As I've said before, one of the main reasons that I got started with photography was to capture my everyday life - all those small mundane moments that may seem boring to others, but that mean the world to me. It's one of the main benefits of being your own family's photographer - you know exactly the moments you want to capture and why, and you have plenty of opportunity to get them!
But just because you are capturing the everyday doesn't mean it has to be boring. There are loads of ways to shake it up a bit and capture your family's moments beautifully.
Here's 5 Tips to help you capture your everyday beautifully...
1. Look For The Light
It doesn't matter what type of photographs you are taking - landscape, portraits or everyday photographs - light is one of the most important elements. The right light can make the everyday seem totally magical! You can also use light to play with mood - darker light for moodier photographs, or lots of light for airer, more playful images, it's totally up to you!
You can use light in the home in a variety of ways - from just one window you could use front light (safe and can work well, but maybe a touch boring) backlight for creating a soft, hazy feel, or side light for a moodier image. Don't forget that you can also use artificial light, such as light from the TV, or an iPad or a lamp - the sources are almost endless!
Be sure to shoot in manual mode to get the right settings for the different type of light you might be using - if you’re not 100% about which settings to use, then be sure to grab my FREE manual settings cheat sheet which will totally help you out.
2. Capture The Details
Getting images of the smaller details - for example, a close up of the book they are reading, or the way their hands grip a paintbrush, or the freckles on their nose. These smaller details can make wonderful images in their own right, or they can add context and detail to the story of that day or activity, or just help introduce a feeling. Once you have captured the "wide" shot, look for the details that will help tie everything together. I wrote a whole post on capturing the details in lifestyle photography so I also suggest popping over to that post to have a read too!
3. Look for Compositional Elements
Another way to lift up your everyday photos is to use different compositional tools. Essentially, composition is how we arrange the various elements within our photographs, in order to find a pleasing “look” or one that helps tell our story better. Good composition can elevate an image of an everyday, mundane activity from an snapshot into something artistic and engaging, so how well we compose our photographs can have a huge impact!
The most basic one is the rule of thirds, but using it can improve your images enormously, and it's one you will find yourself using time and time again. But of course there are a LOT more ways to compose a photograph, but rather than list them all here, hop on over to this blog post where I talk about 10 different compositional tools you can use in your images.
I sometimes find it useful to jot down some ideas for using one or two compositional elements within the home - just to help me when I'm feeling a bit creatively blocked. For example, are there are any doorways or windows that might good framing options? Or somewhere that you could make use of leading lines? Having a mental picture before you press the shutter can be very helpful in taking some of the pressure of when you are actually taking the photo.
4. Change Your Angle
In photography, changing your angle or viewpoint on your subject can provide a significant difference on the way your image – and therefore your story – is received by the viewer. Every angle has something different to say! Most of the time we take images at eye level with our subject and with good reason: getting onto the same eye level as our subjects creates an instant connection by giving you the feeling you are immersed in their world.
But it's not the only way! Changing your angle can help you tell the story better, or tell the same story but just in a more interesting or unexpected way. For example, stand tall over your subject (use a box or a chair to bring a little extra height if needed) and show a birds eye view, or lie on your tummy and view the world from there. What can you see?
5. Change Where You Focus
One of the benefits of using a DSLR when shooting is that you can change your aperture and focus points to draw your viewers eyes to a different part of the scene. This is very simple to do - once you have decided what will be the point of focus in your image, toggle your focus points until you have one over the area you wish to be in focus, and choose a smaller aperture number so that you can blur out the rest of the image - if you have a lens that can stop down very low, such as F1.4, make sure you keep it high enough so that you can get everything you want in focus!