Five Types of Photography to Try Without Leaving the House
A few ways to get the creative juices flowing.
Being stuck at home during the chaos caused by Covid-19 can easily be viewed as a time for your photography to take a break. A time to sit back, edit old photos, watch a few tutorials and free yourself from the grind. While that may seem like a valid approach, another angle is to view this slow time as an opportunity to explore types of photography you haven’t tried before, to expand your knowledge and get creative photographing things you previously haven’t.
In order to help get those creative juices flowing and give you a little inspiration, I’ve put together a list of different types of photography you can explore without even leaving the house. Let’s go through them!
Product photography is a lot more than taking a well lit photo of a Clorox wipe on a white background, it’s an opportunity to evoke emotion and transport someone into another world. When executed creatively, an image of a deck of playing cards can transport someone to an old world of adventure. A photo of a candle can evoke the comfort one feels of being at home.
Grab something you own, whether it’s a product you love using all the time, a deck of playing cards, or your wallet. Figure out what it is that you enjoy about that product, or what makes it stand out. Then develop a world around those ideas and figure out how you can bring that into an image.
You can use a variety techniques in order to create a product photo that conjures the feeling you’re aiming for. Once you know how you want to frame the product, you can fill the frame with things that evoke the world you’re trying to create. Take the photo below for example, I wanted to shoot an image of my passport cover to give the viewer an urge plan their next adventure. In order to do this I laid the passport on a map with handwritten notes of hot spots, and created a vignette around the edges using travel planning related items like foreign currency, Field Notes, and a coffee to kickstart their desire to start planning.
Executed well product photography can be a great complement to the photography you already do. If you’re an adventure or travel photographer, grab your go to travel backpack or that cool leather passport cover you have and shoot some photos that when people look at them, they feel a sense of adventure come to them.
Toy photography is a close second to product photography on this list to the favorites of the ideas I have for you. In a similar vein of evoking emotion and creating a world, toy photography gives you the opportunity to create any scene that you can come up with. You can create a scene from your favorite cinematic universe like the one of Boba Fett above, or you can place a figure in the world you live in, like the photo of Woody from Toy Story, below, taking a relaxing nap in my reading chair.
If you have any action figures laying around your house, whether it’s something you own or one of your kids’ toys, photograph it. Toy photography is an incredible medium to exercise both your creativity and develop your abilities as a photographer. Over the past year I’ve used toy photography as way to better understand lighting, as I’m able to put together fairly complex lighting setups all atop a spare desk.
If you’re lacking any toys to photograph, think of a favorite character of yours from a movie or comic, do some searching on the internet and order a figure. Now you’ve got a cool addition to your desk while you work at home and a new way to exercise your creativity.
Real Estate Photography:
Instead of viewing your home as a place you’re stuck, view it as your subject and a tool to exercise your creativity. Real estate photography is a great opportunity to view your space through a new lens.
Find your favorite spot in your house or apartment and photograph it. It can be the desk you work at or the cozy corner you relax in, anywhere will do. There’s a lot of interesting challenges with photographing interiors from lighting, to set design, to framing, and the skills you develop in going through the exercise of photographing your space will translate when you get back out into the field when this is all over.
Here’s an interesting perspective, you’re a walking subject! Why not take the next few weeks to get the perfect self portrait? Update your LinkedIn photo or get the perfect profile picture for Instagram. There’s a lot you can learn through self-portraiture from lighting to positioning of yourself. Finding out the right pose for a professional portrait by doing it yourself will help you immensely next time you need to direct someone else.
Speaking of other people, if you live with others be it roommates or family, take their portraits. Photographing the ones you care about is a great way to not only become a better photographer, but bring yourself joy. Which is something we could all use a little of right now.
Food and Cocktail Photography:
We’ve all seen the crazy images of food created by photographers for advertisements, food blogs, and recipe websites. It’s a deep art form that uses a lot of unique tricks to add elements like texture and make our stomachs growl. Since you’re bound to be eating at home a lot and maybe whipping up a few cool cocktails, do some research and try to take the perfect food or cocktail photo.
The incredible thing about photography is that it is a medium that can be exercised in a plethora of different ways. Inside of each type of photography are challenges that can grow your skills to make you a better photographer as a whole. So use this slow time as an opportunity to try new things, kickstart your creativity, and develop into a better photographer than you were before all of this started.