Part of becoming an improved photographer is understanding how to challenge yourself to put the skills you already have to the test and acquire new skills that will allow you to expand your boundaries as a photographer. But what many photographers seem to think is that in order to find a challenge, one must travel to far-off locations to find material worthy of a photo. And that is just not so! A good photographer will find a photo right where they are, at their home.

Here is a list of things at home you could just practice on, things that you could do to sharpen your photography skills. These ideas are some things that all photographers can do, that will just plainly, sharpen your skills in composition, as well as lighting, and other great skills.


Photo by Ash on

This time with your food, practice the angles of how food would look in a magazine. Use some of the ingredients that make your food look better. How can you make some of your simple food look and taste even more appetizing in a photo? This is good practice for your photo skill sharpening, as well as creating something yummy at the same time.


Photo by Pixabay on

Find something in the house that would look perfect in black and white. Here is the question I always ask when shooting in black and white: Will this photo look better in black and white, than in color? What would that be? Sometimes a portrait could be great in black and white, if done right. But, usually find something in your home that is really abstract, like the photo above.


Photo by Pixabay on

This is a fun project to do with another photographer, or maybe a spouse can walk around the house, and yard and give you a list of things to photograph. It can be almost anything, but, the goal is: to find a creative way to photograph everything on the list. This is just a fun game you can do to make the scavenger hunt fun.


When I took a photography class (Photography 101), my first assignment was to take a photo of water, but to stop action with water, similar to the photo above. It’s a tougher assignment than you think. I think there are some other fun ideas to do besides this. This is such a good challenge, though, everyone should do this once. But try some other photo like this one below:

With water, doesn’t those cherries look better than ever. There are a lot of other fun ways to photograph the “water assignment”.


Photo by Ali Pazani on

To practice doing shallow depth of field, of course, you would need a good DSLR camera. You would need to have the subject good and sharp and the background out of focus. You need to make sure you are controlling that. Don’t use automatic. Don’t cheat on this. To make it even more of a challenge, pick something other than a person.

You can go out to the garden if you need to, but, focus on a flower and make sure only the flower is in focus, and nothing else. Use a good depth of field.


Photo by Oleg Magni on

There is a world of beauty at our feet, and we often miss this beauty. I see some wonderful photos that come from artists who “Look Down”. Check it out. For fun, have your family gather around and do something fun like this:

Photo by Ingo Joseph on

Interesting photo….. but, oh such memories. Photography is about memories too. Can you see this photo hanging on the wall? I bet that this photo is one of those that somehow makes it to the wall.


Perhaps one of the hardest things to do as a photographer is to learn to thin the herd, so to speak, and compose images that are simple. Going minimal is hard because we don’t see minimal scenes with our own eyes – whether it’s our living room, our backyard, or the view from the front porch, we’re bombarded with stimuli, so it’s natural that we tend to create images with all that stimuli included. But, instead of incorporating absolutely everything into a single image, try to exclude all the clutter and focus on a single, strong subject. All photos benefit from a strong subject, so this project will result in better photos whether they are minimalist or not!


Photo by Rodrigo Santos on

Working in low light is really fun for me. I love how the lighting turns out. The subtle light and shadows are almost breathtaking. And a good low light photo, like above captures such a mood, it is almost mesmerizing. These kind of photos, if you get good at, I think are some of the new types of photos that are going to sell well in stock photography and by people looking for something in their home that are looking for something romantic or something to create a certain mood. A good subject to practice.

And there you have some good tips to practice if you are bored, but want to take photos. Good ideas? If you have some other ideas, leave your ideas in the comments section. We could make another series of this if you have something to add.

This article written by Lanny Cottrell for 123Photogo.

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