photoshoot theme ideas
Do you need ideas for photo shoots? Costumes, wardrobe, themes, makeup, etc.? Here are some ideas from straight from my brain.
tried and true
These are ideas that have been done many times, but almost always work well.
You don’t have to be naked to do a bathtub themed set. You can wear lingerie, a swimsuit, a bodysuit, or even be fully clothed. There are also a lot of options for the bathwater. Clear bath water makes for a rather boring photo set. Let’s ramp up the interest with a bubble bath, a milk bath with flowers (a little food coloring can add even more visual interest), or bath bombs. I have a bubble machine to use with bubble baths for a more sensual or more playful photo set.
Stand-alone bathtubs without shower combinations work best, especially clawfoot bathtubs, but any bathtub will work.
Again, you don’t have to be naked to pull off a successful shower photo set. The shower doesn’t even have to be turned on. We can fake it with water droplets on the shower enclosure. You can wear a bra and panties. With some creative lighting, lots of water droplets on the shower enclosure, and a soft-focus, no one will be the wiser. You can also wear pasties or nipple tape instead of a bra.
Large walk-in showers work really well, but smaller, enclosed showers can make for a more intimate setting.
For something more ethereal, get the water very hot and let the steam accumulate in the shower, and condensate on the shower enclosure. Just be careful not to scald yourself.
making a mess of a meal
Always fun, except for the clean up. this kitchen scene is set up with a few meal or dessert ingredients. Then get messy!
around the house
Going around the house, bedrooms, living rooms, home offices, stairways, laundry rooms, and even garages can be fantastic places to shoot. Some examples…
- Going to bed
- Waking up
- Breakfast in bed
- Taking a nap
- Sensual and sexy
- And more…
- Watching television
- Reading a book
- Napping/relaxing on the sofa
- Reminiscing (looking at photo albums, yearbooks, etc.)
- Browsing social media
Made a mess, gotta clean up (that is, your clothes got wet, dirty, etc. and you take them off and throw them into the washing machine). Pose on and around the washing machine and dryer (or clothesline).
Working from home wearing:
- Business attire
- Casual clothes
- Nothing at all
- Working on the car
- Working on a home improvement project
- Organizing the garage
Works well for any genre.
These ideas revolve around a central theme…
a night out on the town
This is one of my favorite photo set themes… imagine you’re getting ready for date night or a night out with friends. You’ve just finished bathing/showering. We photograph everything leading up to your departure: fixing your hair, putting on makeup, getting dressed, and heading out the door. I like this theme because it really tells a story.
You do not have to be naked for this theme. You can have a bra and panty set on underneath the towel.
This can be as elaborate or a simple as you’d like. Wear your favorite team’s uniform, jersey, or t-shirt. Add backgrounds and props to finish the set, or shoot “on location…” on a football field, basketball court, baseball diamond, soccer pitch, etc. Or be a cheerleader!
Background replacement is an extra cost.
feel the music
- Be a Rock Star
- Be a DJ
- Be a groupie
- Listening to music
Add props like CDs, vinyl records, a record player, over the ear headphones, mirror ball, lots of colored lights. DJ setup. Musical instruments: guitars, pianos, saxophones, drums, etc. I have several guitars and a couple of amplifiers we can use to set the scene. And a fog machine.
As for outfits…
Rock Star: leather pants or ripped jeans, t-shirt, no shirt (bra only), topless covered by a leather or jean jacket, studded belt, Converse Chuck Taylors, motorcycle boots, cowboy boots, studded wrist bands, lots of bracelets, big 80s hair, wild makeup, goth hair, all-black attire, goth makeup, band makeup (a la KISS or Alice Cooper).
“Groupie:” ripped jeans, band t-shirt, studded belt, studded wrist bands, lots of bracelets, “big” teased hair, like in the 80s, colorful makeup (like the 80s), leather or denim jacket, studded belt, stilettos, Converse Chuck Taylors, motorcycle boots, cowboy boots.
So many options for wardrobe, makeup, hair, and props. Just watch any 80s heavy metal music video for ideas.
Some holidays are perfect for themed photosets…
- New Year’s Eve – champagne, party, fireworks
- Valentine’s Day – romance, love, pinks, and reds
- St. Patrick’s Day – all green, leprechauns, a pot of gold
- Easter – colored eggs, bunnies, Easter dresses, and suits
- Cinco de Mayo – party, Mexican, sombreros
- Memorial Day – the unofficial start of summer (in the US) – summer, pools, lakes, fun, picnic
- Independence Day – fireworks, red, white, and blue colors
- Halloween – virtually anything, fog machine
- Thanksgiving – cooking, food
- Christmas – Santa, sexy Santa, presents, decorations, trees, snow, reindeer, snowman, elf, sexy elf
I’ve provided a few suggestions. List yours in a comment at the end of this post.
I already mentioned baths and showers, but there are plenty of other “bodies” of water to shoot in and around:
- Swimming Pools
- Cold and Hot Springs
- Splash Pads (also called spray parks)
I love the idea of doing shoots with body paints, especially fluorescent and glow in the dark body paints in the dark with UV (black) lighting. I think it would be so cool.
Cosplay themes are very popular, especially comic book heroes, anime characters, and video game characters. Movie characters are also really popular. Harry Potter themes are particularly popular, especially house themes (Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Griffindor) even though the last Harry Potter movie was released in 2011.
One of the best cosplay photo sets I’ve seen recently is a Tank Girl set. Nebula is the model, and it was shot by my photographer friend, Zen. I also really like the Jinx set done by my friend, Avrora. I also loved Calla‘s Elastigirl set, also shot by Zen. All these sets can be seen on Suicide Girls. Not a member? Use my affiliate link and sign up
50’s style pinup photo sets are very popular too. In addition to cosplay sets, and “regular” sets, Avrora has also done some stunning pinup modeling, including photos she and I took at Valley of Fire in April 2018.
Take a few selfies and post on social media.
Works with any setting, outfit, look.