Have you ever heard of the wrestlers that train by wrestling bears? They take one gigantic leap out of their comfort zone to really challenge themselves. To improve any type of skill, you have to wrestle “your bear”. Stick with me here, I am not asking you to photograph (or wrestle) a bear. I am here to encourage you to test your limits and step out of your comfort zone.
You can read 100 articles on your camera and take a college course on photography; however, without practice, it will never really CLICK. Photography is a form of art. You need practice, and you need to challenge yourself.
This weird and unique 21 day photo challenge will get you to test your limits, and it will train your eye to look differently at the pictures you are about to take. I guarantee when you finish this challenge you will be a better photographer- OR if nothing else you will at least have some fun with this fantastic hobby!
The Most Unique Photo Challenge Checklist
First step, print out the below free checklist:
21 Day Checklist Details
Day 1: Something Ugly
Photograph something gross, disturbing, or ugly. This will not only force you to photograph something that you usually wouldn’t, but it will also get you to try to see the beauty (or at least the interesting details) in everything. This is an important skill of great photographers.
Day Two: Weird Angle
Use your imagination and take a picture from an angle that you usually would not even think of. Train yourself to try different angles. You can get beautiful perspectives in your pictures by simply changing where you are taking the picture from.
Day Three: Bathroom Picture
When you think of photography, you rarely think of the bathroom (unless you are a selfie-loving teen). Think outside of the box and take a picture inside of the bathroom. Try to make a traditionally non-beautiful place into an interesting photo.
Day Four: Moving Water
To photograph moving water you have two options. First, you can increase the shutter speed on your camera, so that you can actually capture water moving. On the other hand, if you are photographing a waterfall or a stream, you may want to drastically slow down your shutter speed (and use a tripod!), to capture a soft flowing water look.
Day Five: Someone Sleeping
Capture a family member, friend, or even pet deep in sleep.
Day Six: Someone Eating
Take a picture of someone eating food. It can make the food look appetizing…or messy (yup, that is chocolate ice cream below!).
Day Seven: Close-up Portrait
Fill the entire frame with your subjects face. Try to leave little to no blank space in the picture.
Day Eight: Your Favorite Pair of Shoes
Are they muddy work boots, your gym sneakers, or your favorite pair of pumps? Take a picture of your favorite pair of shoes in their natural element!
Day Nine: Genuine Smile
Whatever you do, resist the urge to yell “Say Cheese!”. Capture a genuine, happy smile! You can tell a real smile from a fake smile if you look at the subject’s eyes.
Day Ten: Mess in Your House
Capture those beautiful messes that make up your every day life. At the time, these messes may be anxiety-inducing, but try to see and document the beauty in all of the chaos!
Day Eleven: Candid Moment
Take a picture of people interacting, or someone who hasn’t even noticed that you have your camera. Make sure it is a candid moment.
Day Twelve: Any Emotion Other Than Happy
It is rather easy to capture smiles, but try to get a picture of a different raw emotion or personality trait. Sad, mad, perplexed- it is your choice!
Day Thirteen: Something Seasonal
Whether a holiday, or a specific season, take a photo of something that only comes that time of year! This picture below screams “SUMMERTIME!” to me.
Day Fourteen: Blowing Glitter
Don’t have glitter? Try snow, sequence, or popcorn! You will have to practice increasing your shutter speed to capture the glitter particles. Check out my detailed post on glitter photo shoots for some help!
Day Fifteen: Something Mid-Air
Whether a person or thing- try to photograph something mid-air. Note: you will have to increase your shutter speed! For tips on taking sharp action shots, check out my post here!
Day Sixteen: What Makes You Happy
My sweet and clumsy daughter at dance practice makes me smile. What makes you happy? Snap it!
Day Seventeen: Someone Caught in the Action
Did your pet chew up an old toy? Did your little one take all of the toilet paper off the roll? Is your spouse sneaking into the cookie jar? Capture someone in the act of doing “something bad”.
Day Eighteen: Capture a Memory
If you don’t have anything fun on your schedule today, make it happen. Go apple picking, play in the snow, paint inside- the possibilities are endless. Do something to create a lasting memory, and bring your camera along!
It doesn’t have to be fancy!
Day Nineteen: Only Photograph PART of a Face
Sometimes when you don’t have the entire face in view, you can tell a great story.
Day Twenty: Something Neglected
Try to find something neglected for the day twenty challenge. This can be an old building, your garage, etc. Sometimes old things have plenty of character which gets absorbed into your photos!
Day Twenty-One: Self Portrait
For some, this is part of their daily ritual. For others (like me), it is painfully awkward! Set up your camera, set the timer, and try your best at a genuine smile.
Time to Wrestle Your Photography “Bear”
Obviously, I mean that metaphorically – unless wrestling bears is your “thing”. It is your time to push yourself and step out of your comfort zone. When you have completed this weird 21 day photo challenge, you will no doubt be taking better pictures!
I’d love to see some of your craziest pictures! If you found this helpful, share it!