9 creative photo ideas to try in February

Creative photo ideas for February: 09 Shoot a heart-shaped shadow

Creative photo ideas for February: 08 Shoot yourself in the picture

Creative photo ideas for February: 08 Shoot yourself in the picture

Many photographers turn to themselves for fresh subject matter, with imaginative editing and manipulation of self-portraits now the norm rather than the exception.

Under the Miss Aniela creative brand, Natalie Dybisz has led the way for this style of photography in recent years, but spend some time browsing Flickr and you’ll stumble across a vast collection of surreal self-portraits.

Take this shot by Canadian photographer and retoucher Shawn Van Daele. It shows how the simplest concepts are often the most effective when they’re executed well.

All that was needed here was a blank wall, a spot of levitation (a carefully timed jump, essentially), and a clear vision of how all the elements would be brought together in the final image.

Coming up with an idea in the first place is more of a challenge than the post-production work.

Spend time looking at the marvellous work of self-portrait specialists like Joel Robinson and Kyle Thompson, but try not to be too influenced – photography’s a personal thing, after all, and you’ll want to give your pictures their own distinctive voice.

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* Shoot in raw format. By keeping the untouched originals, you can revisit the images and try new treatments as your Photoshop skills develop.
* Make sure you keep an eye out for useful props when you’re out and about: you could discover an item around which you could build a series of images.
* In terms of both focusing and exposure, it makes sense to work in manual. This will enable you to get everything set before making use of the camera’s self-timer to step into the frame.

Creative photo ideas for February: 01 Shoot a defocused portrait
Creative photo ideas for February: 02 Shoot a portrait and add a hand-drawn look
Creative photo ideas for February: 03 Shoot empty, open spaces
Creative photo ideas for February: 04 Shoot macros with minimal depth of field
Creative photo ideas for February: 05 Light-paint a warm still life
Creative photo ideas for February: 06 Shoot a city view
Creative photo ideas for February: 07 Shoot deconstructed hardware
Creative photo ideas for February: 08 Shoot yourself in the picture
Creative photo ideas for February: 09 Shoot a heart-shaped shadow

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