50 Things to Photograph For Beginners

by | Beginner


Ever run out of things to photograph? Today I am giving you 50 Things To Photograph For Beginners! I get it! It’s hard to come up with ideas of what to shoot. I tell my students in The Beginners Photography Essentials Classes all of the time that you should have your camera in your hand daily, and if you are doing this…you quickly run out of things. And, if you know me, you know I LOVE a list. That is why I’ve put together my list of 50 Things To Photograph For Beginners. You no longer have to stress because I’ve put it all together for you.

I’ve broken down the list of 50 Things To Photograph For Beginners into my top 5 favorites, plus forty-five more things for you to shoot.

Take your time with these shots. Remember to use the rules of composition and shoot with intention to make sure that you get the best possible shot! Have fun, and don’t forget to share your snaps in the Facebook Group!

50 Things to Photograph For Beginners

#1 Fruit

Fruit is an easy one as most of us have some lying around. Grab a piece of fruit or a whole basket of fruit and start snapping. Remember to shoot a fresh, ripe piece of fruit, as no one wants photos of rotten fruit. Place your fruit on any type of background. A wood cutting board, a decorative plate, a marble countertop, all while remembering to make the fruit the star. Just as with any subject, if there are too many distractions, your viewer’s eye will have a hard time finding the subject.

Fill the frame with a single colored fruit, or use those lemons to practice the rule of thirds. Remember to shoot with purpose and capture the very best image that you can, and keep in mind that the inside of the fruit can often be the most interesting. If you are slicing your fruit, use a sharp knife and even slices to make it more appealing. If you have a fruit tree in your garden, capture some fruit on the vine. Photographing fruit helps master your craft. It pushes you to think creatively and outside the box, so have fun and push your photos!

50 Things to Photograph for Beginners

# 2 Books

Most everyone has books lying around, and if you let your creativity flow, you can create some incredible photos with them! Try shooting the spines of the books all lined up on the shelf. Or what about getting a closeup and filling the frame by shooting the words on the page? Do you have books with beautiful covers? Try capturing the covers of some of your beautiful books, but be aware of glare when photography as you don’t want to lose the details.

I love photos of the pages of books. You want to use a soft natural light when doing this. Try placing your open book near a window and play with the shadows of the light on the pages.

If you have a macro lens, now is the time to use it. Use the macro lens to capture the numbered pages, certain words or paragraphs, or the book’s illustrations. The possibilities are endless.

50 Things to Photograph for Beginners

#3 Eyes

One of my favorite exercises to do when I feel “out of things to photograph” is to push myself by focusing on one thing. Often I will photograph my family member’s eyes. I get as close in as possible and fill the frame with only their eyes. It’s a great exercise because the background isn’t important, so you can practice it almost anywhere.

You can focus on only one person, you can have two people lean together and get both sets of eyes, or you can focus on creating a great image of just one eye. One important thing is to have good lighting. Place your subject facing a window, working on capturing catchlights.

Play with your focal point and aperture to capture different focal points, and remember to use a tripod if your shutter speed gets too low.

Again, think outside of the box and push yourself a bit.

50 Things to Photograph for Beginners

#4 Leading Lines

With every photo you shoot, you want your viewer to be drawn to the subject, and leading lines are a great way to achieve this. You have heard me say it. Leading lines are everywhere. Are you feeling a bit bored with your photos? Then grab that camera and search for the leading lines.
Search your house, take a walk, look everywhere and begin to see how many lines there are to shoot!

Leading lines can be used in portrait photography, landscape photography, street photography, or any type of photography you shoot. One thing you want to avoid when shooting leading lines is having your line lead to nothing. Also, avoid thinking that leading lines have to be straight lines. They can be diagonal, curved, horizontal or vertical.

Look for paths, stairways, railings, the lines on your floor and, place your subject at the end and shoot away.

50 Things to Photograph for Beginners

#5 Bokeh

Do you know those beautiful little circles of light in the background of a photograph? That is bokeh, and it’s one of my favorites. Who doesn’t love some beautiful bokeh? Why not work on perfecting capturing the beautiful blur in your photos? Find a subject, whether it’s a person or an object and start creating some bokeh. 

Remember, a larger aperture and good depth of field are needed when creating bokeh. The background is also important. A plain background will not give you good bokeh. You want a background with light or sunlight reflecting off of water or coming through trees.  

50 Things to Photograph for Beginners

If my top 5 aren’t enough to keep you busy, check out the rest of my 50 Things To Photograph For Beginners here…

At Home

Part of learning to be a good photographer is seeing the art in things that, to others, seem ordinary.  Look through your house, room by room, looking for different light to place your subjects.  Search for different ways to make everyday items look more artistic and extraordinary.

Your dinner
Contents of your refrigerator
Board Games
Ice Cubes


Once again, creativity is key when photographing the body. Crop in tight, capturing the skin’s texture or the angles of the body part. Remember to avoid cropping at the limbs, but do remember to change your angle and perspective. Use black and white photography and play with the shadows. The possibilities are endless.



When photographing things outside, don’t forget to use the rules of composition and change your perspective. You do not want your subject dead center. And just like when you are shooting a portrait, avoid cluttering your subject or making the shot too busy. Focusing on one element and making it stand out will make your photo much more appealing. 

Branches or Logs

Around Town

When shooting around your town, you will use many of the same techniques that you used when shooting outside.  Look at things and shoot from different perspectives.  If possible, shoot from above, or get down low and shoot from below. Remember to look for the little details in things to add to the story of your photos.

Lake, River or Pond
City Buildings
Train Station
Sporting Event
Skateboard Park
Ice Skating Rink
Political Rally
Bus Stop


Photographing people is a beautiful way to tell their stories. You want to capture their character so that the viewer feels that they know the individual. Remember, the individual is your focus, not the background or surroundings. Practice posed shots or candid photos, all while capturing their emotions. 

Significant Other
Self Portrait

And…if you’re up for a challenge:

Once you feel you’re ready to push yourself even further, why not work on a few more challenging shots.  Use your imagination and capture the best photos you can of the list below.  Again remember to push your creativity when coming up with your ideas.

Low Light
Golden Hour

I hope this has given you a starting point for those days where you are searching for something to shoot. If you want a weekly challenge, then come Join the Learn Photography with Dena for our Project 52 Challenge, and if you’d like to reach your photography goal even faster, check out the Beginners Photography Essentials Class!

Lifestyle Photographer & Mentor

Hi, I’m Dena, a natural light lifestyle photographer with 20+ years of experience capturing other people’s memories and teaching photographers how to understand and easily use their cameras.

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