There are plenty of styles and ways to take a photo. If we name them all we probably spend a whole day, but no matter how many types of photoshoots are out there, people always seek something new, non-standard, a creative photoshoot. In this regard, we need to start thinking outside the box and implementing styles and techniques of another level. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of making your own style in photoshoots, defining the borders and limits between standard and non-standard terms.

Defining the concept of a non-standard photoshoot

A non-standard photo shoot typically refers to a photo shoot that deviates from traditional or conventional approaches in terms of concept, style, location, or execution. It may involve experimental techniques, unconventional settings, unique themes, or avant-garde artistic visions. Unique photoshoot ideas often push the boundaries of creativity, challenge norms, and aim to create visually striking and thought-provoking imagery that stands out from conventional photography. These shoots can vary widely in their interpretation and execution, often reflecting the creative vision of the photographer and the collaborative efforts of the team involved.

Conceptualization and Planning

To retrieve your own concept of the unique photoshoot, you need to define the differences between standard and non-standard terms.

Standard Photoshoot

  • Setting: A studio with plain backdrops or typical outdoor locations like parks or urban areas.
  • Concept: Classic portrait photography or fashion photography with models posing in standard poses and attire.
  • Execution: Well-lit with natural or studio lighting, focusing on capturing the subject in a flattering and conventional manner.

Another example:

  • Subject: Product photography for a commercial catalog or website.
  • Setting: Controlled environment such as a studio with professional lighting setups.
  • Concept: Emphasizing product features and functionality with clear and straightforward compositions.
  • Execution: Focus on clarity and accuracy, ensuring the product is well-lit and presented in a way that highlights its key attributes.

Non-Standard Photoshoot

  • Setting: An abandoned warehouse, underwater, in a forest, or on a rooftop.
  • Concept: Surrealism, avant-garde fashion, or conceptual art where the subject may be depicted in unusual attire or poses.
  • Execution: Experimental lighting techniques, use of props or digital manipulation to create a visually striking and unconventional image.

Another example referring to standard one:

  • Subject: Same product photography, but with a creative twist.
  • Setting: Unconventional locations related to the product, such as a beach for swimwear or a construction site for work boots.
  • Concept: Using storytelling elements to evoke emotion or convey a message related to the product's use or impact.
  • Execution: Incorporating unexpected elements or juxtapositions to add intrigue and depth to the imagery, while still showcasing the product prominently.

In summary, non-standard photoshoots often involve unconventional settings, concepts, and execution techniques that challenge traditional norms and push the boundaries of creativity in photography.

Scouting for Creative Photo Ideas

No matter the subject of your photoshoot, to make it a non-standard one, you want to have a setting, concept, and execution to be the defining factors. Photoshoot locations are the most defining factor for the concept and following styles. Here are three creative photoshoot ideas with location examples, apparel choices, and camera techniques that will emphasize the story you will depict in the frame. Note that the post-processing matters in the end to highlight the story even better!

Abandoned Amusement Park


The concept here lies in a quirky photoshoot with a nostalgic atmosphere of an abandoned amusement park that can provide a compelling backdrop for the fashion styles. The juxtaposition of decaying rides, overgrown foliage, and faded colors can evoke feelings of melancholy and mystery.


To execute such a style, utilize the unique textures and structures of the amusement park as part of the composition. Play with lighting to create dramatic shadows and highlights, enhancing the moodiness of the scene.


Models can wear a mix of vintage-inspired clothing and avant-garde fashion to complement the retro aesthetic of the location, such as tattered lace dresses paired with futuristic accessories or distressed denim juxtaposed with metallic accents. Add art makeup complementing the location and your artists.

Camera techs

In each scenario, the chosen camera techniques are tailored to enhance the unique characteristics of the location and concept, adding depth, drama, and visual interest to the final images.

For such a location use shallow depth of field to isolate the models from the background, creating a sense of intimacy and focus amidst the chaotic environment. Experiment with angles to capture dynamic perspectives, such as low-angle shots to emphasize the grandeur of dilapidated structures or overhead shots to showcase the sprawling landscape of the park.


  • Emphasize the vintage and eerie atmosphere of the amusement park by adjusting the color grading. Experiment with desaturated tones to convey a sense of decay, or add subtle sepia or cyanotype effects for a nostalgic feel.
  • Enhance the contrast and clarity to bring out the textures and details of the decaying rides and overgrown foliage.
  • Use selective dodging and burning techniques to draw attention to key elements of the composition and create a more dynamic visual impact.
  • Experiment with vignetting or selective blurring to focus attention on the models and create a sense of depth within the chaotic environment.

Deserted Industrial Site

The location concept

A deserted industrial site offers a gritty and dystopian setting for a conceptual photoshoot exploring themes of urban decay and societal collapse. The stark industrial architecture and rusted machinery can symbolize the passage of time and the fragility of human civilization.

What to wear

Models can wear utilitarian clothing with a spooky post-apocalyptic twist, such as distressed leather jackets layered over industrial jumpsuits, accessorized with goggles, gas masks, and metallic jewelry to enhance the rugged aesthetic of the shoot. In addition, you can learn more about the makeup tips in our dedicated article.

Camera techs

  • For the techs, experiment with unconventional camera angles to capture the imposing scale and geometry of the industrial structures. Incorporate smoke, fog, or dust effects to add atmosphere and depth to the images..

  • Moreover, Utilize techniques such as high dynamic range (HDR) photography to capture the wide range of tones and textures present in the industrial landscape. Use long exposure photography to create motion blur effects, emphasizing the sense of movement and dynamism within the static environment.

Post-processing techs:

  1. Apply gritty and desaturated color grading to enhance the dystopian mood of the industrial site. Experiment with split toning to add subtle hints of color that complement the overall aesthetic.
  2. Use HDR techniques to balance the exposure and preserve details in both the highlights and shadows of the industrial landscape.
  3. Experiment with texture overlays or grunge effects to further emphasize the rugged and decayed textures of the surroundings.
  4. Employ digital compositing techniques to blend multiple exposures or add atmospheric elements such as smoke or dust to enhance the sense of atmosphere and drama.

Underwater Cavern Location


Submerged in the depths of an underwater cavern, a photoshoot can evoke a sense of otherworldly beauty and serenity. The ethereal quality of the underwater environment, with its play of light and shadow, creates a mesmerizing backdrop for capturing the graceful movement of models and fabric.


When it comes to apparel, models can wear flowing dresses with diaphanous fabrics that billow and swirl underwater, reminiscent of sea creatures, accessorized with seashell-inspired jewelry and iridescent headpieces to enhance the ethereal and mermaid-like aesthetic of the shoot.

Camera techniques

Employ specialized underwater photography equipment and techniques to overcome the challenges of shooting in this environment, such as buoyancy control and water clarity. Use natural light filtering through the water to create a soft, dreamlike ambiance. Besides, you can also experiment with techniques such as backlighting to create a halo effect around the models, enhancing their ethereal presence in the underwater landscape. Employ underwater panning techniques to capture the fluidity and grace of the models' movements, creating dynamic and captivating imagery.


  1. In post-processing, enhance the ethereal and dreamlike quality of the underwater cavern by adjusting the color temperature and tint to achieve a blue-green hue that evokes the underwater environment.
  2. Use selective color adjustments to enhance the vibrancy of the aquatic surroundings while maintaining the natural skin tones of the models.
  3. Experiment with clarity and sharpening to bring out the intricate details of the underwater landscape and the flowing fabrics of the models' attire.
  4. Apply subtle lens flares or light leaks to simulate the play of light filtering through the water, adding to the surreal and otherworldly ambiance of the images.

Collaborative Approach

If you have a team that includes digital artists, models, and photographers, you can develop a whole new concept that applies the collaborative ideas of your team. Brainstorm the concept considering each team member's capabilities to come up with something unique.

As you develop a concept, make sure to visit chosen locations where the photographers get better ideas for camera angles and utilize specific camera techniques that complement the environment and models. Digital artists can also participate here with ideas on how they see all of these in post and may share their vision as well.


To recap all we have discovered in this article, it is essential to have a good team to come up with stunning ideas for photoshoots together. Collaboration is the key. Use our photoshoot ideas with locations, camera tech, apparel ideas, and post-processing techs as the reference to develop something even more unique on your own. If you have any issues with post-processing, a simple solution would be to use a photo editing app such as RetouchMe, where you can use a wide array of tools to enhance your photos with style. Our seasoned photo editors make sure to follow your concepts and apply your vision to photos seamlessly.

To get even more ideas, read our dedicated articles for a Wedding photoshoot and Maternity photoshoot.