We get so busy trying to capture the perfect photo that we often forget the everyday photography. I would guess to say that the majority of us got into photography to learn to capture our everyday better. Use these three tips to help you.
1.Find the Light
This could be window light, outside light or light coming from the iPad the kids won’t put down. It doesn’t really matter what the light source is as long as you can identify it and use it to your advantage. A number of my favorite images are from an everyday moments at the house when I noticed the light pouring in through the window creating those coveted catch lights in my son’s eyes. They were not planned moments or stylized sessions. They were just everyday moments where the light was just right.
Look for the areas in your house with window light and watch to see how the light comes through at different times of the day. This way you can be prepared to snap away when your kids are in those areas.
2. Let the Kids be Kids in Everyday Photography
Some days are the days that the house needs to be in order and the kids need to be properly dressed and sitting nicely on the couch. Other days, most days (at least at my house), the toys are on the floor below the bed that may or may not be made. That is okay. Think back to the images from your childhood that mean the most to you. Are they the ones where everyone is sitting nicely on the couch or are they the images where you can see the appliances your mom used when she let you help bake in the kitchen? Are they the ones where nothing is out of place or are they the images where you can see that long lost tchotchke that makes you think of home?
In a perfect world (where nobody lives) you can sweep all the miscellaneous toys under the bed to get a shot that makes your house look like it belongs on HGTV (and I do think that there is a time/place for sweeping the miscellaneous stuff under the bed just for a photo). In the real world (where we all live), you can leave some of the stuff out on the counters and photograph your life just like it looks right now.
Capture those memories in the house where your family lives just for your kids. Grab the camera and snap away as they jump on unmade beds and hang upside down on a couch covered in blankets and lovies.
There are the days to worry about whether the kids have on matching clothes, have brushed their hair, and wait for you to set the camera controls before you snap. There are other days where you should snap away after they have dressed themselves, before they brush their hair, and when they are not paying any attention to you.
3. Have Your Camera Ready
One reason I could capture those catch lights when I saw the great light is because I leave my camera out. I have two places that I typically leave my camera around the house depending on what is going on that day, but both places are in high traffic areas of the house and have easy access. I also make sure to keep a charged battery in the camera as well as a loaded memory card. This allows me to find the light, grab the camera, and shoot. I have a backup battery that I also keep charged so that I don’t find myself wishing that I hadn’t missed that moment because the battery was drained.
With all the wonderfully stylish camera bags that are available now there isn’t really a good excuse not to carry your camera with you out into the world too. I have taken photos just about everywhere from the grocery store parking lot to images of the scenery in my rearview mirror simply because I often take my huge DSLR all around my everyday life with me.
What everyday moments do you like to capture?
Allison Jacobs – Guest Post
Allison Jacobs is an Orange County photographer dedicated to shooting her everyday ordinary life as it unfolds in Southern California. Allison loves seeing life through the lens of her camera while photographing food, people, and those moments that she doesn’t want to forget in her son’s life.
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