Happy first official day of summer! I don’t know about you but I could not be happier to welcome summer in with its hot weather (says the 7 month pregnant lady who doesn’t have central air in her house), sprinklers, amusement parks, staying up way past your bedtime because it’s just too light out to go to bed and of course ice cream!! As a kid summer was always my favorite time of year. I grew up living on a dead end street with tons of kids to play with. The days were spent riding bikes, swimming in pools, wiffle ball tournaments, and drinking kool-aid. The evenings were spent running through the neighbors’ yards while playing dungeons and dragons. You didn’t come home until the street lights came on and you heard your mom yell your name.
Childhood: a time in your life that you didn’t have to think about money, responsibilities included making your bed and brushing your teeth, and you were ignorant to the constant barrage of sad and sickening news that plagues our world. Adulting is hard. You have legit responsibilities, bills to pay and staying blind to local and world news is nearly impossible (although I do try!). Let’s face it, it’s just not as fun as being a kid. But one of my favorite things about being a mom is that I get to relive childhood through the eyes of my boys, and man is it fun.
There is something about warm weather that motivates me to break out my camera and capture my kids just being kids. I want them to look back on these memories one day and be able to feel what it was like to be a kid. I want them to remember that there was an easier, carefree time in life. They are my love letters to them. So from one parent to the next, I urge you to get out that fancy camera you bought when your first child was born, but have hardly used, and start taking photos of your kids. And hey iPhone photos work too, I just encourage you to document your child’s carefree and fun days because eventually the innocence of childhood fades. Below are a few simple tips for photographing your child’s summer time fun.
Don’t Try Too Hard
Yes, don’t try too hard to get that “perfect” image. I find that the moments I love the most are the natural ones. I’m not begging them to sit still or smile at me, I’m just there patiently waiting for that moment of happiness to emerge on its own. In fact I try to be sneaky about even having my camera because sometimes the “hams” come out and the showing off begins. Let the kids be kids and the magic will happen, I promise.
Give Them an Activity to Do
You don’t even have to leave your yard for this tip, just put out the toys! If they are hot and sweaty turn on the sprinkler and let them run wild. Do they need a break from all the action? Give them a popsicle, trust me they’ll sit for a popsicle! If you have toys laying around your yard your kids will play with them. Lawn mowers, hot wheels, bubbles, drawing whale sharks in chalk on the driveway and digging holes in the grass are all favorite activities for my boys. This is our daily life during the summer so I want to document that and remember these times.
Go Somewhere Special
Take the kids on an adventure: the beach, the playground, a nature walk, an amusement park, etc. The possibilities are endless. Summer is about taking a break from reality for a bit and enjoying little (or big) get-aways, am I right? When you look back on these memories you’ll be transported back to the time you collected shells on the beach or your child’s first time on a roller coaster. We live ten minutes away from an amusement park and go there just about every week, but I swear every time we go the boys act like it’s their first time there. The excitement has yet to fade and I really wanted to capture the fun they have on those rides.
I hope these are three motivating tips for photographing your child’s summer time fun. Remember, it doesn’t have to be hard or stressful, just go with the flow. And one last tip: get your photos printed and make an album so your kids can look at them. You might be surprised how much they like looking at and talking about them. Cheers to fun-filled summer with your kiddos!
Katie Pugliese is an on-location, natural light newborn, child and family photographer specializing in emotional lifestyle photography.
Making Summer Memories: Tips for Photographing your Children
June 21, 2017