15 Photo Essay Ideas (to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing)

15 Photo Article Ideas (to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing)

photo essay ideas

Visible storytelling is a normal component of our everyday lives, but coming up with good photo essay ideas can be challenging. Thus in this article, I want to share several topics you can use to create interesting, compelling picture essays .

A single, strong photograph can convey a lot of information about the subject – but sometimes we have topics that require several image to do the job. That is when it’s time to create a photo essay: a collection of photos that together with each other tell the bigger story of a chosen theme.

Here’s a short list of ideas to get you began!

Karen woman portrait
Nikon D800 | 105mm | f/8 | 1/125s | ISO 400
© Kevin Landwer-Johan.

one A day in the life

Your first photo essay idea is simple: Track a life over the course of one day. You may make an essay regarding someone else’s life. Or the life of a location, like the sidewalk outside your house.  

The subject issue you choose is up to you. But start in the morning that a series of images showing your subject over the course of a typical day.

(Alternatively, you can document your subject matter on a special day, like a birthday, a wedding, or some other special event. )

woman with a backpack getting on a train photo essay ideas
Nikon D800 | 105mm | f/6. 3 | 1/100s | ISO 400
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

2 . Capture hands

Pictures focus on a subject’s encounter – but why not blend it up and make a picture essay that focuses on your own subject’s hands?

(You can also focus on a collection of various people’s fingers. )

Hands can tell you a lot about an individual. And showing them inside context is a great way to narrate a story.

people on a train
Nikon D800 | 35mm | f/5 | 1/80s | ISO 1600
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

3. A child plus their parent

Photographs that catch the particular interaction between parents and children are special. A parent-child connection is strong and unique, so making effective images isn’t challenging. You just need to be ready to capture the particular special moments as they occur.  

You might concentrate on a parent training their child. Or the pair performing sports. Or working on a special project.

Use your imagination, and you will have a great time with this theme.

4. Tell a nearby artist’s story 

I’ve always enjoyed shooting artists as they work; companies have a creative vibe, therefore the energy is already there. Provide your camera into this particular environment and try to tell the artist’s story!

An artist’s studio offers plenty of opportunities regarding wonderful photo essays. Think about the most fascinating aspects of the artist’s process. What do they do that makes their art special? Try to show this in your pictures.

Many people appreciate fine art, but they’re often not aware of what happens behind the scenes. So documenting a good artist can produce fascinating visible stories.

artist at work with copper
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

5. Show the tradesperson’s process

Do you have a plumber approaching over to fix your destroy? Is a builder making you a new deck?

Take photos while they function! Tell them what you want to do before you start, plus don’t forget to share your pictures with them.

They’ll probably appreciate seeing what they do from another viewpoint. They may even want to occurs photos on their company web site.

hot iron in crucible
Nikon D800 | 105mm | f/4. five | 1/250s | INTERNATIONALE ORGANISATION FÜR STANDARDISIERUNG 1600
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

The school fundraiser, a tree-planting day at a park, or perhaps a parade; these are all community events that make for good image essay ideas.

Think like a photojournalist . What type of images would your editor want? Make sure to capture some wide-angle compositions , some medium shots, plus some close-ups.

(Getting in close to show the details can often tell as much of a story as the wider images. )

seven. Fresh market life

Markets are great for digital photography because there’s always plenty of activity and lots of characters. Think about how you can best illustrate the flow of life at the market. What are the vendors performing that’s most interesting? What are the routines of the shoppers?

Look to capture the particular essence of the place. Attempt to portray the people who work and shop there.

woman at the fresh market
Nikon D800 | 50mm | f/11 | 0. 4s | ISO hundred
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

8. Shoot the same location over time

Exactly what location do you visit frequently? Is there a way you can make an interesting photo essay about it?

Consider what you discover most attractive and unappealing about the place. Look for factors that change over time.  

Any outside location will look different throughout the day. Also think about the changes that occur from season in order to season. Create an article that tells the story of the place.

nine. Photograph a garden through the seasons

It might be your own garden . It could be the neighbor’s. It could even be the back garden at your local park.

Think about how the plants change during the course of annually. Capture photos of the most significant visual differences, then existing them as a photo article.

lotus flower
Nikon D800 | 105mm | f/11 | 1/125s | ISO four hundred
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

10. Pick a local trigger to highlight

Photo essays can go past passive documentation; they can turn into a part of your activism, too!

So find a cause that matters for you. Tell the story of a few aspect of community life that needs improvement. Is there an ongoing issue with litter in your area? How about visitors; is there a problematic intersection?

Document these issues, then make sure to show the photos to people responsible for taking action.

11. Making a meal

Photo essay tips can be about simple, everyday things – like making a meal or a coffee.

How can you artistically illustrate something that seems so mundane? My guess is that, if you put your mind to it, you can come up with numerous unique views, all of which will make great stories.

plate of Thai curry photo essay ideas
Nikon D800 | 55mm | f/5 | 1/125s | ISO one hundred sixty
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

12. Religious traditions

Religion is often affluent with visual expression in one form or another. So capture it!

Naturally , you may need to narrow down your opinions and choose a specific facet of worship to photograph. Try to show what people do whenever they visit a holy place, or how they pray on their own. Illustrate what makes their faith real and what’s special about this.

photo essay idea monks walking
Nikon D800 | 35mm | f/4 | 1/200s | ISO eight hundred
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

13. Historic sites

Historic sites in many cases are iconic, and plenty of professional photographers take a snapshot or two.

Using a photo essay, you can demonstrate the site’s history in greater depth.

Look for details of the place that many visitors miss. Plus use these to build a fascinating story.

fourteen. Cover a sports game

Most sports photographers aim for a stunning picture of the decisive moment – when the action is at its peak. But nailing photos like that can be very challenging.

So why not focus on something else? After all, sports involve so much more than a single moment. There is training, preparation, and extending. There’s the emotion carrying out a victory or a tough reduction.

These other subjects, when took pictures of carefully, can make for an interesting photo essay, too.

15. Photograph your pet

If you’re an animal owner, you already have the right subject for a photo article!

Most pets , with the possible exception of pet rocks, will provide you with an amount of interesting moments to photograph.

Therefore collect these moments with your camera – then screen them as a photo article showing the nature and personality of your pet.

Woman and elephant
Nikon D800 | 105mm | f/5. 6 | 1/400s | ISO 400
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Photo essay ideas: last words

Go through the world around you. Consider that which you see every day. What aspects interest you the most? Photograph those things.

You’re bound to end up with some gorgeous photo essays!

Now over to you:

Do you have any photo essays you’re proud of? Do you have any more photo article ideas? Share your thoughts and images in the comments below!

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Kevin Landwer-Johan

Kevin Landwer-Johan

Kevin Landwer-Johan is really a photographer, photography teacher, and author with over 3 decades of experience that he likes to share with others.

Check out his e-books and his website .

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