Photography has come a long way since Niépce’s sliding wooden box invented circa 1826, and now it’s common to see people snapping photos of anything and everything just because we can. So why we haven’t exploited this brilliant piece of technology to quell our boredom in a healthy way is beyond me. Photography can be combined with almost anything, because what can’t you take a photo of?
You don’t need to travel to a picturesque country to spam pretty/entertaining photos on your feed. It doesn’t matter if you’re a rookie or an expert, as long as you own a picture snapping device, you’re good to go! Here are 14 photo competition ideas you can have with your friends on your next full day outing.
1. Picture purr-fect
Back in high school, I had a classmate who was always doing really hipster-like things with her boyfriend, most of which I’ve forgotten. But one that’s stuck with me is when the two of them had a competition to see who could take the best photo of a stray cat, or who could find the most beautiful stray cat.
I thought that was really cute, and it led them all around Singapore, to the most ulu places you wouldn’t even think about visiting. They even climbed down canals and visited old and forgotten estates in search of this prized kitty.
2. The most unique leaf
“Huh? But all leaves are the same what!” ORLY?
Go to a nature reserve like MacRitchie Reservoir in search of these leaves, because when I was there I saw a few interesting ones. There was this particular type of leaf that was browning on one side, but completely stark white on the other side – like paper. Why is that? Does anyone out there have answers?
3. Strongest emotions
How you do this is everyone writes down a random state of mind, let’s say “loneliness” or “joy” and then you guys have to crawl the island like the little creepers you are and try to capture that emotion in a stranger.
This will lead you to the happiest/saddest places you know in Singapore. It’d be so great to see all these places as a group. In addition, this trains your people-watching skill – something that I find helps you appreciate people and life a whole lot more.
4. Give me the creeps
Source: Mariel Clayton
Take the creepiest photo you can think of. You could employ the use of dolls like Clayton (above) to take a chilling murder-scene photo, or you can go down to actual “haunted places” in Singapore, like Istana Woodneuk, if you dare.
5. Very hungry
What kind of Singaporean guide is complete without food? Go on a food trail around Singapore, check out our latest food guide for March 2015 for ideas on where to go, and snap away! Whoever takes the most tantalising shots wins.
If you guys are more domestic, it’d be even cooler to gather at someone’s house while each person whips up a dish and you guys can have fun presenting your dishes in the most seductive way possible.
6. So punny
Take random photos and caption them such that it becomes a PUN! Work those creative cells!
7. Light of a new day
Organise a sleepover or a camp somewhere and start snapping photos of the Singapore sunrise! Not only are sunrises stunning and symbolic of hope and second chances, they photograph beautifully. The trick to this is to find the best location.
8. Apocalyptic shots
Source: JianHao Tan
Another one that let’s you finally flex that creative muscle you’ve been neglecting. Take a bunch of photos of the apocalypse. Get your friends to pose for you as… zombies? Aliens? It’s all up to you.
How do you survive a zombie apocalypse? How does the world end? What happens to mankind? Are we fighting? Have we been wiped out? Or have some of us betrayed the rest and formed an alliance with the enemy? Or maybe we’re just all drowning in lava. How would you destroy the world?
9. Alter ego
Source: Promise Phan
It’s time to expose that part of you your friends never knew about. Are you a closet mugger? It’s time to come clean. This competition requires you to dress yourself up in your secondary personality – the person you’d be without societal regulations. You could be anything.
Play with props and backdrops to further express that personality!
10. Identity thief
Write your names on little slips of paper, shake it up and pick out one slip each, and dress up as the person whose name you picked out! The most convincing one wins. You could make this a video competition and lip-sync to one of their most commonly-uttered sentences.
Do your friends make a better you than you?
11. Born again
What if you could choose when and where you could be born? Place yourself there! You’d be surprised at the number of lovely places that resemble other places in Singapore. To start, check out these forgotten Singapore islands, where you’ll find scenery impossible to recreate on our mainland.
12. I directed that movie
Recreate a scene from your favourite movie! Employ your best friends or use dolls, but definitely use props. Again, this could be used as a video competition. Recreate that scene from Mean Girls, or The Notebook because you can.
13. No way that’s real
This will be difficult at first, but try playing with angles and perspectives to get a really cool optical illusory shot! You’ll be so impressed with yourself at the end of the day that you’ll feel like you’re all winners.
14. Mirror mirror on the wall
Here’s something I used to do when I was 14 that I’d still gladly do today. We used to run around with our camera phones and snap pictures of each other but avoid getting our picture taken. At the end of the day, we’d look at all the photos and they’d be so unglamourously hilarious. Person with the ugliest photo of a friend wins.
- Have your own hashtag so that you can easily track and judge each competition (and so that your followers know what is happening – imagine a bunch of random leaves on your timeline, so weird)
- Let go and have fun! Don’t worry about looking nice or taking the perfect photo. The aim of this is really to have fun, because creativity flows best when its not being forced to.
- Don’t get upset if you can’t take the shot you’re looking for. These things take time, so if you can, why not spread this out over a couple of days?
And don’t just limit yourself to these 14 things – go ahead and explore. Photography is an art, and art is beautiful not only in its infinite expression, but also its flexibility. The ideas listed in this article are not exhaustive, so stretch your mind a little further and create the ultimate photography project!