How to add variety to your family photos #HomeLifeProject
This weekend is the fourth Home Life Project of 2016 and I’m once again looking forward to another weekend photographing our family lives together.
By now it’s possible that you may be wondering how you can record another weekend of family life without making it look exactly the same as the last one, so in this post I wanted to make a few suggestions about how to mix it up for anyone looking for inspiration, but also to act as a prompt for me when I’m shooting this month…
Capture the uncaptured
A good place to start this month is to look back on the photos you have taken so far and see if there are any times of the day, parts of the house or individuals you haven’t photographed. I’m conscious I have nothing of Theo’s room yet, as our day tends to start with him in his sister’s room and by the time he goes to bed I’ve usually stopped shooting, so I want to make an effort to get a picture of him in his own space this weekend.
As the weather is getting warmer I’m also going to be thinking about shooting outside and of course with Jim missing from the shots last month, he’ll definitely be back in a few this weekend!
I know this advice gets trotted out in every photography tutorial, but it’s always worth reminding yourself how many ways you can capture a moment. Lie on the floor and shoot along the ground or shoot up towards a child. Stand on something and shoot from overhead. Photograph through something like a house plant, a window or even a Duplo creation!
Photograph the messy bits
I am really bad at self editing what I photograph, I constantly leave out the unfinished bits of our house and the projects we are midway through because I only want to show the stuff once its complete, but the messy bits are part of the journey and once the work is done I get cross when I look back and realise I don’t have photos of how something used to look.The imperfect doesn’t just exist in our home decor though, don’t self censor kids dressed up in mismatched outfits or imperfect table settings. Photograph real life, not instalife!
Capture the details
Try getting in close and taking photos of the details, either by capturing body parts like hands and feet or by photographing the toys that are being played with or the products that are being used. Every item in your house tells a story about your family at this moment in time, whether it’s a toy that is particularly loved right now, a book you are reading or a food product that the family eats a lot of. Small details can tell you a lot about a moment in time. The photo above was taken two years ago when I was painting the cabin in our garden, a job which coincidentally I finally completed yesterday…yes you did read that right! See the previous point about the “messy bits”
Wait for the moment
In the family photojournalism course I am doing at the moment there is a great bit about learning to sit and wait for a moment to capture. I am sometimes guilty of rushing in with a camera and taking a photo and then going again, but I need to develop the courage to sit, enjoy what is happening and wait for the decisive moment to hit the shutter button. Not only does it mean you have less photos to sift through in the end, but while you are waiting you are absorbing the moment and reading what is happening instead of just grabbing at it. My exercise this weekend? Sitting and taking no photos while I wait! Have I just invented mindful photography?
Questions? Read all about it here.
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