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TKE05: How to defeat boredom of subject matter in photography - The Photography Express

TKE05: How to defeat boredom of subject matter in photography

Question: How to defeat boredom of subject matter in photography

Hello photographers! Today I’m thrilled to answer one of your questions and it is “how to defeat boredom of subject matter in photography”. Whether you have a 9-5 job, a full time student or a busy parent this is definitely going to apply to you. So let’s get started!

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When I first started photography, I get excited all the time because every photography subjects were new to me. Macro, landscape, portraits so basically all areas in photography were appearing to me and I took lots of pictures.

However, I quickly burnt out myself. The fact was that there were just not that many interesting things to take pictures after all. To cut straight to my point, I stopped taking pictures because I got bored of the subject matter.

Why did that happen?

Was it because I wasn’t going to interesting place enough? Kind of but not exactly. I didn’t have the money and time to travel to a great location and take pictures all the time. The thing is, unless I live right in the middle of New York Times Square I won’t be able to find interesting things to snap pictures with 24/7.

In conclusion, I need to create those interesting moments myself. So what can you do in this case? Below are 9 things that I’ve been doing to defeat my boredom in my photography journey.

1) Show people your different point of view

Try to take a picture that no one has tried before. It is easy to say than done but let me give you a quick tip. Just shoot from a different angle! If you just take that one extra step to make this happening in your picture, it is going to stand out from others. There are lots of other ways to show people your different point of view but start from my tip above. If you can take one better than other picture you’ll feel more motivated and you will want to take even more pictures.

photography 1

2) Make something ordinary extraordinary

I have mentioned this before in TKE 04. If you can make something ordinary to extraordinary, you are less likely to find your subject matter boring.

Take a look at the below picture, I took this in my own backyard. You don’t need to go to special places to take great pictures and you certainly don’t need to wait for interesting things to happen before you pull out your camera. Make this happen by yourself and sometimes it’s right around the corner of your house!

photography 2

3) Keep learning

There are two things you should constantly improve: Lighting and composition. I would say composition comes first than lighting second.

Make every click of your shutter release button an opportunity to learn. If you follow this path every second you hold your camera is another chance to learn more photography skills. For myself, once I take the photo that I want I’d start talking photos in another angle, use different lens to try different techniques.

Think about this, say if you have 3 lenses in your camera bag. There are already 3 different ways to take the same photograph!

4) 50 steps challenge

I don’t really know this challenge’s existence until I’m a few years into my photography journey. What you need to do is to walk 50 steps. When you reached the 50th step you have to stop and you are allowed to only take one picture.

You do not have a second chance to click the shutter release button so make it count. What this challenge does is to force you to see ordinary things in a creative way. Try this out!

5) 365 days challenge

The 365 days challenge is similar to the 50 steps challenge except you have to take pictures everyday of the year. Usually people pick a theme and stick to it for 365 days. If you want to really defeat boredom of your subject matter in photography, try shooting it everyday and find something exciting for a change.

To understand more, visit http://365project.org/

6) Legography

To describe Legography in one word.


Check out my previous post here about everything you need to know about legography. With a Lego you have a 24/7 little model for you to try out different photography techniques. Who said about boredom in subject matters afterall!

7) Lensbaby

In my previous post on what is a Lensbaby and why you should consider one, I talked about the creativity you can achieve with this lens. There is another alternative for you if you are finding your subject matter boring.

8) Prime lens challenge

Do you use zoom lenses all the time? What would you do for a day without using a zoom lens? Take on this challenge if you are bored with your subjects. Often times I found it fun to stick my 50mm f1.8 to my camera and walk around snapping pictures. In order to zoom you have to move your feet so it can be a good exercise for you as well.

9) Instagram and Pinterest

I leave the best to the last this time! Before you begin, please check out my Instagram post here.

The most effective way way to stimulate your interest in photography is from amazing images. Often I check Pinterest or Instagram and found myself craving to take a similar amazing pictures.

Once I identify a good picture I want to try out, it forces me to go out and try to achieve the shot immediately. Sometimes I saw a photographer took a great galaxy shot and within minutes I grabbed my camera bag, took the camera and tripod out and went to my own backyard trying to take a similar picture.

I didn’t mean you have to follow my exactly method. But starting from Instagram or Pinterest are a great place. Try look up something you want to try it out next time in your photo shoot.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I’ll see you in TKE06!

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About Gary

A passionate photographer with goals to fulfill your photography passion and motivate you to take pictures even when life is busy!


  1. great info. I’ve done several 365’s great way to get creative

  2. Great stuff. I’m definitelly bookmarking to come back here from time to time!

  3. Great tips, as always! I will work on the 50 steps challenge in my next session. 🙂

    • Hi Fong, yes the 50 steps challenge is fun to do! I see lots of people taking this challenge these days because they don’t need to stick onto this for days. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hi Gary, Great ideas! I’m going to try the ’50 steps’ challenge this coming week, while on holiday. Should be a fun activity to do with my daughter and then make a collage from the photos to hang on the wall.

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