Capturing Everyday Moments in Your Family’s Life
What do you think about everything and everyone looking so perfect and polished all over social media? Don’t you feel that real life looks nothing like that? I know I do, and I’m constantly struggling with that!
Even thought I don’t share as many personal images as I would like to, the documentarian in me is the best reminder that the most important story is the perfectly imperfect one you live every day, the honest one, the one that is truly you. The one you don’t feel very comfortable to share in Social Media, but at the same time, it’s the one that’s worth documenting the most. That’s the one that deserves to be captured. And who’s more qualified to do it than you?
Family photoshoots are beautiful and necessary, but they will only get as honest as you allow the photographer (and his/her approach). But let’s face it; the person capturing your family is not part of your crew. We usually tend to give limited access to our rawness, showing just what we feel comfortable to share with a stranger. Plus, for most of us, family photography sessions happen just once or twice a year, so I want to help you today and make sure you are Capturing Everyday Moments in Your Family’s Life with whatever photography device you have… Smartphone or DSLR, either will do the trick. I’m encouraging you to start capturing the extraordinary in the ordinary in your day to day.
Turning your camera towards your home and your family in a very introspective way, will allow you to capture not only what you look like, but also what it feels like to be you, how you see things, and by doing this you will show your loved ones just how much they mean to you, how much you love them. Those images will help you tell them the amazing story of the wonderful humans you are and how much they were loved. Those images will also help them remember or see from another’s perspective how things looked like growing up, because who remembers how it looked like growing up?
If you feel the same way I do, then you are going to love this post, because I’m going to go through a few tips that will help you to capture your everyday moments.
Capture details THAT TELL A STORY
Details to me, are those magical things that help you travel in time. Tiny toes, dimples, precious curls, cute little drawings found around the house, snuggles, tantrums, and everything in between. These photographs will tell a story by focusing on just a small portion of the entire scene.
As a mom, these are the little things I live for, the ones that make my heart swell, the ones that reflect the essence of the story about the humans I hold most dearly in my heart. Kids grow up fast and the memories in images and videos of them being children is all we have to remember and treasure.
In order to do great shots about details, focus on what’s happening instead of where. As you can see in the images, it could be something as simple as a kid holding a shell or a flower, maybe it’s that endless moment of potty training, or a day in the farmers market, the details shots are endless and the thing I love the most about it is that there is so much information in one image to start elaborating a story, you can build the context and go above and beyond with that. Just think about the story you want to tell!
BE CREATIVE WITH PERSPECTIVE AND COMPOSITION
Perspective and composition will be your best friends for improving the aesthetic of your images.
With perspective you emphasize scale an added boost to your images. Try not to remain in one position when taking images, move around your subject and see which different angles you can use. Changing your shooting angle can make a huge difference on your images!
Here’s a tip to help you with this: First take an image from a position parallel to your subject, then go around 360 degrees shooting from one side, from behind and the other side. Then get up and photograph from above your subject for a bird’s eye view, then get down on the ground and shoot whatever is in front of you. If you are just starting out, this shooting “circle” can be a great way to mix it up and will help you understand how light behaves and the variety of images you can get just by trying out different angles. Of course there is a big chance that a lot of these images will end up in the trash, but you will have a range of images that will help communicate your story, and you might just be ablate capture that WOW image you were looking for.
Another key to creating extraordinary images out of the ordinary is to think about composition, this will help to transform your everyday photography into something more beautiful and will also help you remember more details about the story.
My favorite composition rules are: Framing, Rules of the Thirds, and Leading Lines.
Of course there are many different ways to compose your images, so I want to invite you to explore around and practice. Through trial and error you’ll find your favorites.
Observe the LIGHT!
When capturing any type of image, you should always be aware of the light available and use it to your advantage. That could be as simple as opening up your blinds or changing your position.
Next time you are taking a photo, try the circle shooting technique I mentioned before if your are not sure about the light, rather than telling your subject where to go. That way you will preserve the spontaneity of a moment and your will find different and interesting ways to tell your story.
I must say that most of the times great moments sometimes happen in bad light. Embrace it! Capture that memory! BUT if the documentary approach is not your thing, there is absolutely nothing wrong with making sure that you set up activities in a room that has the best light, or suggesting that you play in a certain spot, or timing your shoot so that you have the best light.
Create a story with imageS THAT WILL leave a legacy
As you move through your day, try to slow down and pay close attention to your routines, those things you do every day… and identify what parts of the day you will love to capture, and you’ll find that the moment you should capture becomes obvious! When the moment arises, be camera ready and keep shooting all the way through it. and please remember that your attention is another act of love!
For example, when we were moving from Venezuela to Chicago, I had to take my last images inside our house before closing that cycle. I always thought that the way the sheer curtain filtered the light in the girls room was beautiful, so I knew that before we left I had to capture the girls there. I encouraged them to go and play. I told them that we were leaving and that we needed to fill that house with positive energies and giggles to make it feel happy while we were not there. I saw how their personalties unleashed, I had the camera ready and here is what I got from that moment.
You could wait for those moments that happen spontaneously or direct your subject a little bit in order to make the magic happen, but try avoiding forced smiles and poses all the time.
CARRY YOUR CAMERA OR CELLPHONE EVERYWHERE
The best camera, as we know it, is the one you have with you. Carrying your camera everywhere you go, will ensure that you do not miss out on documenting key moments in your kids’ lives. Let go of perfection and make sure to capture your true everyday, real moments! It doesn’t have to be hard, produced or overwhelming. You should have fun with it!
I hope that you’ve found these tips helpful.