I am currently in the middle of a year long photo a day project, and am beginning to think about what I will do once this is done.

What types of photography projects have you done?

Please keep answers to a single type.

24 Answers 24


Do the opposite: A day a photo. You are only allowed to take a single photo each day, so choose wisely. :)

This would not be something for a long running project, but you could try it for a few days, just to get a completely different view on photography.

  • 4
    Nice twist, that would certainly force you to study the subject before shooting.
    – chills42
    Jul 21, 2010 at 14:26
  • 7
    The stress would kill me! How late in the day should I wait before I risk using up my allowance? How many days will I last before I crack and take a second photo? Aaargh! :-) Jul 21, 2010 at 15:12
  • 9
    @Matt: You could start with something simpler, like not taking photos more often than you take your medication... ;D
    – Guffa
    Jul 21, 2010 at 16:37
  • 1
    One possible variation on this would be to, if you have more than one camera, specify that with a particular camera, you take exactly one photo per day. With your other camera(s), you're still allowed to take as many as you want. This (or some other relaxation on the rules) might be particularly important if, say, you have gigs you have to shoot. ;) Could be fun to make the one-a-day camera something interesting, too -- perhaps a view camera?? Or at least film. :)
    – lindes
    Feb 16, 2011 at 7:34

One that I've done is: Draw a random walk (say, 12 points, each 200 yards apart) on a map. Go and take at least one photo at each point, no matter how uninspiring you find it when you get there.

If you're a programmer, you can generate walks with Google maps/Bing maps (my own horrible implementation is here, and I apologise in advance for the UI...). If not, then print a map and just trace around some household object to get a nice random route.

  • I like this idea a lot! I think I'm going to cobble some code together tonight and have a play.
    – Edd
    Jul 21, 2010 at 14:08
  • I did something similar 8 years ago, but just stop randomly when I came to think of it instead of having a set route. <blatant self promotion> guffa.com/Photo_album.asp?album=10&date=* (Sorry that it's in swedish, but you can look at the pictures...) </blatant self promotion>
    – Guffa
    Jul 21, 2010 at 16:43
  • That is a wonderful tool. I really like what you have done. If it could generate a gpx file that could be emailed or saved to a phone that would be ideal for shooting out and about Feb 16, 2011 at 9:46
  • Oho, photographic variation on Geohashing ( wiki.xkcd.com/geohashing/Main_Page ) Apr 28, 2014 at 5:23

Constraints drive creativity. So take away your choices during shooting. Go out with just one camera and fixed lens. Shoot only black and white. Shoot slide film. Buy yourself some ancient camera.

Alternatively work with something you hate. Hate lens flare - so make a picture where you actually like lens flare. Hate high ISO noise - again, make it work for you.


I had a "Dogme 95"-inspired project a couple of years ago (and still do it, occasionally). I set up a strict set of rules for my photography, which caused me to start making images in a different manner from what I was used to. The set of rules was:

  • In-camera black & white, jpeg format (so there was no way of tweaking the gray scale conversion afterwards). Color filters were OK, both physical and in-camera software filters.
  • Camera set in manual mode with spot metering.
  • One (1) exposure per subject. I even considered switching off the functionality that automatically displays the last exposure on the LCD (but didn't).

The images that I produced under this set of rules came out with a somewhat darker atmosphere than I had done before, and it also made me look for subjects in a new manner.

One of the (in my personal opinion) better images that came out of this was this one (showing rain drops falling onto a water surface):

rain on water
(source: alcedo.com)

  • 6
    I like that shot.
    – reuscam
    Jul 21, 2010 at 17:04

The "100 strangers" project is something I've been meaning to try for a while, but I haven't yet.

I am almost finished on my 2nd year of photo-a-day though, and I expect that I'll probably keep doing a photo a day for the rest of my life. It's worth it just for the memories attached to them, and I'm already saying that before I've finished my second year :)

  • 2
    Didn't I say that about 2 hours ago? ;) Jul 21, 2010 at 19:34
  • i love that project idea. ; ) i already started a while ago with street photography and that project seems like a blast. thanks
    – xtarsy
    Mar 7, 2012 at 12:16

Spare change for a portrait - Whenever someone approaches you and asks you for money, ask them if you can take a portrait of them in exchange for the money. Inspired by Thomas Hawk's $2 Portraits set.

  • Very good one! I was thinking on doing something like that here in Brazil Oct 9, 2010 at 22:29
  • 1
    Great idea, I will soon have a great number of portraits.
    – labnut
    Feb 16, 2011 at 12:22
  • great idea,. Now i know what to say when someone asks for money ; )
    – xtarsy
    Mar 7, 2012 at 14:49

In my study they mentioned picking subjects that:

  • piss you off
  • excite you
  • you love
  • you hate
  • scare you

Whatever you pick make sure you can stick it out. If you get bored of a subject, it will show in your images. It can be as conceptual or easily accessible as you like.

The final project I did while studying was with a charity. By working for a charity, you probably won't be paid, but you will have an experience you won't forget, they will have images for whatever they need them for and you may walk away with some good portfolio stuffers.

If that doesn't float your boat, work out where you want your photography to go, and try to come up with projects along those lines. It may help to start with, "I like how ____(insert any other photographers name) images always grab my attention. How can I do something similar but with my flavour/vision/experiences?"

  • Or you could do the opposite; pick something that you find pretty boring, and try to take interresting pictures of it. The resulting photos might not be so great, but it would challenge you to improve yourself.
    – Guffa
    Aug 3, 2013 at 8:40

Letters of the Alphabet

I have done a Variation of the A-Z project, it involves taking photographs of the shapes of letters arround you, wether this is in the garden or home, or in a park, where ever.

The onesbelow were taken on a 50mm at f1.8 and that was an added part of my challenge.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here


I've been thinking about dragging my camera out to the same point on a trail several times a week for a year, then combining all the images into a video. Then I realized I was too lazy to do that.

  • Nice idea though. Jul 21, 2010 at 17:37
  • Oddly enough, the same idea came to me a few days ago as I was walking on the beach and looking at how the wind had altered the dunes.
    – labnut
    Feb 16, 2011 at 12:19

There's always the subject A-Z with your photo's successive subjects in alphabetic order (for more of a challenge, try and go it for photos that relate to your local area - as an example, a few people have done this on Flickr)


Like Night and Day - Take two shots of the same scene, one during the day and one at night, to show the contrast between night and day. Inspired by Roger Barnes.


As others have said, constraints are frequently valuable in such projects.

Sometimes, a set of constraints can spontaneously develop -- figure out that you're excited about taking pictures in a particular time/place/situation, pick some attributes of that, and repeat them. For example, I did a series for about 15 months where I went "Downtown on the 1st" -- I went to a specific corner in Downtown Seattle, and watched and photographed people passing by.

The original inspiration: It was snowing one day (a not-unheard-of but relatively-rare event in Seattle), and I happened to be downtown with a camera, and I decided I wanted to take photos of peoples' reactions to the snow. So I wandered around until I found someplace that seemed to have a good vantage for some people-watching, and started shooting. I later noticed that it had been the 1st of December when I'd done this. And in so noticing, a project was born -- on the 1st of every month after that, for a little over a year, I went down to the same corner I'd ended up on, stood in the same basic place, and photographed people going by.

I made some friends during this process (street musicians, mostly), met some interesting characters, and took a whole bunch of pictures. :)

My point with this answer, though, is not necessarily that you do a project like that (though you're welcome to), but rather that you might notice something specific that you're already doing, and decide to push yourself to replicate that, repeatedly.

Also, I'm not sure where best to mention it, so I'll just do so here: There's some interesting talk in Photography Your Way about assigning projects to yourself. Might be worth a read.

Happy projecting!

  • great project. ; ) might try this once
    – xtarsy
    Mar 22, 2012 at 8:22

A photo a day (Photo365) blog.

  • Isnt that what he said hes in the middle of in his OP?
    – reuscam
    Jul 21, 2010 at 17:05
  • 2
    Yes it is, and I'm the OPer, I just wanted to include it in the list.
    – chills42
    Jul 21, 2010 at 18:09

Open a dictionary, choose a random word, take a picture to "illustrate" it!
This can be a complement of a 365 project.

  • 1
    Oooh, reminds me of The Dictionary Game (a.k.a. Fictionary, basically the same as the commercial game Balderdash, etc.)! Hmm, could be interesting to do a photo version of that... perhaps on flickr. Someone chooses a word (or one is chosen randomly by a moderator), everyone makes up a definition and goes and takes a photo to illustrate that definition, posting both photo and definition. People then go through and vote on which ones they think are "real", and points accumulate, per the game rules. :)
    – lindes
    Feb 16, 2011 at 8:22

I'm beginning a project where i re-take very old photographs of my hometown.

I got some old photos on an old multimedia cd-rom and some blogs, and still are in the process of sorting and geotagging them. Later i will re-take the best ones!

The contrast and the changes in the streets and buildings are very interesting, i'm having a blast just going through all those old photos - and i recently found that the municipal archive has a lot more material than i can ever attempt to parse by myself.

I'll eventually make a blog or webpage with side by side comparison :)


If you want to improve portraiture, then try to photograph a 100 different people -- ideally people you'd not previously met (always advisable to get their permission, and avoid children thoguh)


If you don't want to come up with the assignments yourself at first, check out The Daily Shoot. You follow them on twitter, upload the photo you take for the assignment to any one of a number of photo-sharing sites, and tweet a link to your photo with @dailyshoot and the assignment hashtag in it. dailyshoot.com picks up all such references and displays them in a grid on the website.

I've only tried it a couple of times, but I enjoyed it.

  • Great idea, but they won't accept photos from Picasaweb, so canned the idea.
    – labnut
    Feb 16, 2011 at 12:20

Saw this the other day thought it was a good little project:


  • I've wanted to do this.. might give one of the tutorials a try Aug 16, 2010 at 15:09

I'm currently working on a project with the theme "Doors".


Pick a common object, and see how many different photos you can take with that object as the subject. Look for ways that are not obvious. I once did American Flags, and after many pictures of flagpoles, started looking for flags in reflections, flags on cars, etc...


My next one is going to be "People In Bars"


One passibility is DPChallenge -- the Digital Photography Challenge. They post several new challenges each week on Tuesdays, and sometimes "speed challenges" (and other special challenges?) in between.

I haven't participated much in a while, but I still check it frequently, and will sometimes shoot for a challenge if it inspires me.

The basic process is this:

  • 1st week: Challenge is open for submissions. Generally announced at midnight Eastern Time (US) on a Tuesday night (Wednesday morning), the challenges are open to submissions which must be taken with a digital camera during the (usually) 1-week period that the challenge is open.

  • The following week (for another 7 days, exactly), there's a voting process, which you're highly encouraged to participate in, where you rate each submission on a 1-10 scale, and can optionally comment as well.

  • The following week, winners (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place) are announced, based on the top average score of all votes cast for each image.

The challenges tend to have a fair bit of latitude for interpretation, while also being somewhat specific in ways... so, it can get you thinking. And I've seen some pretty amazing images come out of it -- the winners are often quite impressive.


One thing I have tried is to go out with a friend who also likes photography and we set a challenge, such as 'best bokeh' and see who can get the best photo from the location. Then we go somewhere else and try something else. One thing I have though of doing for the next time we do this is writing down places on pieces of card and topics/subjects on pieces of cards and then picking randomly from each pile. You could even separate the 3. So it could be at 'the beach' shooting 'portraits' with 'lens flare'.


One thing I very much like is decay. This can be anything from mouldy food, to rusty padlocks.

As you go about your day, don't worry about it too much, but just become a little more 'aware' of the old things around you. A battered old car, weathered and peeling paint on the side of a building... Flowers that have bloomed and now withering and dying in the cold of winter... Just anything that isn't shiny and new!

Then, get in close. If you have a macro lens, great. Otherwise stick your lens right in and find the art hidden within...

Me? I'm a big fan of rust... Sounds boring, but it is so intricate and colourful close-up!

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