By now, school's out for many of our kids. Chances are good you'll be hanging out with them more this June, July and August. Even if your schedule hasn't changed much, you'll still want to make the most of the time you do have together. Whether you're hitting up the pool (like me!), the beach, or just your own backyard--summer is a great season (the best?) for capturing those special moments in childhood. Think about all the possibilities for picture taking opportunities! Long walks! Lazy days and oh-the-sunshine! Here are five tips to help you get better photographs of your kids being their awesome, unique selves all summer long. No fancy camera? No problem. Just pull out your phone and these will still work.
1. Get Low.
And by low, I mean remember to get on your kids' level. Don't just stand there. Crouch down to take the picture. I'm actually sitting in a chair at our table for this example. Get low and I promise your picture will be a bit more intimate and realistic in regards to what your child is experiencing/doing.
2. Change Your Viewpoint.
Just like getting low in #1--look up, look down, look all around. What do you want to remember most? How about what it feels like/looks like to get a hug from your little guy or gal.
3. Go Outside. Go often.
I love summer photography because the days are lighter, longer. Mornings and evenings are often deliciously golden. Soak it up. Stay outside and let the silliness rage on. And on. And on and on while you keep your camera handy.
4. Forget About Saying, "Cheese."
Please, for the love of all things. Move past this saying cheese business. The stop-drop-and-smile routine works well on occasion, but for the everyday moments? It's okay if your child isn't looking directly at the camera and smiling. You will capture more authentic pictures if you allow the moment to just happen; if you allow your kid to just be. If you forgo the cheese every time, your picture will be that much more pure and authentic.
5. Pull Back.
You guys, did you realize there is often a bigger picture in the works? Close-up portraits are endearing and wonderful, I know. But how often do you step back and see the forest for the trees? (See what I did there with the picture I chose below? Ha.) Use scale to tell a story. Small kids, big world. Use the frame to set the stage and show more of what's happening in a particular moment in time. Pull back and reveal the magic.
To summarize: change things up, move around, get out there, use the sun, think bigger. And of course, above all--just have fun. Capture the good times as they roll on by this summer.