Sometimes the best way to convince yourself to take more photos and break out of your routine of regular photographs is to have a list or goal of specific shots to take. Perhaps you’re familiar with Fat Mum Slim’s monthly photo a day challenge on Instagram. Each month she posts a new list of 28-31 words to inspire you to look around at everyday things differently. While I don’t participate (I have enough going on, thank you.) I love scrolling through my Instagram feed and seeing the way my friends interpret different words like yellow, drink, soft, and movement. I’ve also signed up for writing/photo challenges, either on a post by post basis or one that went for 31 days (I got a new assignment each day in my email, it was wonderful.) One of my favorite writing/photo assignments I’ve ever done was to think back on an important couch in my life. It was amazing the stories and imagery that came from one simple word, couch.
If you’re struggling to bring your camera along with you or get your phone out to take pictures of everyday life, here’s a few of my favorite shots to get in summer that will tell a wonderful story come fall.
- Kids shoving their face into giant pieces of watermelon or eating corn on the cob, when all you can see is their little nose and eyes peeking out behind quintessential summer foods? Shots like that make me happy.
- Playing in the hose or sprinkler. One of the best parts of water play is that it generally happens outside where it is bright and sunny, which gives you a chance to turn your shutter speed way up and freeze water drops in action.
- Kids crashed out at naptime. Summer wears everyone down which can leave you with kids asleep in strange places and strange positions. Sometimes they still have a bit of food on their face, other times they’re still flush from sunshine, no matter where they fall asleep, capture it because it’s something you’ll want to remember forever.
- Fireworks. If there is way to truly capture the face of a child as they watch fireworks, I am bound and determined to find it. I love fireworks, but what I love more is turning around to the crowd behind me and seeing their faces light up with each explosion of color. I’m going to do my best to get my daughter’s reaction to her first fireworks show this year.
- Quiet time. In summer our routine changes, and it generally leaves someone snuggled up on the couch reading or watching a show by the end of the day as the sun sets in the late evening. In our house you can usually find a pile of freshly bathed girls with floppy wet hair piled on their dad as they read a Dr. Seuss book right before bedtime.
- Trampoline shots. I love taking pictures of Addie on a trampoline. Get down low and I can make her look like she’s flying. Get up level with her and I can get her as she puts her whole weight into a jump. Most kids I know can’t be cheesy and jump at the same time, just genuine enthusiasm shows on their face.
- Beach Visits – I love beach photos. Not only for their spectacular light and backdrop, but because they’re so out of the ordinary for us. Both kids can get completely enthralled with the sand and waves and forget all about us, the time or how hungry they are. The beach is a magical place and I know most families have at least one photo that is their all time favorite that was taken at a beach.
- Swimming – One of the photos I remember most from my childhood was me jumping off the edge of the pool of the resort we spent a week at every summer. I can still remember what it smelled like and looked like even though I haven’t been there in over 20 years.
- If you live some where with fireflies, consider yourself lucky. I didn’t see a firefly until I was in my mid 20′s and I feel like I missed out on 20 years of magic. Capturing fireflies can be difficult, but when you do they are magical photos to keep around, especially if you ever move away from firefly land.
- A favorite summer activity. Maybe you have a favorite park or a favorite open air concert you go to every year. It can be easy to forget about capturing something so common, but you’ll be thankful you did. Especially if you can get a similar shot year after year and compile them all someday.
Whether it’s a challenge of your own, a 30 day photo challenge or picking and choosing from the above shots, it’s great motivation to take more pictures when you have the intention of filling a real book with them. Wendy’s facebook page offers up a free app that lets you insert up to 40 of your favorite summer images into a pre-designed scrapbook that you can have printed for $7.60 + S&H, which is a bargain if you’ve ever looked into photo book printing before. Challenge yourself for 30 days and fill a book at the end, or wait until the end of summer and save the best moments forever.