So here we are again, another school year has come to an end and summer is waving her flag. Days are longer, nights are warmer. Everything seems to slow down. Summer offers some of the best opportunities for making and recording family memories, so in this post I’m going to share with you my top 10 images that you MUST capture this summer with your family (in no particular order) and a few tips on how to do it!
Water shots! Water shots are so much fun! Think underwater dancing, flipping, jumping, smiling, singing. Think slip and slide, water balloons, and water guns. Think of the lake or the ocean. Think flippers, goggles, boogie boards, and floats. Think underwater, above the water, and somewhere in between. The possibilities for capturing summer water memories in your family’s favorite places are endless!
**Tip: You are going to need something to protect your camera. If you are using a phone to take photos, check out Amazon. They carry a wide range of waterproof cases for your phone that are easy to slip on and off. If you are using a fancy camera, you definitely will need to look into protective gear that is made for your specific brand. GoPro is a great little camera for underwater photography.
Ice cream! Who doesn’t love ice cream or ice pops in the summer? So good and so messy- the perfect opportunity to snap a photo of your children with chocolate covered faces! If it’s an ice cream truck or a favorite ice cream parlor that you visit, be sure to include some of those details, too. Your kids will love seeing photos of their favorite ice cream places 20 years from now.
**Tip: Get close!
Carnivals! Here in the Hudson Valley, carnivals and county fairs are huge! I love to slow down the shutter speed on my camera to get those really cool light trails or the implication of movement. You can take photographs of your children from the ground or while you’re on the ride (depending on the ride) with them. There are so many interesting things happening at the fair. Stay open minded and keep your eyes peeled!
**Tip: There are camera apps that can be downloaded onto your phone that will allow you to slow down the shutter speed of your phone camera. Be sure to hold very still when you are taking a long exposure photograph!
Lazy summer days are a huge part of being a kid! Don’t forget the everyday moments of summertime. Try photographing your little one sleeping in bed as the soft summer sun rises. Try photographing bare feet in the grass, dirty hands digging in the dirt, feet sticking out of a hammock, or a small child holding a parent’s hand as they walk down the street at dusk.
**Tip: Stay alert. These are the details that most take for granted and start to tune out.
OK, this is a big one. The 4th of July. There are just endless possibilities, at least here in Cornwall, NY. Aside from the obvious fireworks, how about the expression on a young child’s face as the light from the fireworks reflects onto them? What do you see when your kids are holding glow sticks and sparklers? Think of pie eating contests, face paintings, and parades. Think of our country and flag and how that is represented in your family. How can you include that in your photographs?
**Tip: I think this is a good place for this tip since the 4th of July usually includes changes in light from daylight to dusk to dark. If you have an iPhone, you can easily change the exposure of your image. Here’s how: Open your camera, frame your subjects, hold down the screen for a few seconds and a box will pop up on your screen. You can then slide your finger up (to increase the exposure) or down (to darken the exposure)!
The Drive-In Movie Theatre. This has recently made a comeback in the Hudson Valley and it’s pretty cool. Think about taking pictures outside the car looking in and inside the car looking out. How many parts of the drive in can you include to tell a better story? Can you include your family and a scene from the movie, and maybe some popcorn too? Maybe you can catch a reflection in the car windows or mirrors. Keep your eyes open!
A picture of your child’s room. This may sound silly, but I do it all the time. My kids’ rooms change every year to some extent, depending on their interests. I wish I had a picture of my room when I was 13-years old! What did your room look like when you were 8? 10? 13? 16? This summer’s room will be different from next summer’s room.
Action! Summer is all about getting out and moving. Catch all that action! Again, you can use some of the apps that I already mentioned to slow down your shutter speed and blur the action, or you can use a fast shutter and stop the action. So much action- riding bikes, roller skating, skateboarding, swinging, sliding, jumping, running, skipping, jumping rope, hopscotch, and so much more!
**Tip: Let the action unfold naturally.
Your neighborhood. Who are the people in your neighborhood? What does your neighborhood look like? Where do the kids play? What do the kids play? Do you see bikes, swings, or baseball fields? Think about the time of day. Is it bright mid-day, early morning, or maybe dusk?
**Tip: You don’t always have to include people in your photography. Sometimes the suggestion that people belong in the scene is enough and maybe more.
A picture of yourself. Get in the frame (and you don’t have to get dressed up for this). Some of my favorite pictures of my own parents are pictures of them simply being themselves. Nothing extra or fancy. This will be a gift that your kids will treasure well into adulthood!
**Tip: Many phones and cameras have a burst mode and a self-timer mode. Prop your phone up, put it on self-timer or burst, and go do your thing!