Theme Photography

Author: Gaurav Birla August 29, 2010 1 Comment

mosaic55902601When we talk about taking photographs, given a theme, it does not mean that you have to participate in a competition or to commercially work on a client’s project. This is a common practice that is used by even the most experienced professional photographers, to increase their knowledge and to gain more experience with photography. Usually a photographer chooses a theme invent according to that they take photographs and show it to people and get their feedback. This regular practice keeps them alert and active and enhances the knowledge and experience. For a beginner it is a must to try it.

There are various things that are commonly used by photographers worldwide, let’s talk about some of those themes.

365 days

photography-project-365-professional-wordpress-themeThis is the most popular project that photographers staked create their portfolios as well as to gain knowledge and experience. Generally this project involves taking a self-portrait every day of year. By the end of the year you should have 365 photographs. Every photograph fair gives you a chance to go creative and to compose it in a different manner. At least you will earn 365 techniques of taking good photographs. This does not mean that you will take only one photographing a day; you can take as many photographs as you want but select only the best photograph for that day. Usually these photographs are uploaded to a website or added to a portfolio on a regular basis. There are lot of community is very photographers take this 365 days project.

You can make your own variations of this theme by changing something. For example you can decide to take a photograph of yourself varying only single colored clothing. If you feel taking a photograph every day is too much of a commitment, you can go for one photograph a week that will be 52 weeks project.

Photo walks

11114874-lgPhoto walks often include group of people walking through the city’s together, capturing images of the same landmark from their own point of view. The purpose of this project is to take at least one photograph every week and you can learn more about photography in architecture and urban landscape. It also develops your inability to see the world around you clearly. Sometimes there are things that go unnoticed; this project develops an ability to see it even small details in your surroundings.

100 strangers

This is a project which is very interesting for most of the people but some people shy away from it. This project involves taking photographs of at least 100 people whom you do know; you may meet them in the streets, in the elevator or on a bus. The process involves going close to, them talking to them and asking them if you can take photographs. This will not only enhance your photographic experience with portraiture, it will also help in developing your communication, which can be great if you deal with a lot of clients. Once you understand people, you will definitely get better portraiture.


img Alphabet-on-sand Stephen-REES ref~CPC0462 mode~zoomIn this project you can go ahead and start photography of letters that you find on sign votes, posters or in the market around you. This will help you understand a lot about textures and photographing still life. You can also choose to take pictures of objects or subjects that start with a particular alphabet. For example you can pick one date for alphabet S and photograph objects which start with S. You can take pictures of sugar cubes, sky, Sun, stars, streetlights, switch, sandpaper, stove, spoon etc. Same way on everyday you can pick another letter and work on it.


In this project you pick a particular object and photograph all different variations that you see. For example, you could choose a door handle and go crazy. Photograph it anywhere you see it. In a short time you would have a good collection to add to your portfolio.



This is a nice theme and very religiously followed by many photographers worldwide. Once you start taking pictures in monochrome, you will realize that it changes the way you see the world. Monochrome images are called “timeless”. It is a real challenge and also a very satisfying experience. It is also a must for any photographer, to understand the luminance by studying monochrome images.


Tips for Theme Photography

  1. Slow down and learn – let this project be your eye opener. Learn to see little details of your life that you simply overlooked before. Be sure to check out sometime for the activity no matter how busy you are.
  2. Always carry your camera – This may seem very obvious, but once you start photography you will see a lot of subjects that you would want to photograph.
  3. Visit new places – go to places that you never visited before even if they are close to your house or workplace etc. You will be amazed to find new and wonderful photographic opportunities that you never thought existed.
  4. Capture the seasons – capture the change of seasons, The seasons change a lot in your daily environment and since we see the gradual change over a period of time, we hardly notice it. Once you have a lot of photos taken over a period of time, and look at it all together, you would be amazed.
  5. The daily subject – when you can’t find a subject, photograph your food. Fruits and vegetable also make great subjects for photography.
  6. Get into a photographic community like or Flickr etc. and share your pictures, this way you will maintain interest and also get inspirations from others.
  7. Do not over estimate yourself while choosing a theme. It’s important that you complete the assignment. Take simple assignments and make sure that you complete it. Never pick up subjects that are too complicated for you.
  8. Keep your photos properly organized by using software or photo communities like cgcamera or Flickr or Picasa etc.
  9. There will be some good days and some bad days, idea is to keep going. Make efforts from you side to follow your projects. Things will not always be easy but be consistent in your efforts and it will pay in the end.
  10. Change according to situations. Be adaptable. If you feel that you chose the wrong theme and are already halfway through, make changes in it, but do not abandon the project.
  11. Tell people about your projects. Show them your pictures and get feedback. It is a great source of motivation and will keep you going.
Tags: , , Art of photography
One Comments to “Theme Photography”
  1. AmitGarg says:

    Thanks for the tips. nice blog

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