with Courtney Slazinik
Creative Photography Exercise: 5 Minutes

5 minute exercise to improve your photography
This creative photography exercise will help to not burn yourself or your subject out.

People often ask me how I keep my kids from running from the camera and giving me the stink eye. They do that from time to time but honestly, I don’t ask much of them when I pull out the camera. I may prompt them on where I would like them to sit but they are typically really fast mini photo shoots.

5 minutes.

That is all I’m asking.

Here’s what you need to do:

Spend 5 minutes with your subject and capture as many different perspectives as possible. It can be a child, flowers, dog, tree, or a spouse.
– Stand on a chair
– Lay on the ground
– Back up
– Get close
– Look up at them
– Look down
– Use lines

There are so many possibilities and when you limit yourself to 5 minutes. You take a lot off pressure of capturing that perfect shot. Just shoot! No excuses! Who doesn’t have 5 minutes? Set a timer, find a subject, and location and get clickin’. Obviously, I like windows as they are a great source of light and have great lines but you can do this anywhere. Also, spend a few minutes prior to clickin’ to clean up your area. You will be happy you did this because it will give you even more perspectives you can use when there isn’t a ton of clutter to work around.

Remember: Don’t stress about this. Every angle you try is not going to work. That is fine! It’s an exercise. It is a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone and capture some different angles of your subject.

Below are a few of the images I captured in my 5 minutes with a one year old. All of these were taken with my D700 and 20mm f/2.8.
Creative Photography Exercise: 5 minutes via Click it Up a Notch






Share with us! You are encouraged to post your favorite on our Click it Up a Notch Facebook Page.

Looking for more creative photography exercises?

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  • June 25, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    I actually did this last night! My son came in and asked me if I would take a picture of his Captain America shield. I suggested he put on his costume to go with it and before I knew it we were clickin’ away! Me with the camera and him shooting “bullets” out of his shield. I will have to put some up on the FB page tonight!

    • Courtney Slazinik
      July 2, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      I’m so glad you gave it a try! Ha ha bullets! My kids always do funny things too :)

  • June 25, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Such a cute baby. Great post too – I need to work on using my camera everyday! This is a great exercise!


    • Courtney Slazinik
      July 2, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      Thanks :) Yes, try for a week if you can. You will be amazed at what you learn just by picking up your camera everyday.

  • June 25, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Great idea and a great way to get out of a creative slump!

    • Courtney Slazinik
      July 2, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      Yes, for sure! Cheap, easy and fast ;)

  • June 26, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    Oh, I love this!
    I can’t wait to get started with this.
    Thanks for getting my creative juices flowing again.

    • Courtney Slazinik
      July 2, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      I’m so glad to get those juices flowing! Have fun!

  • Tina
    June 26, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    She is ridiculously cute! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Courtney Slazinik
      July 2, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      Thanks, we like her ;)

  • Kat
    June 27, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    that romper is to die for!

    • Courtney Slazinik
      July 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      Isn’t it adorable :) Got it at WPPI but I’ve seen them online.

  • June 27, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    I love learning new things since I got my new SLR camera. Thanks for the inspiration as I definitely want to try unusual angles, possibly make a collage of it using the same subject.

    • Courtney Slazinik
      July 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      That is great to hear! Congrats on your new camera!

  • Anna
    January 24, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    My goodness, I love the rolls in her legs! I miss that. I am sad I didn’t have my camera knowledge then. And of course your photographs are gorgeous, as always. I love the different perspectives. Great idea. I am finding it very challenging to get the everyday shots when they are in school all day (and east coast weather :/) and then off to “activities” Running, running, running. I can’t wait for Spring or warmth!! How about a Click It Up A Notch Spring walk in NYC???

    • January 27, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      I know! It pains me how she is growing up :) We may need to play something in NYC. I had such a blast at the CM walk that year ;)

  • January 24, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    I LOVE all of these tips you’ve been sharing! Thank you SO much! I’m new to photography and your tips are extremely helpful! And your little girl is precious! :)

    Thanks again!

  • Cheryl
    January 24, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    I notice you use a lot of different prime lenses. I love the quality of prime lenses too. Is that all you use

    • January 27, 2014 at 6:33 PM

      Yes, I have a lot of primes but I also love my Tamron 24-70m :)

  • January 24, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    Loving this exercise. It’s my goal in today’s photo for Project 365 to play with angles. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Christine Roberts
    January 25, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Great shots! Great tips, too!

  • January 28, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    I’m a new and excited follower on Bloglovin from Google +! Love your blog. I am also a military wife.. Navy Commander. Looking forward to learning lots of new photo skills! Thanks for sharing your talents.

    • January 29, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      Welcome and thanks for following :) Always love meeting fellow military wives.

  • Sharon
    September 7, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Mm. Hate the fact that all my friends are great fabulous photographers but ive been into photography for 5 years longer than all of them.. heck i got them into it.. trying this right now tho. I hope i get something good out of it. Thanks for the inspiration though

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