10 Quirky Tricks For Shooting Interesting Photographs

Since the birth of digital photography and the popularity of the mobile phones with built in cameras, photography has got to be the fastest growing story telling tool and creative outlet for the general public. With an iPhone in every pocket, the accessibility of a simple and effective point and shoot camera is unprecedented. And with photo sharing apps like Instagram, it seems everyone’s got photography on the brain. So, now that everyone has got a camera—and are not afraid to use it—how about taking it to the next level?

As a self-proclaimed everyday photographer, I’ve stumble across some unique and handy techniques that have piqued my own creative curiosity and have challenged me to think outside the frame (pun intended).  If you’re looking for a new way to see the world through your lens, perhaps one of these ideas will not only help you do exactly that, they might even inspire you capture more compelling images. Never underestimate the power of photographic play!

  • Shoot into the magic monitor mirror 1 of 10
    Shoot into the magic monitor mirror
    We gaze into our computer monitor everyday (sometimes all day) so why not use it to tell a visual story? When your machine is booting up, or even before you turn it on, your monitor has a beautifully reflective surface. When you use it like a mirror, who knows what you might see (and shoot) through the screen.
  • Shoot under the sea (or pool) 2 of 10
    Shoot under the sea (or pool)
    Submerging your iPhone into the water is totally counter-intuitive to everything we as iPhone owners believe but, when you get a waterproof case (like the LifeProof case shown here) a whole new world of photographic opportunities await you. It's a seriously awesome experience to shoot underwater and the results can be pretty cool.
  • Shoot into a window (and make it a double) 3 of 10
    Shoot into a window (and make it a double)
    Taking a picture through a window isn't all that amazing, unless you can capture something out of the ordinary. If you can get an angle that includes both what's outside the window and the reflection of what is on the inside of the window, you're in for a double exposure effect, no Photoshop necessary!
  • Shoot through a frame 4 of 10
    Shoot through a frame
    Another way to use a window (or anything else that can help you reframe the view) is to shoot through it while including the outside frame itself in the shot. Including a frame within your frame, no matter the shape or size adds immediate visual interest.
  • Shoot a reflection in an unexpected reflective surface 5 of 10
    Shoot a reflection in an unexpected reflective surface
    Seeking out reflective surfaces is a favorite pastime of mine. Seeing the world through a reflection offers an entirely new perspective and can get you to see things you might have missed had it not been for the reflection.
  • Shoot from driver’s (or passenger’s) seat 6 of 10
    Shoot from driver's (or passenger's) seat
    Whether it's a big road trip or daily carpool, the views you can find in your own side view or rear view mirrors can delight and inspired your wanderlust and make you feel like you're a million miles away, even when you're not. It's also another good use of a frame in a frame as mentioned before. Just remember, safety first!
  • Shoot dirt and dust 7 of 10
    Shoot dirt and dust
    Some photographers add lovely, rich textures to their photographs using layers in Photoshop. To make it much more simple, I have been known to shoot through or into a dirty surface to add immediate texture. This shot was reflected in my laptop when the light was hitting the grit and grime just right. The end result adds texture and dimension to the shot. I love it.
  • Shoot out of focus (on purpose) 8 of 10
    Shoot out of focus (on purpose)
    One of my favorite things to do is to throw my subject(s) out of focus. They shots are always dreamy, ethereal, and evocative. This works really well when there are points of light in the image. When the lights are out of focus, and you get the lovely soft balls of light, it's called bokeh and it's a highly sought after effect.
  • Shoot through a screen 9 of 10
    Shoot through a screen
    A lot happens in my backyard. Dogs play, kids swim, husband waters. Nothing unusual, but it all play a part in my everyday family life. Shooting through my upstairs bathroom screen (and getting the cool effect the screen itself adds) came by accident one summer afternoon but now I use it anytime there's a screen to shoot though. It's another great way to get some added texture and quirk to your images.
  • Shoot for the sky 10 of 10
    Shoot for the sky
    The sky, as captured from an airplane might be my favorite subject (besides my kids of course). As soon as I can turn on my camera in the plane, I am watching and waiting for the sky to offer up visual wonders. From the clouds to the earth, to the airplane wing itself, there is never a shortage of picturesque scenes when you're flying. To get the entire window in this shot, I used the wide angle Olloclip on my iPhone. It's one of the coolest iPhone gadgets out there and it is the perfect photography tool for aerial shots.

All of these tricks work with your DSLR (big fancy camera), your point and shoot, and your iPhone. The images of this series were shot with my iPhone and edited via Instagram. I like to keep it simple, and fun!

If you’ve got any great photo tricks of your own, I would love to hear about them. Inspiration comes in all kinds of surprising ways. Add yours to the list!


For more about Tracey and how she elevates the everyday, visit her at

For the story about how she and her teen got here, take a peek at their first post at Reframed.

Follow Tracey on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Want to have a better day? Check out 10 ways to do just that! 

Article Posted 4 years Ago

Videos You May Like