What makes for interesting photography? Is it the subject? Or the way the photo is framed? Does it have something to do with the play of the light and shadow in a photo?

The answer to that question is not an easy one. The main reason behind this is the fact that what one photographer finds interesting, another one might find boring and uninspiring. That’s why we have photographers who specialize in different styles and types of photography, instead of photographing everything and anything.

In other words, interesting photography is highly subjective and in this article, we’ll explain interesting photography is exactly and share tips for making your photos more compelling, regardless of your style and topic.

Table of contents
What Is Interesting Photography?
Tips for Taking Interesting Photography
Camera Tips and Settings to Make Your Photos More Interesting
Final Thoughts

What Is Interesting Photography?

As mentioned earlier, interesting photography is highly subjective. Some photographers may find nature and wildlife photography interesting and dynamic. Others, on the other hand, may find interest in portrait or street photography.

On top of that, some photographers may find that using lights, shadows, and natural textures makes the photo more interesting, while other photographers will adamantly claim that it all comes down to the main subject of the photo.

And within those distinctions, you can go even further. A landscape photographer who lives in Tennessee may find the Tennesseean mountains quite ordinary while a landscape photographer from Kansas visiting Tennessee, will more than likely be quite impressed with the beauty of the scenery they find there.

While there is no definitive answer for what interesting photography is, the good news is that you can make any photo more interesting simply by experimenting with different techniques, angles, and camera settings.

Tips for Taking Interesting Photography

Now that we’ve covered what interesting photography is, let’s go over basic tips that will help you make your photos more captivating.

Evaluate The Subject Of Your Photo

If you want to make your photography more interesting, the first thing you need to consider is who the intended audience for the photo is. Then, evaluate the subject to decide if the photo will be interesting for them.

As with the example earlier about the landscape photographer from Tennessee, if you’re taking photos of something that your audience is already familiar with, they may not find them interesting at all. Changing the subject of the photo, for example, focusing on wildlife in Tennessee instead of the mountains could do wonders for your photos.

You can also experiment with angles and lights to breathe new life into a subject that’s well-known.

Tell a Story With The Photo

They say a picture is worth a thousand words — is your photo telling a story in a compelling and emotional way or simply depicting a scene?

A good photo will evoke emotion and incorporating story into your photos is a surefire way to make them more interesting.

For example, if you take a photo of a woman smiling, your audience may not understand what’s making her smile. But if your photo hints at her puppy running around playfully in the park or her children having fun on the slide, it makes the photo more impactful and more memorable.

This is where composition comes into play and if you want to make your photos more interesting, a good understanding of composition is a must.

Birds flying away
Photo by Ariana Prestes on Unsplash

Experiment With Cropping

Another great way to make your photos more interesting is to experiment with the way you crop them. Depending on what your photo portrays, you don’t need the entire subject in the photo.

For example, if you’re taking wedding photos and the bride wants a photo of her bouquet, focus on the flowers and the hands of the bride holding the bouquet. You don’t necessarily need her face or the rest of her body in every bouquet shot.

Change Up The Angle

Instead of standing still to take photos, try crouching down, moving a little to the left or to the right, looking higher up, or holding the camera lower or higher. Get creative and take the same photo from a few different angles.

Hand holding up a cell phone
Photo by Nijwam Swargiary on Unsplash

Take Your Photos From a Bird’s Eye View

If you’re taking photos of inanimate objects, consider placing them on the floor or a desk and taking the photo while you’re standing above them. Similarly, if you’re taking photos of anything outdoors, try finding a balcony or higher ground to capture the action below.

Take Advantage of Details

Small details can often improve your photo ten-fold. Think naturally occurring lines, repeating subjects, shadows, background, and more.

Of course, you can also get really close to the subject to accentuate the details as well. For example, an artist’s hands smudged with paint, a closeup of a corn field focusing on a few individual cobs or a star on a horse’s face. These are all small details on the subject itself that add an extra dose of interest and depth to your photos.

Photo by Balaji Malliswamy on Unsplash

Look Through The Obstacle

Sometimes, all a photo needs to be more interesting is a nice texture. A great way to add subtle texture to your photos is to take advantage of what’s around you. Are there flowers that are slightly blocking your view or a branch with trees? Consider taking a photo through that obstacle as well as taking a clear photo of the actual subject.

Hide A Part Of Your Subject

Like with getting creative with cropping, hiding a part of your subject can instantly add extra meaning and interest to any photo. Using natural obstacles or fashion accessories is a good way to experiment with concealing your subjects.

hide a part of your photo's subject
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Camera Tips and Settings to Make Your Photos More Interesting

Given the fact that interesting photography can mean a lot of different things, pinpointing exact camera settings is near impossible. A lot of it depends on the type of photo you’re trying to take, time of day, the lighting conditions, and the quality of your camera as well as your lense.

As a general guideline, keep the following in mind:

  • Have a variety of lenses that you can use. For example, you might consider having a wide-angle lens, a telephoto lens, a macro lens, and a selection of specialty lenses.
  • Experiment with ISO and aperture settings and see what kind of photos you can take.
  • Try a faster or a slower shutter speed than what you’d normally use.
  • Experiment with your lighting equipment.
  • Stick with auto white balance settings as you can manually adjust it to be more natural and appealing during post-processing.

Final Thoughts

With a little bit of patience and willingness to experiment, you can make any type of photography more interesting. Use the tips in this article to your advantage and start taking interesting photos right away.