Close your eyes (come on, really do it!)…and think of your favorite picture. There is a good chance that picture that popped in your head was not one where everyone was staring blankly into a camera while being told to “say cheese!”
Your favorite picture is probably one where an important memory was captured or one that tells a descriptive story. It is probably a picture that ignites an emotional response. Maybe it is a picture of you and your siblings playing outside as kids, or your grandmother cooking in the kitchen. These types of pictures that capture little moments are the reason photography is so magical (Yes- I am getting a little cheesy here!). You have the ability to take a fleeting memory, and turn it into something permanent.
Of course I love snapping portraits of smiling families. It is a blast for me to set up a indoor studio and do a DIY photo shoot; however, my favorite type of photography is simply snapping pictures of everyday life.
Let’s talk about ten tips for capturing the little moments through lifestyle photography, and how to snap the kind of pictures that will become your new favorites.
1) Capture natural expressions
In other words, never say ‘say cheese’. When you are trying to capture memories, you want to capture only natural expressions- no matter what they are!
I have pictures of my son smiling on his first day of school, but the one of his brother and sister dramatically hugging him goodbye as he embarked on his first day of school will always be one of my favorites. Any picture that shows true emotions will be a good one.
2) Focus in on the details
You don’t always need to have a smiling face in a picture for it to tell a story. Focus in on some of the significant details around a memory.
Even though we all hate messes, sometimes they tell the best stories of childhood!
3) Don’t miss the interactions
If you can capture a natural interaction, you will no doubt have a memorable photo. Do your best special-ops impression and try to blend in with your surroundings. Then, snap some photos without getting noticed.
4) Photograph Kids being Kids
Let them run through the sprinkler in clothes, play in mud, and jump in puddles. The messes temporary, but the memories will last a lifetime.
The messier or crazier the photo, the better the photo!
5) Snap some black n’ whites
Black and white pictures make for great memory keepsakes. I take all of my pictures in color, and convert a few to black and white later.
6) Only use natural lighting
If you are outside, this is easy…but if you are indoors you may be tempted to pull out your flash. Fight the temptation! Using a flash will turn your photos from silent memories to unnatural looking snap shots. Play around with your camera settings to get the right exposure. If you need help with that, check out my posts on camera settings!
- Shutter Speed Explained for Photography Beginners: The Secret to Clear Photos
- Aperture Explained for Photography Beginners: The Secret to Background Blur
- ISO Explained for the Beginner Photographer: The Secret to Manual Mode
7) Capture the sillies
If you take a picture of something that is making you laugh, there is a good chance that if you look at it in the future you will giggle. Kids are silly in nature. Document it before they are too busy texting or playing Fortnite to interact with you!
8) Include their favorite things
I never want to forget that at age four, my son was ridiculously obsessed with dinosaurs. He knew every dinosaur name, only wore clothes with dinosaurs on it, and brought his dinosaurs everywhere we went.
I can’t imagine forgetting this, but if I do I have plenty of photos to remember this cute little obsession.
9) Add a touch of creativity
You know your kids the best. Use your creativity to capture their personalities. I guarantee you will have fun with it!
10) Photograph day to day things
Most importantly, don’t only bring your camera to the ‘big game’ or the ‘holiday concert’ at school. Lug it over your shoulder when you are heading out to the park, coloring in your kitchen, or going on a walk. That is when you will get the meaningful images.
Simply Snap it!
There are no rules to lifestyle photography- that is what makes it so fun! With your camera, you have the opportunity to document the small moments in life– and these moments are really what life is about.
To display my pictures, I create collage photobooks. My kids and family love to look through these and remember these little moments in life. I create my books on Mixbook. Here, you can make beautiful memory packed scrapbooks online– aka without the glue, scissors, and stickers.
Check it out for yourself! And if you want a full guide on how to organize photos and create photobooks, check out my post!
Try it out! Use a few of the ten tips and create a collage that tells a story.
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