10 Interesting Photo Opportunity Ideas For Your Portfolio

Working to become a well-known photographer is not an overnight process. In addition to understanding the ins and outs of the technical side of photography, you will also need to have a knack for creativity and an eye for the perfect shot. If you’re looking for a way to build a portfolio that is uniquely your own and one that reflects you as an artist, there are a few different photo opportunity ideas to consider to help you get started down the right path on your photography journey.

1. Abandoned Buildings

If you’re an avid explorer and love finding new locations that are undiscovered or abandoned, consider exploring various abandon buildings near you or in local cities. Some of the best photo opportunity ideas involve areas that are no longer available or accessible to the public. Before you head out exploring a nearby abandoned town or city near you, be sure to conduct adequate research ahead of time to determine if the location is safe during the daytime and night.

Once you find a location you’d like to shoot in, it’s important to keep your surroundings in mind at all times. In some instances, you may need to contact a local trusted locksmith if you’re unable to gain access to a particular location you’re interested in seeing. A local locksmith may or may not be interested in assisting you with the task depending on your location and whether you are currently trespassing at the time you request a locksmith for service.

2. Junkyards

Junkyards are also ideal locations for unique photo opportunity ideas that are non-traditional. Taking photos of bright car parts, mingled metal, and natural surroundings can give you a completely unique canvas to work with, especially if you are drawn towards shoots outdoors. Junkyard photos can provide you with a raw, gritty effect, depending on where you live and the surrounding junkyards that are available to you.

3. Farms

If you’re searching for photo opportunity ideas that allow you to make the most out of the great outdoors, consider visiting local farms. If you know someone who owns a farm or if there are farms available to the public you can inquire about your ability to take photos on the land ahead of time. From photographing natural surroundings, crops, animals, and skylines to specific John Deere parts, there are many different ways to consider capturing farms as a professional or even as an amateur photographer.

4. Race Tracks

If you’re looking for unique photo opportunity ideas that allow you to take action shots, consider visiting a local race track during an upcoming racing event. Race tracks are not only optimal for taking shots of vehicles in motion, but they are also a perfect location for gathering photos of crowds of people enjoying themselves in public. Whether you intend to take a photo of an automobile tire that is being repaired or a vehicle that is racing to the finish line, there are many different unique photo shoot opportunities when visiting any type of local race track near you.

5. Car Shows

For vehicle lovers and automobile collectors, visiting a car show is the perfect location to take photos of Dodge Viper parts as well as exotic vehicles. For photographers that are avid car collectors or simply enjoy vehicles, visiting a car show is a must. When visiting a car show, be sure to determine if it’s permitted to take photographs ahead of time. You can often find this information by searching for local car shows that will be available near you online. Once you find a car show near you, read the terms and conditions as well as any rules that are in place regarding photographs and flash photography on the site of the show itself.

6. Nature

For those who are interested in traditional photo opportunity ideas that still provide the opportunity to render completely unique results, consider hosting a photo shoot in nature. Taking photos in nature is possible when going for a walk, spending time in your own yard, or even when you’re exploring new areas and surroundings in your community. Nature photos can include sunrays and sunlight, or shadows that reflect on the surface of a puddle. Photos can include tree removal evidence or even signs of a new tree or life growing in its place. When it comes to nature photographs, your only limitation is typically your imagination and the accessible surroundings you have near you.

How to Get Started With Taking Pictures in Nature

Taking pictures in nature does not require an advanced degree in photography or an in-depth understanding of basic photography tips and tricks. However, it will require a good eye and a bit of creativity to get the perfect shot. When you want to take photos in nature, consider the various areas that you have available near you and the time of year you’re interested in shooting. Research parks, open fields, riverbeds, creeks, and even forests that are accessible to the public near you.

If you’re looking for a bit more adventure, consider visiting nearby caves, waterfalls, or unique landmarks that are constructed and maintained outdoors. Before heading out on your outdoor adventure, always be sure to verify that the routes you have chosen are safe. Traveling with a friend is always advisable when you are looking to spend time shooting outdoors in unique positions and at potentially dangerous heights. The more familiar you become with the region you live in or intend to shoot in, the less likely you are to feel nervous or out of your element once you arrive to begin taking the photographs you have in mind.

How to Become Familiar With Taking Photos in Nature

While it’s possible for just about anyone to get involved with nature photography, the more you understand about lighting, shadows, and natural time cycles, the easier it will be for you to find the perfect shot each time you are outdoors. Research various camera types and lenses that are ideal for outdoor shoots based on the type of camera you own or prefer to use whenever you are outside. Research makes and models of cameras that you are interested in investing in for your future as a professional photographer.

If you’re new to taking nature photographs, consider joining local and online communities that are dedicated to outdoor photographing and capturing the essence of nature that is all around us. Joining a community will not only help you to learn more about lenses, lighting, shadows, and settings of your camera, but it will also provide you the opportunity to meet others who are interested in nature. Compare shots, skills, and locations of photos when getting to know others who are also looking to build their portfolios.

7. Dog Parks

If you’re an animal lover or if you own dogs of your own, you may want to consider visiting local dog parks to gather the photos you need for your portfolio. Whether you have local dog parks for play or dog behavior training available near you, dog parks provide the perfect opportunity to take brilliant and joyful pictures of the animals in your local community. When taking photos of animals, consider whether you’re more interested in action or still shots to determine the best method of shooting once you arrive at the park.

8. Music Festivals

For photographers who are searching for exciting photo opportunity ideas, consider visiting local music festivals. Music festivals and outdoor gatherings provide virtually unlimited opportunities to take the perfect pictures. Photographing concert-goers during a live performance, watching artists, and even photographing colorful surroundings, vendors, and delicious treats can provide you with excellent results that are just perfect to add to your own professional photography portfolio.

How to Take Pictures at a Music Festival

If you decide to go to a local music festival to take photos for your portfolio, consider the type of festival you will be attending, its location, and the risk of losing your camera or having it damaged while you are at the festival itself. While some festivals may be more open to photography and tourists, others may be a bit rambunctious, which may require a few additional precautions to ensure you are as protected as possible before you begin shooting. Before heading to any music festival, it is also imperative to determine if you are permitted to take photos and if flash photography is also allowed for guests.

Researching and contacting a music festival ahead of time will help you to determine if you are allowed to take photos as a guest or attendee. This will minimize confusion and reduce the risk of being fined or asked to stop taking photos once you arrive at the festival. Taking photos of a live music festival is possible by capturing unique individuals in colorful garb, musical entertainers and performers, or even objects such as a nearby fancy porta potty rental.

9. Industrial Settings

If you’re searching for photo opportunity ideas that will help your portfolio stand out but you also want to steer clear of traditional abandon buildings and the abandon building scene, consider alternative industrial settings. Industrial settings and atmospheres are considered more modern than ever, especially with the risk of exposed brick and industrial materials being used in modernized design settings. From contacting a local mine to working with a well drilling company near you, it is possible for you to find the perfect industrial setting with a bit of legwork and research.

Advantages of Industrial Settings

Choosing to set up shop and take photos in an industrial setting provides you with access to raw materials, equipment, and machinery. This can give your portfolio a sleek and chic look, especially if you are focused on and geared toward taking photos of products or representing brands. Industrial setting photographs are also versatile and demonstrate your ability to shoot indoors as well as whenever you are outdoors in nature.

10. Construction Sites

If you enjoy industrial photo shoots, and you’re searching for other unique photo opportunity ideas that are similar in nature, consider visiting construction sites that you are permitted to shoot on. Construction site shoots are extremely unique as they are providing a one-of-a-kind look into the construction and development of a particular building or site. If you’re interested in visiting a roofing repair job or another construction site for residential or commercial lots near you, consider inquiring about your ability to take a few photos on the site itself.

How to Take Photos of Construction Sites

In some cases, you may have the ability to contact the owner of a property or lot to ask about taking photos of the construction as it occurs, depending on the home or building you’re interested in covering as well as your current location. In other instances, however, you may need to seek permission from the construction company that has accepted the job itself. While many properties that are undergoing construction property may be owned by local homeowners, other sites may be owned by investors, requiring additional clearance and permission in order for you to take photos on the land or on the surrounding property at any time.

If you are unable to receive permission to take photos at a local construction site, you can also consider taking the photographs from somewhere that is not technically considered the property. Taking photos from afar is another way to take advantage of a unique angle while also getting the perfect shot. While you may not be able to get extremely close to a construction site without proper permission or guidance, there are typically no rules stating that you cannot take photos of an area around you that is, in fact, accessible to the nearby public.

When it comes to establishing and building your portfolio as a photographer, there are many different photo opportunity ideas to consider. Whether you are interested in live-action shots or if you prefer creating your own abstract style in nature, the only limitation when it comes to photography is your own vision and imagination. The more willing you are to explore various styles of photography and your own sense of style, the easier it will be for you to determine which locations are ideal for your next planned photo shoot.

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