41 extreme ideas for photographers

(Last Updated On: February 22, 2012)

Are you looking for new direction in your photography? Consider the list below. Doing the same thing over and over tends to lead to the same results.   It’s time to kick the same-old, same-old to the curb and try something new.

Some of these ideas may not be new to you. If you’ve done them before, take the idea to the next level or over the edge to get your synapses moving.  Many of the ideas may involve a little research or investigation. I’m not encouraging you to do anything harmful or life threatening.

Ultimately, the concepts below are designed to improve your photography and help you create a better business. I threw in a few marketing ideas, of course.

  1. Create a photograph without using your camera (any electronic camera).
  2. Figure out what it costs you every second to run your business over a year. (one year = 31, 556, 926 seconds)
  3. Ask someone who intimidates you to be your next model.
  4. Take one day to create a Cinemagraph portfolio.
  5. Call on the biggest agency or company in town for an appointment to show your portfolio.
  6. Create a portfolio designed for people on Pinterest.
  7. Light your subject using only mirrors.
  8. Build a scene out of Legos and make an awesome photograph.
  9. Develop a plan and sales funnel that focuses on selling only one specific photograph.
  10. Rent the most expensive photography equipment you can afford for a week to see if it improves your images.
  11. Network non-stop until you get the names and phone numbers of 20 people who just got engaged.
  12. Photograph two opposite subjects in one image.  Make it work.
  13. Photograph an entire day without looking through the viewfinder.
  14. Ask a total stranger for a referral.
  15. Spend an entire day reading and commenting on blogs. (You will understand blogs much better.)
  16. Create a working photography studio out of a shoe box.
  17. Photograph while running.
  18. Don’t photograph more than 50 feet from you house for a week. Create a portfolio of 10 incredible images.
  19. Ask the mayor of your town to pose with his/her No. 1 rival.
  20. Create a portfolio-worthy image in a photo booth.
  21. Plan all the details for a yearlong worldwide photo safari.
  22. Create a new Photoshop technique.
  23. Start a movement using the images from your camera. (social, political etc.)
  24. Create a scavenger hunt for you and photographer friends. (Make it a challenge.)
  25. Invite your favorite famous musician or actor to pose for you.
  26. Create your own unique DIY lighting system from supplies available at the hardware store.
  27. Photograph an entire session without reviewing one image on the back of your camera.  Wait until the next day to review the results. (This is how photography used to be).
  28. Write a poem and then create a photograph to go with it.
  29. Photograph from an extreme view.
  30. Frame and sell one of your photographs on the street.
  31. Create a great-looking photograph of rotting food.
  32. Create a beautiful out-of-focus or blurry photograph.
  33. Double your normal fees on your next five estimates.
  34. Photograph an event without taking one picture of the main subject. (This idea might not be good for paid assignments.)
  35. Spend a day promoting other photographers in town.
  36. Call every client you have served and ask what you could have done better.
  37. Write a list of 100 photography ideas, subjects or concepts to try over the next year.
  38. Photograph by candle light.
  39. Recreate one of your favorite photographs from another photographer.
  40. Change your profile photo on Facebook every day for a month.
  41. Take a photo walk every day for a year.

I’ll stop here.  What would you add?


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