Keeping your family photos fun and interesting can be a challenge……
Are you one of those parents who only tends to get the camera out for the children’s birthday parties and family gatherings? If so, then you’re not alone!
The problem with this approach to making family memories, is that they are not the only ones you are going to want to have, when you look back in years to come. Even as a photographer, I think I’m guilty! There are a few times in the children’s lives I can think of, that I really wish I had taken more photos, but didn’t.
Life is so fast paced, that quite often the run of the mill things that you do every day are not given a second thought, for that exact reason…they are run of the mill things! Getting ready for school, sitting round the kitchen table doing homework, and walking the family pet are all things you do every day. They are such a big part of your lives and are probably too mundane to be thought of as “photo-worthy”! However, as a creativity challenge or project, its amazing how fun and interesting you could make so many of these daily activities and add them to your family photo story.
When the children have grown up and gone off to uni, or travelling, or ‘time to move out’ and the house is really quiet, the chances are, that you will look back on those early morning routines, or family games nights or dog walking days with a certain amount of fondness and maybe miss them?! I promise, there will be some moments that you wish could jump into a time machine to go back and remember it all.
The thing is, the closest thing any of us has, to a time machine, are our cameras! And whilst I know you may argue that you won’t miss the chaos and stress of the early morning routine, there is still a very strong argument in favour of documenting it.
So, ….here’s the challenge! Try spending a whole week with your camera on the strap around your neck (avoiding whilst in the shower and bed times of course!) but taking photos of things that you wouldn’t normally. Cleaning teeth and tying shoes are simple enough, or what about the state of their bedrooms once they leave the house for school? Whilst they may not be of any interest now, in a few years they may have some real significance! However, the problem with these ordinary tasks, is that it would be too easy to make ordinary photos! If there is one tip I would give for making family photos less ordinary, it would be to change your camera angle! Try and imagine an angle that might change the viewer’s (of the photo) perspective of doing homework, by maybe placing the camera on the table and doing a low angle that will give more importance to the books and pencils by making them appear larger in the frame. Or shoot over the child’s shoulder to show off chubby little fingers holding a pencil and how well they can write their name! Details are so important! It’s true when they say “the devil’s in the detail’…. photographing the detail elements is probably the best way to personalise all your images. For example; everyone does their homework , but probably not the way your child does it!
My own “tidy” child used to line up all her pencils and colouring crayons on the table in front of her at the start of homework time, and then systematically sharpen all those that needed sharpening and then replace them in size order in their case!
So, once you’ve nailed the every day tasks and created an album of interesting and fun family photos to look back on, why not think about the birthday party and clan gathering photos you have. The chances are, if you get out the birthday party photos from previous years, you will probably notice that they are quite similar. We are creatures of habit and tend to do things in the same way. Maybe their hair is in a different style or they have adopted a new personal fashion statement, but on the whole, these small details aren’t enough to give the sort of variety you will really need to keep the same event looking fresh year after year.
Instead of (or as well as) the usual blowing out the candles on the cake photo, why not try a face showing the anticipation of the cake; the children’s faces as they sing the happy birthday song; the eating of the cake and the debris round their faces afterwards! It is a real challenge to find a new perspective year after year, but I promise, if you keep thinking, you will definitely find something to make it special and specific to that event. If you really feel totally flummoxed, have a look on Pinterest! Just search for your keyword and you’ll be inundated!
The other thing to think about is being sure to include full body as well as 3/4 and headshot photos as well as including detail shots of their hands and feet and eyes! They are great things to photograph regularly and will ultimately show their growth pattern over the years. The spray of freckles over the nose, or that persistent curl that always found its way out of the ponytail, no matter how hard you plastered it down! These are the things that you will probably miss and talk about when they are older and not around you so much.
Our children grow up in a flash and the memories are so important, so if you look at your family photos and think they don’t really reflect as much of their character and relationships with their favourite (and worst!) things, then now is the time to get going!
Alternatively, if you’d like to have all your family members included in your photos and are interested in having either a studio or lifestyle photo session, please phone or EMAIL to chat about your ideas or to book a session. 07773938669. Please Quote “Yawn” to get a 10% discount off your final photo order too!