way to preserve precious memories in a physical form and bring back the moments that we sometimes tend to forget over time.

9. Take Creative Self-Portraits with a Friend

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While you may enjoy your own company while taking self-portraits, you may feel bored or lonely after some time. In this case, you can implement one of the most entertaining photography assignment ideas and take self-portraits with a friend (pets are welcome as well!).

Don’t forget to think through the poses, set up the tripod and find the perfect photography light. As you will be engaged in all these activities, you will be able to get a hang of a photographer’s workflow. Then, when it comes to a real photo shoot with the clients, you will be more skilled at dealing with the camera and lights.

10. Attend a Photography Workshop

Photography workshops is an excellent investment in your education as a photographer and one of the most helpful beginner photography assignments.

Pick a workshop that is dedicated to the topic relevant for you. Thanks to workshops, you will get not only theoretical but also practical information. Also, you will have your questions answered by real professionals.

11. Photograph the Same Person or Object Every Day

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In case you aren’t as excited about photography as before, try capturing one and the same person or object each day for a week or month. Similar to the smartphone photography challenge, as a result, you will realize the importance of having the freedom to photograph anything you wish.

While snapping pictures of the same object, you will boost your lighting skills. To make the shots differ from each other, don’t hesitate to play around with various types of lighting and photo editing apps.

12. Go a Month Without Using Social Media

Being the photographer of the 21st century, you may find yourself in the never-ending trap of feeling the need to post photos on social networks each day. It all turns into some sort of addiction – all you crave is likes, comments and new followers. If you don’t receive the online praise you need, your photography stops making sense.

In fact, photography is something you should pursue on your own. What truly matters here is your personal thoughts on your shots, not the opinion of users online. Simply uninstall all the social network applications from the smartphone (you can bring them back once the assignment is over). Posting photos and looking through photos of others is prohibited.

If you manage to stay away from social networks for a month, you will acquire a clearer purpose of your photography work. Besides, you won’t be so obsessed with the imaginary social network competition that everyone seems to be involved in.

13. Shoot with a Limited Amount of Equipment

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Regardless of whether you are an experienced, amateur or a beginner photographer, you are likely to be after all sorts of photography gear to enhance your results.

How about photography assignments where you have to use a restricted amount of shooting equipment? You can photograph strictly with one camera body or camera lens. There is no need to do it for an entire month.

For this assignment, I suggest coming up with a plan, and do it, for instance, only once a week. Working with the same gear every day will give you more flexibility in both the creative and physical aspects of the process.

So, in case you deal only with a zoom lens, you will have to experiment whenever you shoot indoors. With a wide-angle lens only, you will need to work on cropping and correcting distortions.

14. Limit Yourself to X Photos a Day

Similar to the previous assignment, limiting yourself to 10, 20, 30 or more shots per day, week or month will help you realize what your true creative needs are. Besides, with a photo limit, you will understand what subjects or scenes you are more inclined to photograph.

Another benefit of a photo limit is that it will bring more patience and creativity into the process. You won’t be able to take numerous pictures of one place, so you will be forced to risk and play around with various perspectives.

15. Take Photos with Your Smartphone Camera Only

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Take pictures only with a smartphone camera for a week. For better results, download a top-notch camera app and try to figure out all of its settings. A modern smartphone will help beginning photographers get acquainted with the technical side of the shooting process.

To complicate the task, I suggest recreating some of your portfolio photos with the smartphone camera. With this assignment, you will learn all the intricacies of shooting with a smartphone and may even start taking shots not only with a standard camera but with a smartphone one as well on a regular basis!

Freebies for Photography Assignments

lightroom presets for beginners

Using these presets for beginners, you will be able to enhance portrait, wedding, newborn, landscape, real estate and e-commerce photography. The presets are compatible with all Lightroom versions. Experiment with adjustments to achieve the ideal result!

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