Photo Challenges – Four Free Ways To Improve Your Photography In 2014

Marilyn Monroe’s iconic image standing over a New York subway vent with her white dress fluttering in the breeze has captivated generations of admirers. It’s the perfect mix of right time and right place.

But what if you made right now the right time and made right here the right place?

That’s what photo challenges are all about. Making it happen. Being creative when you don’t want to be creative. Best of all? It’s free, no taxes extra.

Become your own photography teacher by taking one of these following challenges! Take your photography to the next level, build your confidence, sharpen your eye for photography, and challenge yourself to get better every day.

Here are 4 photo challenges you should consider trying out!

#4: Project 365

project 365

It’s the marathon.

The folks at Project 365 encourage you to shoot 1 photo a day for 365 days. No matter where you are, who you’re with, you gotta make the photo happen!

You’ll see yourself improve technically and quickly become more creative as you stretch those photo-taking skills day-to-day. Part of the challenge is simply sticking with it, persevering to overcome your doubts about your skills and the occasional bout of laziness.

Joining a community like Project 365 can help motivate you to cross the finish line and gives you examples of what to do on those days you really couldn’t be bothered to be creative.

Sign up for Project 365 here!

#3: Project 52: Themed


Like a Roman gladiator battle, this is a ruthless challenge that asks you to try things you never imagined.

Based on the 52 weeks in a year, the goal is to knock out 1 quality shot a week based on a weekly theme and share it with the world.

Take some guidance and follow along with a website like or Project 52. From there, just get out into the world to shoot beautiful landscapes, cars, pets, or try something completely new like food photography!

You’ll find yourself hacking out a personal style in photography and by the end you’ll bask a body of work you can feel proud of.

If you like to think out-of-the-box, this is the challenge for you!

#2: 52 Week Challenge


Stay healthy by regularly exercising your photo skills.

No matter the season, prepare to stretch those photo-taking skills once a week. Partner up with some friends and make it a habit.

With a sensible diet of one quality photo a week, the 52 week challenge gives you the creative freedom and motivation to finish that big project you always dreamed of!

With the focus on quality rather than on quantity of photos, you can really tone your compositions and fine-tune your skills. Take the winner of Corel’s food photography contest, Rick Ohnsman. He did a 52 week challenge and on week 26 he came up with this brilliant food photography set up.

You can check out Rick’s 52 week challenge website for inspiration!

#1:Monthly Photo Competitions

nat geo contest

Get out there and compete! The Olympics of photography await!

2014 could be the year you impress all your friends by becoming the Usain Bolt of photography.

For the casual photographer, photo competitions are sprints to shoot the best shot. Simply participating can be a lot of fun and you’ll be inspired by all the other submissions you see. Who knows! You might even win!

By submitting to photo competitions on a regular basis – say once a month – you’ll be able to zero in on aspects of your photography and grow as a photographer. As you cross the finish line you’ll feel accomplished, knowing you achieved your vision.

Best part of these contests is that you can set your own pace! Take a look online and you’ll find all sorts of photography communities that run contests, for example National Geographic’s yearly photo contest. Every year it produces an astounding round of candidates that will shock, awe, and challenge you to be the best photographer you can be.

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