12 photos of Xmas challenge! Easy shots to try with your new camera

Christmas prompts challenge bauble black and white silver
(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

It can sometimes be challenging to find the best subjects to shoot when you first get a new lens or camera, in order to test the full scope of its capabilities. So here are 12 festive prompts to get your imagination flowing and your photographer's eye back to work whilst experimenting with your new device. 

· Read more: Merry Christmas! 10 things you need to do with your new camera 

All these ideas can be taken literally or open to your own creative interpretations. Be sure to show us the outcomes by commenting on our DCW social channels, and share your images with other photographers who followed the same prompts as you, to discuss the different (or maybe similar) images produced. 

1. Shallow depth of field

Let's start with something easy; shallow depth of field refers to an image with only a small section or only the subject in focus, with the background and sometimes foreground blurred. These shots can look great when in outdoor and macro contexts or when shooting smaller objects in particular.  

(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

2. Not human

Not human is a prompt that's intentionally pretty vague. Go shoot something that isn't a human, it could be an object, an animal or maybe even an alien. 

(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

3. Reflection

Shoot something shiny! Try and find a subject that has elements of reflection, whether that's a literal mirror selfie or something more interpretative. 

(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

4. Frame within a frame

Frame within a frame can be a tricky one to interpret, but this Christmassy window display sums it up nicely. These animatronics were wrestling each other over a cracker – don't forget you can shoot video as well as stills.

(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

5. Bokeh

Everybody loves bokeh! Creative blur is a great way to add atmosphere, and here's more than one example of some pretty Christmas bokeh. 

6. Group Shot

The idea of a group shot is another prompt that can be creatively explored. My interpretation is a group shot of this adorable little snowman family perching on a chocolate log. Admittedly this shot is very over-saturated with warmer tones but when color-corrected, the shot just didn't have the same feel to it. 

(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

7. Beverage

Shoot a festive beverage of your choice. This image features a hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate flakes on top, my absolute favourite hot drink. Get creative with your Christmassy coffees, make yourself a creamy liqueur or shoot some mulled wine. 

(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

8. Happy

"Happy" is a broad prompt. This image makes me think of happier childhood memories of riding a carousel at a fairground. Happy to you might be a loved one, a movie, a place or a memory. Either way, dig deep and photograph what makes you happy. 

(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

9. Complementary colors

'Complementary colors' is a great prompt to get your photographer's eye working hard and scouring for interesting scenes. My vinyl record collection is something I treasure, especially ones that have split colors and splatter patterns. 

(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

10. Leading lines

Leading lines means look for patterns in everyday scenery. This shot of my ukulele inspired the leading lines prompt – images with a path to follow can be extremely interesting and creative.

(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

11. Negative space

Negative space has several interpretations, and negative space is used in photography to surround the main subject with unoccupied space that is there to help define and spotlight your subject. 

(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

12. 2022

My interpretation of 2022 is this owl. I received this two years ago as a graduation present from a relative and it sits on my shelf reminding me of what I have achieved (and the student debt i owe). Next year, in 2022, I should finally be able to attend an actual graduation ceremony to celebrate with my friends and make up for lost time over the periods of the pandemic and lockdowns.

(Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

· Read more:

What is bokeh?
Best lenses for bokeh
Christmas picture ideas: Create a human Christmas tree!
How to make your very own photo snow globe

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.