It’s the time of year when usually we’d be dusting off our camera (or getting out our iPhone!) to snap all the great photo opportunities a new year provides. However, with our ability to get out and about being put on pause, it could seem that our favourite photography activities are also on hold too.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. While our world might be smaller, we also have lots of extra time to do all those photography projects we’ve been putting off, or to take another look at what’s been under our nose the whole time. Here, Clare Moreton, photo expert at CEWE, shares her top activities to try during the downtime.

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While we might be used to getting out and about when taking new photos have you ever considered the great photo opportunities that could be in your own back garden? With winter in full swing, there might not be as many flowers to photograph, but what about capturing the effects of winter frost on the brand of a tree or the birds that visit your garden? It might have been overlooked until now in favour of places further afield but only being able to focus on a small space could help you get more creative than having the big wide world to play with.

Play around with new subjects

Whether you’re an avid travel photographer or love to snap pictures of your friends, we all have our preferred genres and subjects when it comes to photography. However, with many avenues to our favourite photos now restricted, it could be a great time to discover a new type of photography. If you live with someone else you could enlist them to be a model and try your hand at portrait photography, or you could give pet photography a go (if you can get them to sit still for long enough!). Living alone? Then try still life photography – playing around with light can help you achieve some interesting effects.

Make your way through the alphabet

If you’re struggling for ideas of photos to take, flex your creative muscles by trying this fun photo challenge. Start from the letter A and take a photo each day of something that starts with the next letter as you move through the alphabet. This will challenge you to see your surroundings in a new light as you attempt to find subjects for the trickiest of letters (X – we’re looking at you!). You could even share your photos each day on social media to give you accountability to stick to the challenge.

Show a loved one you care

While it might be some time before we get to see our friends and family members, that doesn’t mean we can’t show we’re thinking about them in the meantime. Why not remind them that you’re thinking about them by sending them a small photo gift in the post? Whether it’s a personalised card complete with your favourite photo, a handmade photo collage of a holiday you shared together or a postcard with a loving note – the thought will be greatly appreciated.

Create a gallery wall of your favourite photos

If creating a gallery wall in your home is a job you’ve been putting off for a while – now is your chance to get it done! Creating a gallery wall can be intimidating, but as a simple rule, start with your largest piece as the central focal point and work outwards from there. It doesn’t need to be complex or take hours on end. It’s about bringing together simple but stylish pieces that can showcase your personality. Experiment with different styles and types of wall art whether it’s a mixture of bold block colour prints, bright quirky patterns, typography style images or your favourite family photos.

Try the ten of one challenge

If you’re really struggling to find something to photograph around your home, try the ten of one challenge. This sees you choosing one small object and attempting to get ten unique photos of it. The more obscure or seemingly dull the object – the better! You could choose a water bottle and zoom in on the bubbles in the liquid, or take abstract shots that distort the bottle so you can no longer see what it is. Whatever the object, get creative and start shooting – you might be surprised at the results you end up with.

Get creative with collage

Why not use your extra downtime to flex those creative muscles and create a photo collage of your favourite memories? All you’ll need is prints of your best photos and some cute décor that you have in your home. Ribbon, buttons, old cards, wallpaper samples – whatever you can find! You could combine your prints with tokens from your favourite days out and holidays, or cards and messages from loved ones. You could even get the kids involved and turn it into a fun arty project for the whole family to enjoy.

Sort through your photos

Be honest – how many photos do you really have on your phone or on memory cards, and when was the last time you looked through them all? Research conducted by CEWE has revealed that the average person takes 1,460 photos a year but only 41% of us only look back on our photos a few times a year or less – that’s a lot of photos that aren’t getting the appreciation they deserve! Why not spend your extra time sorting through your photos to create a beautiful photo book full of memories? Whether it’s a family photo book, or a collection of photos from your favourite holiday, it’ll be a lot easier to look back on the memories you’ve made, and creating your book is sure to put a smile on your face.

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