College blog

Finding inspiration and motivation: a photography challenge

This week, we have been thinking of ways to get out of the house in preparation for brighter weather in the spring, which is almost here! We have put together some inspiration to get you started so get your camera or mobile phone ready. Let’s try to look at our local area a little differently.

Before you start, these sorts of challenges are great to try to do with friends, family members or supporters. Lots of people have access to a digital camera on their phones nowadays. However, you can also share and take turns then look over the results later, giving you the perfect opportunity to have a cup of tea and a chat.

Find a walk

Map out a walk that will take you on an interesting route around your local area and take a photograph every five minutes with your digital camera or phone.

There are lots of ways to plan a walk. Get off the bus a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way. Or take public transport to an area you don’t know as well and explore. Why not try the tram for the day or even a train journey?

Look for colour

On your first trip, try to take photographs of objects from every colour of the rainbow. Such as a red postbox; an orange flower; a yellow high visibility jacket; green insect; blue bird; indigo car; and a violet shop front. Or pick a theme that you are interested in: food; fashion; nature; art; transport; architecture; or you could even select something more abstract. An abstract project could be to look for interesting shadows (a great project for a sunny day) or see how many triangles you can find as you walk around.

A woman at a restaurant having her photo taken Another idea is to take photographs that you think represent your favourite songs. You could even listen to your playlist on some headphones as you take photographs.

Or try to find as many things in your local area that remind you of a place you’d like to visit (a great opportunity to indulge in researching a destination for a dream holiday). Can you find things that remind you of Brazil in Beeston? The Mediterranean in Mapperley? Scotland in Sherwood?

Indoor projects

Take photographs to monitor your progress on a project. It could be something simple like you have decided to tidy a room of your house. A photograph of the results could help motivate you to keep it tidy or if it does get messy again – it will serve as a goal as to how good it can look!

If you have a hobby, such as an art, craft or building project, you could take photographs of that to show your progress. Try to experiment with light from different sources, such as from a window or just from a desk lamp. It will create interesting shadows in your photographs depending on what time of day you take them.

Stuck for inspiration? Social media is great for this. There are lots of inspirational people or groups to follow on Pinterest and Instagram. Alternatively, why not choose a book on your favourite subject in the local library. Perhaps you could add onto your photography project and learn something new at the same time?

Have you found this blog post helpful? We would love to hear from you on our Facebook page or via our Twitter. Alternatively, please email our blog co-production team on


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