Raising children is a nice chaos
From breakfast to bedtime, raising children is chaos. But there are hundreds of good times along the way if you train your heart and eyes to see them. Right in the heart of chaos, you can wonderfully capture the mundane everyday moments of family life in photographs.
To capture your daily family life in photos, there are four areas you'll want to cover:
- Tools to use.
- What to photograph
- Creative skills
- Discovering projects for a lifetime.
"Photographers, like a few other types of artists I can imagine, have an insanely personal relationship with their equipment." – David DuChemin
I will start with gears because you will greatly increase your chances of taking great photos during the day when you are well prepared.
I'm a fan of minimal tools for everything I'm photographing, including my family life. You may find that constantly worrying about updating your camera or using too many different lenses actually distracts you from the small moments that are happening around you.
Settle on a camera and then forget all the new options that arrive. Very soon you will find out which lens is your favorite. Often use that goal, but try a different one every now and then to expand your creative skills.
"The best camera is the one that's with you." – Chase Jarvis
Many families invest in a DSLR camera like the Canon Rebel, but then it is too difficult for them to use. So they often find themselves using their phone.
Do not worry when you use your smartphone to take pictures. Although the technology may differ, any camera is better than any camera. The principles of creative photography are the same regardless of the camera used.
Because it's so easy to carry, your phone is normally the camera you're ready to take a picture at any time.
Keep the video camera closed
Whichever camera you use, make sure it is normally within reach. When you see a great moment that is happening you can reach your camera and turn it on while you are lifting it for your eye. I always leave my lens cap at all times. I've never damaged a lens and I do not want to fumble with the lens covers while a great moment passes by.
Keep the battery charged
How many times have you seen a family member lose a good picture because the camera battery is dead? I see it happening during every single special occasion even as the best moments are happening!
You should always have a spare battery and have it charged and ready. I do not wait for my first battery to be discharged before charging it. As soon as it starts to drain, I turn it on.
Do not leave the camera in manual mode
How many times have you quickly picked up your camera to take some pictures just to find out that the settings were totally wrong? Perhaps you used your camera in manual mode in bright light and then forgot to set it before taking a brief moment indoors.
The photo of the interior will be underexposed or completely dark. To avoid this, I always leave the camera set to the priority of the aperture. I do it because I do not want to forget to adjust the settings if it was left in manual mode.
A clean 50mm lens
I recommend everyone to own a 50 mm lens. They are wonderful for getting bokeh and playing well in low light conditions.
But no matter what goal you're using, make sure you keep it clean! The easiest way to improve photo quality is to keep the lens clean of fingerprints and dust.
2. What to photograph
With minimal gear, charged batteries and a clean lens, the question becomes: "What should I photograph?" The answer is literally, anything.
Capture the obvious moments that are important to you. Perhaps the first steps, the first foods, the brothers playing, the day trips to the beach. But he also begins to consider the less obvious moments.
"I look at the edges for those little moments of stunning – a bit like what makes our lives – those slightly embarrassing, beautiful moments." – Keith Carter
"If the house is a body, the table is the heart, the center of typing, the supporter of life and health". – Shauna Niquist
Especially when photographing outdoor adventures, consider the idea of taking enough pictures to tell a story.
"If more than we esteemed the food and the joy and the song over the accumulated gold, it would be a happier world." -J.R.R. Tolkien
"The shared meal is not a trivial matter, it is a foundation of family life, the place where our children learn the art of conversation and acquire the habits of civilization: sharing, listening, taking turns, navigating the differences , discuss without offending ". – Michael Pollan
Days of illness
Children who sleep
3. Creative skills
"The real tools of our trade are not the camera and the lens: they are the mood, the composition and the visual language of photography.To spend more time learning those and, regardless of the camera you use, you will make convincing photographs. " – David DuChemin
To capture all these moments, you have to master some essential skills. We will discuss creativity, basic camera settings, patience and editing.
The choice of different camera angles makes your photos more exciting and adds variety to the hundreds of moments you capture.
Try angles such as bird's eye view, face to face and low angle.
The backgrounds are good for two things; tell a story or intrude.
If the background does not help to add something to your photo, try to make it disappear. In all the photos of this article, I tried to eliminate the background as much as possible, or to use it to create a context in the photo. Look back and decide which one you think you have chosen.
If your background is beautiful or adds to the story of your photo, be careful to make the background a strong part of your photo. Let me illustrate with Lego!
When you are in low light situations and you are using a new camera, you need to raise the ISO as high as possible (3200 or 6400). A higher ISO will help your camera absorb more light and help your photo be brighter.
True, a higher ISO could introduce some grain or digital noise into your photo, but is not it a better grainy picture than a blurry photo or photo?
If the light is poor and you use a lens with a large aperture (f / 1.8) and a high ISO (3200 or 6400), the last thing to consider is the shutter speed . If the shutter speed is too low, your photos may be blurred for two reasons. Perhaps your subject has moved. It happens all the time with the kids! Or maybe you moved the camera, even slightly, while you took the picture.
It is necessary to stabilize as much as possible while taking the picture and waiting for the moment (however short it may be) when the subject is stopped.
You could also embrace the creative side of a slow shutter speed!
Search for inspiration between street, food and portrait artists. Everything you can learn from different photographers will help you take a better picture of your daily family life.
I can not stress too much the importance of patience while photographing your daily family life (especially with young children). So many possible moments and photos will be ruined if you refuse to be patient.
Maybe you have a picture in mind but the guys do not cooperate. Losing patience will only lead to anger on your part and frustration of children. Your children will learn that image time is not fun and shudders every time you take your camera out.
Edit and print
Finally, you need to prepare photos for printing. You could add your favorite photos to a photo book or make bigger prints for your home. Do not skip the printing phase, this is what gives your photos a real life of its own rather than just on a hard drive.
4. Discovering projects for a lifetime
While sieving your photos over the years, you may notice that the models are starting to emerge.
Many people start photo projects from scratch, but you can also create photo projects based on photos you've already taken.
I had taken a series of photos of my children playing near the window of our living room. When I put them together, I realized that I was working on a series without even realizing it! After that I began to think of that window as a canvas, waiting to see what would happen on it.
Your life and your family are unique. Whatever you get excited about grabbing your camera, do it. Whatever you can keep awake until late at night, by ordering and modifying. What will make you print your images? Those are the things worth photographing.
Whatever the chaos that your family produces around you, it's an opportunity to create beauty with your camera.
I would like to know which suggestion was most useful to you and I would like to see some of the photos of your family life in the comments below.