Spring is an exciting time to have your camera in hand. The natural world is in bloom, so you can look forward to more daylight hours, warmer temperatures, and even a brighter outlook! Use the change in seasons to get inspired, explore new photography subjects, and enjoy a fresh perspective.
Here are some spring photo tips to guide you as you venture out into the world.
1. Tell a Color Story
It’s a vibrant world in March, April, and May! Natural landscapes and city streets are alive with color—from flowers to fashion trends—so follow those hues. Add a pop of color to your photos. Seek out bright patterns and textures to use as a backdrop or fill part of your photo. You can even create a series of pictures using a single color as your inspiration.
2. Try New Techniques
Springtime is all about new beginnings, so apply the same approach to your photography practice. Take a new lens out for a spin, or experiment with manual settings on your camera. Try a new photography technique you’ve read about, like long exposures or bracketing images.
3. Light the Way
No matter what you photograph, good lighting is essential. Use the intensity of the light and how it interacts with your subject to tell a visual story. Soft light at dawn or dusk creates a quieter, serene mood, while strong, midday sun can have you battling harsh shadows and blown out highlights. A dramatic, backlit image can be effective as long as you plan for it. So give yourself time to experiment and find the best lighting for each photo.
4. Find Symbols of Spring
Choosing a theme can be just the motivation you need to start a new photo project. Step outdoors and have fun capturing all the classic symbols of spring. Blossoming trees and flowers, bright umbrellas and galoshes, rainbows, birds and other wildlife can renew your curiosity and creativity behind the camera.
5. Follow the Activity
It’s a bustling time of year as people and animals emerge from their winter slumber, so notice where everyone gravitates on warm spring days and go there! The season is also full of social events and celebrations (graduations, weddings, parties). If you’re visiting family and friends, bring your camera so you can photograph people dancing, kids playing, frisbees flying, and pets on the go.
6. Get a Fresh Perspective
Spring is a time of transition, so why not change things up? Instead of taking photos at eye level, try different vantage points. Get down low to capture bright blooms and sprouting foliage in a garden, then turn your lens upward and try framing clouds, trees, skylines, or buildings in unexpected ways. Mix up your approach to portraits too!
7. Add a Sun Flare
Usually you want to prevent strong glare in photos because it can detract from the subject. As a spring challenge, see what happens when you let a sun flare take center stage. Using a smaller aperture will produce stronger, more defined flares, while wide open apertures will soften the glow. As you compose the shot, see how other objects (branches, windows, lakes) play into the shot.
8. Focus on Flowers
Sometimes photographers need to stop and smell the flowers. Pull out your macro lens or use the macro setting on your camera to take some close-ups in the garden. If you’ve never used a macro lens, this can be a huge game-changer as you explore colors, details, and textures in a whole new way.
9. Go with the Flow
Rain showers come and go as they please in spring, so there’s no sense in trying to fight them. Use the weather changes to experiment with light, contrast, movement, and even blur. Notice the dramatic shift in colors and lighting as clouds roll in, follow people and objects caught in a sudden burst of wind, or play with reflections in puddles.
10. Pick an Observation Spot
Just as you can learn a lot by shooting photos on the go, you can also discover new things if you stay in one spot and focus on your surroundings. Pick a park bench or a café on a busy street, and see which subjects catch your eye. If you usually take photo walks with a specific goal in mind, this is a way to open up your creative practice and find beauty in stillness.
11. Start Early or Stay Up Late
When is the last time you woke up early to photograph a sunrise or stayed up late to do long exposures of the night sky? Use the longer days of spring to extend your photo shoots and think outside your normal routine. This will also give you a chance to adjust your camera settings and learn about different qualities and challenges of daytime or nighttime lighting.
Once you have a collection of new images on your camera roll, you can start editing them and planning your next print piece.