Creative Ideas

5 Creative Ideas for Great Photos

5 Creative Ideas for Great Photos with Vanessa Joy

Nailing the perfect shot doesn’t always have to involve endless posing or complicated lighting. Sometimes you can capture a magical photo just by thinking outside the box and using an everyday item in an unexpected way.

Whether it’s a bouquet of flowers or the glass in the picture frame on your nightstand, simple objects can pull double duty as budget-friendly photography tools. I promise that these photography hacks aren’t just novelties—they’re tools you’ll return to again and again. Keep reading to learn about five of my favorite ways to capture timeless photos using creative ideas.

1. Shoot Through Something

When you’re trying to liven up a traditional portrait, why not add color or texture by shooting through something? Shooting through something involves keeping an object out of focus in the foreground so that it adds a cool effect to the photo. You can also use this technique to frame your subject and draw attention to them. I particularly like to use objects like flowers for this—using a small bouquet of round yellow flowers is perfect for framing a subject, adding softness around the edge of the photo, and adding an interesting pop of color in an unexpected place.

If you’re outside, you can always experiment by shooting through leaves on a tree. Imagine how pretty it would be to frame a couple outdoors with the out-of-focus strands of a weeping willow, or how cool it would look to add a little color to a bride’s portrait using one of the flowers from her bouquet. Try experimenting with objects around your home or studio and see what works for you—you might be surprised!

2. Shoot Through Color

If you have a piece of acrylic lying around, don’t neglect it! Shooting through something colored can add an exciting new element of visual interest. On a recent shoot, I was looking for something to add a bit of visual flair to an otherwise plain portrait. I looked around and discovered an invitation I had received to a gala (fancy, I know!), which was a large acrylic rectangle featuring massive swirls of deep blue and orange. Once I held up the acrylic to the light, I saw that it cast my model in vibrant blues and oranges, making for a colorful and exciting shot.

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To read the full article, launch the digital version of the July 2021 magazine.