Eggs have been a popular subject in art for centuries. They carry symbolic meaning, representing ideas like hope, fertility, and new life. In some cultures, they also represent wealth or luck.
But besides their symbolic power, eggs are a fantastic subject because they’re simple. Their smoothness and symmetry (when unbroken) make them well-suited to all kinds of lighting and compositions. When broken, their bright yolks create a pop of color that instantly catches the eye.
Whether you’re a beginner having fun or a professional honing your skills, eggs are a great subject to work with. For inspiration, here are some excellent egg pictures and ideas you could try out.
Ideas and Inspiration for Egg Pictures
Create a light/dark contrast.
If you’re shooting white eggs, you can create a striking light/dark contrast simply by placing the eggs against a dark background. You could put them in a black bowl, for example, or use a black backdrop if you have one.
Otherwise, you could create a light/dark contrast by photographing the egg’s dark shadow. In this case, you’d want to use a white background instead, so the egg’s shadow will stand out.
Dye or decorate the eggs.
Dyeing and decorating eggs is a long tradition in many cultures. While the practice is often associated with Easter and Christianity, people have actually been dyeing and decorating eggs for thousands of years. Archeologists have even discovered engraved ostrich eggs in South Africa that date back 60,000 years.
In other words, even if you have no cultural or religious connection to dyeing and decorating eggs, it’s a fun activity that’s open to everyone. And it can lead to beautiful photos, too!
kristycho7 – Eggs dyed naturally in cabbage, turmeric and beets
Horváth Dániel – Traditional Easter Eggs
Find eggs that are naturally speckled or unique.
Eggs at the supermarket may all look the same, but in reality, eggs are incredibly diverse. Every species of bird lays eggs that look different from other species. You can even find great variety within the same species. For instance, different breeds of chickens lay eggs of different shades and colors, speckled or unspeckled.
Even within the same breed, you can find eggs that vary in shade and texture, particularly with young hens laying their first eggs. To capture this amazing variety in a photo, you can visit a farm or raise chickens yourself. Or, if you’re up for a challenge, you can find a nest with unique eggs in the wild.
Kenny Wayne – Natural “Colored Eggs” from young hens just beginning to lay
Ragnar Th Sigurdsson/Arctic-Images – Guillemot eggs collected from the cliffs at Ingolfshofdi, Iceland
Photograph the eggs in a nest.
A nest is a natural way of framing eggs in a photo. While you could certainly find and photograph a nest with eggs in the wild, you could also take the easier route and make a nest yourself with branches, straw, and other natural materials. Then, you can put the eggs (real or fake) in the nest for a laid-back photoshoot at home.
Karen Link – Kill Deer Eggs on Nest
Take a close-up or macro photo.
Plain eggs may seem like uninteresting subjects for macro photos at first since they lack intricate details or fascinating textures. However, macro or close-up pictures do more than just highlight details. By removing background distractions, a close-up can make any subject the star of a photo. Even small and neutral-colored subjects like eggs, which may be easy to miss in larger compositions, can become interesting in a macro photo. Give it a try!
Play with lighting and shadows.
The plainness of an egg is a perfect canvas for shadow art. It’s also a great subject for playing with lighting, as its oval shape and smooth surface go well with just about any type of lighting.
Due to the egg’s smooth shape, you’ll also be able to notice every change in lighting, especially if you’re using a plain white or black background. You can learn a lot about lighting, and best of all – the egg won’t complain if you’re taking too long.
Elisabeth patchwork – shadows on the egg
Capture the classic egg-on-forks photo.
Yes, other photographers have done this kind of photo before. That doesn’t make it any less fun or creative. After all, landscape photographers can shoot the exact same view, yet end up with very different photos. That’s part of the challenge: taking an established idea and making it your own.
Use funny or clever props.
Forks aren’t the only prop that works well with eggs. Before the shoot, look around your home for objects that would create a funny or interesting image when paired with eggs. With the right props, you can create a story that makes your viewers smile.
Debra Hall – Here’s hoping the second one turns out right
Try conceptual photography.
Another way to approach the shoot is to first think of an idea you’d like to capture using the eggs. It takes some imagination, but eggs are an amazingly adaptable subject for conceptual photography.
AustinGartman – Marking the Days till Freedom
Cook the eggs.
Most of the photos in this post focus on the exterior of the egg, or its shell, since that’s the simplest way to photograph eggs. However, cooked eggs (whether fried, poached, or boiled) can be interesting subjects, too.
Although food photos can feel cliché with all the cooking blogs and Instagram snapshots out there, you can still find your own voice in food photography. Think outside the box, experiment with different angles, and create a unique image that reflects your style!
Ragnar Th Sigurdsson/Arctic-Images – Man eating fresh guillemot eggs that were collected from the cliffs a few hours prior, Ingolfshofdi, South Coast, Iceland
Get weird and creative with special effects.
Want to experiment with Photoshop or different shooting techniques? Eggs are a nice subject for low-key, creative shoots that boost your knowledge. Get as weird as you want, and above all, have fun!
Graham Marshall – Zoom burst on eggs
Joel Tejeda – Floating Eggxcellence
All of the above images come from our creative community of professional and amateur photographers, both on Flickr and via our newsletter. We had a photography challenge for the subject “Eggs,” and many of these photos are from that challenge. Thanks again to all the photographers who submitted their images!
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