ok… you all know by now that I LOVE documenting my every day. for a few years I participated in a photo a day challenge – which not only helped me recognize beauty in the littlest things, but it helped me document my life – and its so crazy with two young kids that its really easy to forget to photograph them (even for a photographer!!!)!!! So today I wanted to talk about 5 ways you can photograph your every day so that you can see the beauty in the every day, and look back on the littlest moments while you realize they were some of the most important.
1. Use things that you USE every day!!
sit in your kitchen and think about what gets used every day – you sit at your kitchen or dining room table, high chairs, stools… use those things IN your images… some of my favorite images are those of my kids in their high chair – i didn’t care if it was dirty – it’s telling their LIFE story… and guess what – high chairs are DIRTY. its not a big deal! and let me tell you – you’ll never see it in the image – you’ll see your cute toddlers chubby fingers picking up food before you see any dirt.
2. Notice the LIGHT.
when you look around your house throughout the day – notice what rooms have the most light coming in. and then take it a step further and think about how that light makes you feel – is it soft and lands beautifully on the floor or harsher bright sun streaming in? the more you look and try to notice these things – the easier it will be for you. it took me almost 5 years to find a spot in my living that i absolutely loved in my old home. i constantly said my house was too dark to get nice images… and then i discovered this little pocket – late afternoon.. and i fell in love. in our new house i knew that i loved my office… but every day i am reminded of the beauty of the country, of the sunset when the warm sun (even in the winter it looks warm!!!) pours through the front window offering a beautiful glow.
you can notice light on so much more than people too – take a decor piece and put it on your dining room table – take a photo of that every hour throughout the day – and take note of which one you like the best. That will help you determine when there is “good light” in your dining room. I also want to note that you can almost always find some kind of light – it just depends if its the kind of light you are drawn to.
3. Use Colorful Objects!
do you always have flowers on your counters or in your windows?? Flowers make some of the most beautiful images! Have you ever noticed how bright shopping carts look against the grocery store floor? snap a photo of your handbag in the shopping cart – those red target carts look stellar against the bland and boring floors!! the most simple objects can be turned in a beautiful image. look at the light and the shadows, and the colors and create something!
Contrasting colors draw the eye in – so when you highlight your image with a bright colored object people will automatically be drawn to them.
4. Think about Lines and Patterns.
have you ever noticed when you look at a photo where people are leaning on a fence that you are automatically drawn to your person? those lines on the fence are leading your eye right to where you want it – your subject. there are lines everywhere – think about the playground – slides and monkey bars both have great leading lines to use. railings and fences are another way to use lines to create beautiful imagery with normal, everyday objects.
5. Get in the Frame!!
this topic comes up every time i talk with my family and friends about photos… it’s so important that you photograph yourself – YOU are the biggest part of your every day! if you don’t have a big fancy dSLR you can do it with your iphone! get in the frame – in your house, with your pets, with your kiddos! your daily life wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for you. i have to remind myself of this often – and a lot of times it boils down to getting someone else to take it for me (because i just have to face it i’m just not good at selfies, or timers or tripods…but i keep trying!!!), but at least i’m there. my kids know i was there – and in 30 years when they get to look back at our every day photos – i want them to know i was present – i was with them when it mattered most, and that they know they matter the most to me.
i hope these tips have been helpful to you. its important that we remind ourselves of the BEAUTY in every single day. sometimes the most mundane things become the ones you want to remember forever. your kids brushing their teeth, the morning routine (no matter how frustrating some mornings are!!!). there is beauty there. you can find the light, the shapes, the lines… or you can simply find the MOMENT. because i will break every single rule of photography if it means i can capture a genuine moment of interaction. there are rules, and there are reasons to break rules. finding a moment, freezing it in time, telling your story, documenting your days so they can live on forever in albums – thats what really matters. tell your story – let your kids tell their story to their own kids and so on. these moments – they are important. whether you know it or not right now.