Freelance, Inspiration, Photography

How To Find Inspiration For A Dramatic Photo Shoot

Yes, you may be a competent and seasoned photographer, but this doesn’t always mean that you’re in the mood to create the best photos. There are days when you just feel like you lack the inspiration to take dramatic and impactful pictures. If you’ve got a scheduled shoot, you feeling completely unmotivated may result in photos that look bland.

The good news, however, is that finding inspiration is not as hard as you think. Even the simplest of things can already incite that passion inside of you, helping you take stunning photos of which people can’t get enough. If you need help along that line, here are pointers to keep in mind when looking for inspiration for a dramatic photoshoot:

1. Have A Camera Wherever You Go

For people like you, photography is more than just a hobby. You see through your lens and appreciate the beauty of things that are usually taken for granted by other people. Having said that, always have a camera wherever you go. That way, if there’s anything that inspires you, you can immediately take a photo of it. You don’t even have to bring a big camera as your mobile phone can already suffice. 

Should there be a day that you lack inspiration, you can simply scroll back through your files and browse through all the photos that were born out of you being motivated. Whenever you need that inspiration for drama, you can easily have concepts to look back on.

2. Visit New Places

Mastering the Art of Travel Photography

If there’s a new place of which you haven’t yet shot photos, for your next photoshoot, you might want to visit this location. Shooting at a new site gives you more inspiration than you can ever imagine. This stems from the excitement that you feel when you set foot on and take photos of this particular place for the very first time. This place doesn’t even have to be anywhere grand. It can be simple places, like the following:

  • A nearby town or village that you haven’t gone to before
  • Local parks or historical sites that you didn’t bother shooting in

But, if you have the budget to go to the North Pole, then why not!

3. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

How To Find Inspiration For A Dramatic Photo Shoot (1)

By getting out of your comfort zone as a photographer, this doesn’t mean copying the styles of other photographers. It means trying out new techniques or those you have never used before, regardless of whether or not they’ve ever been done before by anyone. Choose styles and ideas for your photoshoot that you wouldn’t usually use under normal circumstances. This can help provide you with the best inspiration for dramatic photoshoots.

4. Listen To Inspirational Songs

Powerful Images Inspired by Music | Emotional Storytelling with Twyla Jones Lost in the Song Features

Playing inspirational music can help set the mood on the set of a dramatic photoshoot. Make sure that the song you’re playing while shooting matches the mood of the photos to be created. Songs can help inspire you or set the right theme in your mind. For example, if you want to add more drama and emotions to the shoot, play sad music. If you want to add feelings of natural happiness and love, play uplifting tracks. Or, if you need the baby to relax more, you may play relaxing music.

5. Browse Through Theme Ideas

Shooting with a theme refers to those photography sessions where you’re trying to depict a particular idea or concept. For instance, is it a newborn photoshoot depicting the peace and arrival of a baby?  Is it a pre-wedding photoshoot with a Great Gatsby theme? Is it a vintage-themed photoshoot for a coming-of-age party? So much drama can be added to pictures through staging a theme.

With a theme, everyone on set plays a part. After the whole studio has been successfully designed to match the theme, now it’s up to you and the subject to do the hard work. When you’re confused as to how to go about with creating dramatic photos, a theme can help put you in position.

Themed shoots may even be more fun for your subjects, as well as easier for them to move through their emotions.

6. Browse Through 365 Project Ideas

How To Do A 365 Photo Project Without Failing

Some photographers have made it easier for those in need of inspiration to gather ideas, and it’s through what’s known as a 365 Project Idea. As its name suggests, this refers to a project album with 365 ideas inside. When you’re in dire need of inspiration, looking through these galleries can help give you that boost of drama and motivation that you need.

If you’ve got time on your hands, you may even start this 365 Project Ideas yourself. Then, when you need inspiration, you can browse through your own portfolio. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Find a forum or avenue to share your photos
  • Don’t be too stiff and give yourself more freedom 
  • Lower your expectations for every photo as there are some that will be simpler than others
  • Don’t skip a day
  • Explore new genres or themes

7. Watch Inspirational Movies

Apart from listening to music, there’s a lot of inspiration for drama that photographers can also gain through observing the cinematography in movies. Before you set out for a photoshoot, take the time to watch movies. These can be anything from love and romantic movies, to those that are sad and heartbreaking. It would be best if you choose a movie genre that perfectly matches the dramatic theme you ought to achieve. 

8. Browse Through Photography Websites

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Another excellent way for photographers to find inspiration for a dramatic photoshoot is through browsing photography sites, such as Photo Shoot Goals. On those sites, you’re sure to find that aha moment that you’ve been searching for. The point of browsing through these sites isn’t to copy what other photographers have done. It’s simply to gather ideas and motivation when you’re without them.


Creating beautiful and awe-inspiring images is an inherent ability that you have. But, it’s not all the time that you’re feeling inspired and motivated. Should you ever find yourself scouring for inspiration, keep these tips in mind. In applying those enumerated, you’re sure to become a more excellent photographer than you used to.

Author Description:

Staff writer for Photo Shoot Goals, a website for aspiring photographers looking for photo shoot tips.

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