In lieu of my research for my photography club at Longwood, I came across some interesting "challenges" that have been tried out by other photographers. Many of these involve photographing for cheap or even free, so it's perfect for high schoolers and college students. I will admit I had to title some of these challenges myself because I'm not aware if there is a name yet, but the ideas exist and are beyond fun. So be the photographer or model you are and get shooting.
1. The Ugly Location Challenge.
This photography challenge is all over YouTube, and you can find plenty of example with a simple search. There are no set rules to follow, but the gist of the challenge is to take locations such as Walmart, Target, Hobby Lobby, and convert the stores into your own personal photo-shoot playground. You would think the name would include other places that are seen as unattractive to the naked eye, but these challenges aren't strict. They are created to get the idea in your head. Fair warning with this challenge though: many stores do not put up with photo-shoots (except Michaels, they actually publically asked people to come to their stores to take pictures). Plenty of people have been kicked out, so be careful and maybe even ask a manager for permission first.
2. The Dollar Store Challenge.
I love this challenge because it combines my two favorite things: being cheap and photography. The idea of this "challenge" is to hit up your local Dollar General, Family Dollar, etc. and buy props. In one video I found, they used a glow-up ball, colanders, and rainbow decorations to take amazing photos. It is a cheap way to take a new direction with art photography and personally something I look forward to doing this year.
3. The Night Challenge.
At this point in the article, I will start going into challenges that have no actual names but are still popular and fun. The name gives away the game: go and do a photo-shoot at night. So many people photograph during the day, so why not make it a challenge and see what you get at night. Many people think it's hard, but as long as you remember your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, you can take great photos. And don't forget, a DSLR can save what is left in the dark and can be brought out in editing. However, when it is too bright, you lose any hope of bringing out details due to it being washed out. And a non-photographic tip for y'all, bad things happen at night too, so a taser wouldn't be so bad to carry around, too.
4. The B&W Challenge.
This challenge is also self-explanatory. Take pictures in black and white. While most people go straight to taking a digital picture and making it black and white, if your high school or university has a darkroom, take advantage of it. Film photography is by far one of the most unique ways to photograph nowadays. You don't see many people taking the time to manually develop and physically edit pictures with darkroom techniques.
5. Get Thrifty Challenge.
I've been wanting to do this for a long time, and for those of you who live in a city, this challenge is a thrift shop away. Shop for anything from vintage, old, or funny clothes, to camera equipment, lights, and more. The place is practically a center for photo props, and all at a low price.
6. Freaky Friday Challenge.
Some people might dress up nicer in photos or try on new things, but how about changing your look altogether? Nerds turn into bikers, princesses turn into country girls, and comfort turns into formal. The name of the game is to not be yourself and to dress like someone else entirely. This is a chance to step out of your comfort zone and be a new person for a few hours (and have fun making yourself over). However, this isn't an invitation to go from white to Chinese. Appropriation isn't appreciation kids.
7. "What You Doing" Challenge.
This could mean a lot of things, but in this case, the goal is to create layered photos (kind of like when people push together a book, glasses, and sweater over their bed sheet to make a photo.) When you aren't doing anything that interesting (just chilling at home, going out to eat, or working at the office), layer up your items and create an artsy photo showing what you're doing.
What do you think, can you do all seven?