Kids are so comfortable at home, allowing you to capture their true personalities so much more easily than a professional photographer they may have just met. Take some pictures of them with the little clothing in their closet (or on the floor), their favorite books, completed Lego projects and that missing ball hidden in the plants. These everyday images hold our memories and keep them alive.
Last month I was telling you the importance of having the right equipment when photographing life’s special moments. Equally important is challenging yourself creatively while taking photographs. Capture more than special occasions and milestones – freeze everyday life by taking pictures of the little things. Photograph precious images like bedtime rituals, dirty little feet, coloring or reading books, and cooking or building projects together. These seemingly insignificant moments make up our lives and are what I will cherish when my boys go off to school.
My son was the subject in this great example. He loved ordering these mini corn dogs at a particular restaurant. He would peel off the corn part and only eat the dog part. This was super disgusting, gross and impolite. But my dad took an iPhone picture of the plate full of hollowed out corn dog peelings. That spontaneous picture perfectly captures the memory of that night with my parents.
I love to give photo gifts to my friends and family. While my sister-in-law and I were watching my son’s soccer game, I snapped some fun shots of her dog’s profile at half time. For her birthday, I made her a shaped metal hanging print with a picture of her dog and his name on it. In addition to capturing the image, I was also able to choose a plethora of metal options, shapes, sizes, designs, fonts and colors to create a very unique gift especially for her. I was even able to match the green in her dog’s collar! I’m not sure, but I think she will appreciate that I took the time to create something just for her on her birthday. Maybe it’s me, but this is definitely better than another sweater.
There are hundreds of unusual photo gifts you can make and share. One of the most fun gifts I ever gave was a small wrapped canvas with a colored edge and message. It all started when my girlfriend invited my family to her lake home for a Fourth of July weekend. My son Charlie and his friend Colette were having tons of fun shooting off fireworks. They would light the fuse, then run and shriek with excitement. I was able to get a shot of the two of them dying with laughter. This gift was the perfect way for me to say thank you and illustrated the very reason we raise our children together and encourage them to just be kids. Childhood is so fleeting and I don’t want to miss a moment. You shouldn’t either.
I am excited to announce that in every Cute Kids section of Etc. for Her we will be continuing this conversation, sharing our experiences, providing photography tips and examples and answering some common – and not so common – questions. Please join us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find someone who does.