This morning it took me 5 minutes to find a parking spot at the YMCA and I was late to yoga. And because I was late I had to do my practice at the front of the room facing sideways and on display for the whole class. It wasn't a formal punishment or anything, it was just literally the last spot in the room. I kind of just assumed everyone would be on vacation with this being the first Monday since school let out. Nope. I was wrong and I had really had to be on my yoga game this morning because I was just sure everyone was watching me the whole time (likely that wasn't the case, but whatever).
Anyway, moral of the story is summer is here and summer adventures start hopefully this afternoon once everyone leaves the YMCA and takes their kids to do cool stuff.
But what's a summer if you don't have proof it happened? And if you're going to have photo evidence of this awesome summer, wouldn't it be cool if the photos matched the awesomeness? I was sitting here brainstorming summer photography tips to capture your kids' epic summer. For today, this is what comes to mind.
5 Photography Tips For Capturing Your Children This Summer
1. Let them get wet
Mainly this is because getting wet is fun for kids and they're destined to give you some real authentic (and probably happy) moments. Also water mixed with some sweet light can make an image so interesting and fun. Just look at the way the light shines through the water droplets here. The photo wouldn't be the same without it. So get out the hose, the sprinkler, slip and slide, pool, etc. and let your kids have a good time. Swimsuit not required. 9 times out of 10 my kids are still fully clothed and soaking wet.
2. Look for the light (or even wait for it)
So this is kind of an obsession for most photographers. It doesn't matter where I am or if I have my camera with me, I'm looking at light constantly. Summer can be hard because a lot of what we do is in the middle of the day and that sun is bright, bright, bright. That harsh light is fun to play with, but morning and evening light is where it's at for me 90% of the time. Maybe we'll address the harsh light on another day.
This set of images is from an evening in the backyard. Saida got on the trampoline and I could see the light streaming in there on her leg (picture on the left) and that light under the trampoline. Because the sun was almost behind the fence I really want to use backlight (place the sun behind my subject) so I could get that beautiful golden summer glow. I actually turned the trampoline around so I could shoot through the opening towards the sun and voila, beautiful golden summer evening images. The light was so gorgeous that Saida didn't even have to do anything.
3. Don't forget the details
I could photograph just the details for the rest of my life and be a happy woman. Lately my detail obsession as been hand and feet, but it could be anything really. Hair blowing in the wind will also get me everytime. Maybe it's also the sweet rock or shell your kid found or their missing two front teeth. Don't leave these things out. I promise they'll be a great addition to an end of summer photo album or just something so fun to look at and remember later on.
4. Capture the everyday stuff too
Summer can be epic and normal, right? I think so. These everyday moments are ones we forget about, but are generally just as awesome as those orchestrated summer moments. Also this is just a reminder that you don't have to spend money or go anywhere to make beautiful summertime photos. You just have to get outside and allow you kids to be kids.
5. Don't ask them to smile (make them smile)
This actually sounds like I'm holding a gun to their heads and demanding a smile. I swear that's not what I mean. What I mean is play with your kids. In this image I'm shooting and jumping over Saida on the trampoline. This was actually her request and a great reminder to me. Look for real smiles and interact with your kids in a way that gets you real smiles. Get rid of the word "cheese", you don't need it.
Hopefully this helps with summer plans and with those everyday moments. Photography helps me be more present with my kids, which is a challenge for a lot of us moms with all the things on our plates. Put those other things on the back burner (laundry, dishes, etc.) and just be there with your kids (look, I'm just as guilty as you are). I promise you'll never remember a specific time the dishes didn't get washed immediately after a meal, but you just might remember that moment with your kids.
Have an AWESOME SUMMER!!!!