When you travel, it’s easy to forget that there are so many beautiful places near home. Luckily, we’ve got a solution: local photo inspiration! Here are some ways to find it:
Get to know your streets
- Get to know your neighborhood.
- Take photos of your local street.
- Get to know the people in your neighborhood.
- Go to a local park or festival and snap some shots!
Take a walking tour of a local hotel
- Look for interesting backdrops.
- Look for interesting people.
- Look for interesting light.
- Go on a photo walk with your phone and take pictures of everything you see along the way.
Go to a popular local park
If you’re in a city, it’s easy to find local parks and other green spaces that offer great photo opportunities. But if you want to get a little more creative with your photography, try visiting one of the following parks:
- Lincoln Park (Chicago) – This park is full of trees and flowers and has plenty of interesting things to photograph. There are also lots of signs that indicate man-made features like trails, bridges, and ball fields—perfect for taking pictures!
- The Lakefront (Chicago) – A popular destination among locals because it offers amazing views across Lake Michigan at sunrise and many beaches and parks where people can be seen throughout the year.
Visit a local museum or art gallery.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for permission if you’re visiting a local museum or art gallery. One of the best ways to get inspiration is by looking at what others have done before. If the artist has been there before and left behind some photos or notes, ask them if they’d mind letting you take their work home with you as inspiration!
- Don’t forget that museums and galleries are also places where people like to talk about their work—and sometimes even sell it! You may find out how much money an original piece would cost (and why it’s worth so much).
- If someone offers help in taking pictures of pieces they’ve created themselves, go ahead and accept their offer—it could lead down another path of discovery!
Explore an empty construction site.
- Find a construction site in your neighborhood.
- Explore the area, look for interesting angles, and look for shadows, reflections, and patterns.
- Look for signs of life and activity in the area—ask if it’s safe to walk around or if you can take pictures from a distance.
- Look for signs of decay—are there any buildings that have been abandoned? Are there piles of debris everywhere you turn? What about the decay that is being reversed: what new things are growing on top of old ones (like grass)?
There’s always something photographic to see close to home
You might be surprised to find that there’s always something photographic to see close to home. Don’t limit yourself to the same old places, but look for color, texture, contrast, and patterns.
Here are some ideas:
- Look for a new angle on an old building. If you’re at a museum or park with many trees, find an interesting view from above (on the roof). Or if it’s sunny outside—and there is still snow on ground level—look up into those trees instead of just below them!
- Look at objects in your own backyard: flowers growing out of concrete planters; rocks piled against walls; twigs tangled together by nature; leaves blown away by wind currents over time creating abstract designs; cobwebs hanging like curtains around windows…anything can serve as inspiration when looking through these eyes without any preconceived notions about what should be included in each photo composition.”
This might sound like a lot of work, but it’s really not. You only need to take one or two walks per week and get 12-20 hours of great photo opportunities without leaving your own neighborhood! So don’t be afraid to explore the beauty surrounding you in the world around us.