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What is a Photo Series? (12 Cool Photo Series Ideas to Try)

Last updated: November 12, 2023 - 10 min read
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Photo series come in a variety of interesting styles. But why do photographers love them so much? Lots of photographers use a series of photos to create a narrative and tell a story. A photo series can evoke emotion, raise awareness, and capture the imagination.

Focusing on one theme can help you reinvent your style and improve your creative skills. And taking a series of photos based on one theme is the way to create an incredible photo series.

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What Is a Photo Series?

A photography series is a collection of images that are linked and showcased together. A series of photos will often have the same theme and have a conceptual bond. Sometimes they’re shot at the same location. And photo series are often edited in the same style to focus on coherence.

But how do you create an outstanding series of photos? There are a couple of guidelines you should follow.

For a start, have at least two or more images in the set. You can’t call one photograph a series.

Make sure that the pictures are related. You can achieve this with the same theme or using the same model.

When I traveled around Europe for the first time, I wanted my pictures to have something in common. I used a plastic flower that I wore in my hair and included it in every picture. I photographed the flower with landmarks. And I also captured it with local products such as German beer or Tuscan wine.

I posted the images on Instagram and created my first photography series.

A large photo series grid of travel photos with a little flower in each shot
Capturing the flower around Europe. Photo by Dora Jokkel

How to Work on a Photo Series

A photo series can be used to tell stories with your pictures. Every image should add something to the story. But they have to be linked together as well.

It’s also important to edit your pictures in the same style. Use the same color schemes or the same presets and filters. If the images in the set have all different styles, they won’t look like part of the same series.

When you create a photo series, consider the layout and the presentations as well. Will you showcase your photos in a grid, side by side, or in a collage? Either way, the presentation can influence how you photograph your series.

You might be wondering where to start and how you can successfully capture images without losing interest.

Many photographers start big projects, fail a few times, and give up. Failure is normal and shouldn’t discourage you from achieving your creative goals. Start small and create realistic goals. The key is to challenge yourself and always look for inspiration.

If a task is too easy, you’ll lose interest in it quickly. If it’s too challenging, the same thing will happen.

Another way to keep yourself interested is by collaborating with someone you trust and admire. You can create double-exposure portraits using your own portraits and someone else’s textures. You can even use someone’s free photos and let them know that you created something inspired by their work.

It is really important to find your inspiration for a photo series. A great way is to research famous photographers and open some photography history books!

A large series of printed instant photos

Photo series are perfect for every kind of artist. Here are a few photography series ideas to get you started.

12. Tell One Story With Two Photos

Diptychs are two-photo collages that you can use to emphasize unusual similarities or tell a story.

If you enjoy playing around with colors or contrasting themes, you’ll find a lot of inspiration in this genre.

You can create a diptych photo series inspired by…

  • Elements in nature
  • People’s faces
  • Contrasting colors in fashion
  • Unusual architecture designs
  • Positive and negative emotions

    A diptych photo series of a female model double exposed with green foliage
    If the photos in your diptych don’t complement each other, don’t delete your composition immediately. Try to create a double exposure, rotate your photos, or play around with textures.

11. Write a Story on Your Photos

Text in photography is perfect for those who love writing stories or documenting fleeting moments. You can decorate your images with quotes, friends’ signatures, memories you don’t want to forget, or anything else you want to add.

If you’re not into typography, you can simply doodle on your images. Some photographers draw things in a way that makes it seem like they’re interacting with the people in the subjects.

For example, if you’re a family photographer, you could draw a cute cartoon character smiling at the children in your photos.

If you’re a film photographer, you can physically write on your prints. If you’re a digital artist, you can use the Brush tool in your editing program. To make digital writing easier, use a tablet.

Young girl with a vintage camera in front of her face. The picture has white words scribbled on it.

10. Capture the Same Location

If you want to challenge your camera handling skills, take photos of the same location throughout a specific period of time.

This can be a day, a month, or even a year. The longer you spend time on one subject, the more interesting your results will be.

It can be difficult to photograph the same location in different circumstances. The weather, lighting, and temperature can all get in the way.

But this challenge won’t hinder your progress if you treat it like a simple, skill-strengthening obstacle.

This photo series might come in handy if you’re a travel photographer.

Document the changes in your favorite locations as the day progresses. You’ll be more present and be able to spend more time in places that you like.

To make your photos look as similar as possible, make sure you mark where you placed your camera.

A bright and airy photo of a tree in a beautiful landscape

9. Photograph Strangers

If you learn how to communicate with strangers, you’ll get better at giving directions to models. And you’ll learn how to make your subjects feel comfortable in front of the camera.

You don’t have to photograph every stranger you see or put yourself in dangerous situations. Familiarize yourself with street photography etiquette and bring a friend with you.

If you need some more inspiration, check out Humans of New York.

An environmental portrait of a man indoors
If you want to take this series further, photograph strangers in their favorite places, at work, or with their most prized possessions.

8. Take Photos of Yourself

Self-portraiture can be a fun way to express yourself. You’ll learn more about your camera and spend quality time in your favorite places.

It doesn’t have to be a daunting task that makes you feel flawed and incompetent.

Capture images during your favorite time of day. This will make your self-portrait photoshoot as comfortable as possible.

Make sure you take photos in peaceful, happy locations that make you feel safe. All of these positive emotions will enrich your photography experience. And this will help you create amazing photography for your photo series.

Dreamy portrait of a female model posing in a park during golden hour
I took this self-portrait in a tranquil park during golden hour. If you feel uncomfortable when you take photos outdoors, ask a friend to join you.

7. Document Stages of Your Pet’s Life

Like children, pets grow up way too fast. If you love documenting tender moments, create a photo series inspired by your pet’s growth.

This is a long-term project that will give you unforgettable results. I started doing this when I got my cat and was amazed by how fun and inspiring the process was!

Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to animals only. Your series can focus on a family member, a friend, or even a plant.

A close up portrait of a person holding a small brown puppy
If you like taking self-portraits, document the relationship between yourself and your pet every few weeks.

6. Take Macro Photos of Your Neighborhood

Traveling is wonderful, but it’s not the only key to beautiful photography. Teach yourself how to find potential in detail. You’ll find inspiration in places that most people consider insignificant.

This will make you a more skilled and imaginative artist.

The best place to start is your own neighborhood. Look for details in flowers, buildings, and parks that spark your interest.

To make the most of this experience, use a macro lens.

A macro photo of a yellow flower

5. Try Out Conceptual Photography

Conceptual photography is all about artistic expression and meaningful themes. There’s no limit to what you can do in this genre if it has a strong message.

You can use your editing skills to create levitating people or create unusual props that look like they’ve been Photoshopped.

A conceptual photo series can revolve around a specific theme or focus on many subjects that complement one another.

If you need some inspiration, check out these photographers:

A conceptual portrait of a female model levitating in a garden
Levitation is a popular technique that can be a great starting point for aspiring conceptual photographers.

4. Capture Monochrome Images

Many of us don’t see the world in black and white. If we could, we’d probably want to photograph places and objects that we normally don’t pay attention to.

Black and white photography focuses on strong contrasts, emotions, and environments.

Your black and white photography series will encourage you to sharpen your imaginative skills. And you will find potential in places you usually overlook.

A monochrome portrait of an owl

3. Try Out Analog Photography

Because the digital world has progressed so much, photography doesn’t come with a lot of waiting.

If you find yourself getting impatient often, challenge yourself through analog photography.

You don’t need to invest in an expensive film camera. Even a simple disposable one will allow you to create a whole series of inspiring film photos.

You will probably think twice before taking a shot! And that will seriously improve your photographic skills!

If you want to challenge yourself even more, take film photos of specific people or things. You can experiment with both 35mm film cameras and more advanced medium format ones.

A photographer holding a zenza bronica old film camera

2. Take Photos of Photos

Photos within photos are easy to create and can help you appreciate your surroundings a little more. If you don’t want to spend money on developing photos, print digital images instead.

You can use prints or Polaroid shots to emphasize how much a person has changed. Or you can show off your favorite locations or make your surreal concepts come to life.

You can also use it to make your compositions look more interesting or play around with optical illusions.

A hand holding a polaroid photo of a landscape withing a landscape
A Polaroid shot like this can enhance a simple composition and tell a story about the subject.

1. Find Simple Objects in Your Home

This leaf guitar below is the perfect example of a bright imagination. Use your imagination and perspective. Look for ways to turn the things in your apartment into beautiful photography subjects.

Photography doesn’t always depend on extravagant locations and expensive equipment.

I learned this after I moved into a small apartment. Because of the circumstances, I could do nothing but experiment with everyday objects and turn them into art.

This taught me how to use detail and natural lighting to my advantage.

Challenge yourself by working with a limited amount of items. Use natural light only.

Try to find ways to make a simple plant look outstanding in a still-life portrait. And look for unusual patterns in the things you use every day.

A close up portrait of a female model holding a large leaf as if it was a guitar she's playing


A photography series is the perfect mix of challenging and inspiring tasks. You’ll need lots of time, patience, and persistence to work on them.

In return, you’ll be showered with amazing ideas, new skills, and great photos.

If you want to get your creative juices flowing, try our Wow Factor Photography course!