Free Standard Shipping on all Ready to Hang Art

Still Life Photography Ideas That Will Allow You to Get Unique Shots

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

When it comes to photography, a still life can’t be beaten. You never have to worry about your subjects not showing up for a shoot, looking awkward, or moving out of frame at the last second.

Still lifes can contain a variety of subject matter, but if you’re bored with the same old flowers and food, you can go outside the box to find more unique items. Here are some to consider.


Cosmetics are great to photograph because they feature bright colors and textures that add interest to a photo. When photographing cosmetics, you’ll want to avoid having them look like product photography. Therefore, you may string them across a makeup table along with some brushes and other items. With the right composition, you’ll be able to tell a Cinderella story.

Dolls and Toys

Dolls and toys are also terrific still life subject matter. Sometimes, the more used they look the better. Think of photographing dolls to produce a creepy effect or go into your kid’s toybox for a ‘Land of Broken Toys’ look.


Tools left on a workbench can tell a fantastic story. What are they making? Who is using them? Enquiring minds will want to know.

Mix and match tools of different sizes and shapes to create interest in your photo.

Art Materials

Art materials are similar to cosmetics in that they are great for adding color to a photo. They are also often geometric, so they bring shape into the picture.

Rather than simply photographing them in their packaging, tussle them around to make them appear as if they are in use. Include paintbrushes in water and other elements. It will show the inner workings of a creative mind.

Vintage Items

If you have vintage items, you can photograph them together to create an old-timey feel. For example, a vintage lamp will look great next to an old phonograph. Other items to include are an old quill pen or some old-fashioned glasses.

The overall aesthetic of the photo will take the viewer back in time.


Jewelry is beautiful and that makes it a terrific photography subject. It tends to look best against a plain background, but if you want to stay away from a ‘product photography aesthetic’, there are other options. For instance, you can strew them over a jewelry box to provide a more ‘lived in’ vibe.

Street Photography

When you are out and about, there are plenty of objects you might see that make great still life subject matter. A bicycle by the side of the road, playground equipment, even a garbage can. These objects can all make terrific centerpieces.


Furniture is also terrific for still lifes. You can simply photograph the furniture putting items in creative positions for a unique take on the ordinary.

Another option is to get close with the furniture details. Focus on the wood carvings and the upholstery. Go macro to really bring the effect home.

There are so many directions you can go in when it comes to still life photography. The ideas in this article will inspire you to take it to the next level. How will they work to bring your next shoot to the next level?

Read more of a Conversation about Art or Shop Now at Schmidt Fine Art Gallery


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Related Posts

What Kind of Batteries Should I Get for My Camera?
What Kind of Batteries Should I Get for My Camera?
What Kind of Batteries Should I Get for My Camera? Batteries may not be a primary concern for most photographers but...
Read More
What is a Kit Lens?
What is a Kit Lens?
What is a Kit Lens? When discussing camera lenses, you may have heard of something called a kit lens. Unlike other le...
Read More
What are the Rules for the Ultimate in Photography Composition?
What are the Rules for the Ultimate in Photography Composition?
What are the Rules for the Ultimate in Photography Composition? There are many elements that must come together to ma...
Read More

Welcome Newcomer