During busy season I live with a camera in my hand 90% of the time. And when it really gets busy I have struggled with balancing running my business, being present with my family and maintaining my own self-care to keep my creative eye refreshed. To keep my life some what sane I would inevitably, put my camera up on a shelf when I got home.
That meant I stopped photographing my boys for roughly 7-8 months of the year. It turned out that affected my creative vision just as much as having a camera in my hand 24/7 led me to burnout. Plus, I missed looking back on the memories of my boys growing up. So I needed something that would fulfill my mama's heart and to keep my creative mind flourishing.
As a mom I know how much those little moments mean to me, but life is BUSY. As a photographer I always hear "I take photos of my kids on my phone, but they're not as good as I want them to be." from other moms (and even dads) That's when the "My Weekend Story" project idea was created. The goal is to use 2 days to documenting the happy little life moments of the ones you love using ONLY YOUR CELL PHONE.
Wait what? Didn't a bunch of parents tell you they don't like the way their cell phone images turn out? Yes they did! And I have 3 tips for you on how to start photographing your first weekend story accompanied, with images that I took on my camera phone (I have the Samsung Galaxy s7) to show you it is possible to get great love-inspiring moments on your phone!
3 Tips on Photographing Your Weekend Story:
Tip #1 Notice Your Light. Light is KEY for get phone images to turn out crisp! And when I say light I really mean 'well lit,' preferably with natural light. Notice in which areas of your home or location that are evenly lit. Just because there is sun doesn't mean its a 'good light' situation. Direct sunlight creates a lot of shadows. Which can work in your favor if that is what you are going for, but other then that avoid having your kids sit directly in a patch of sunlight!
On the same note, in a well-lit area make sure the light is to your back and falling on your little one's antics. Like this:
In both pictures my rascals are running toward me, but in the second image they are not facing the light so the details of their laughing faces are not very clear.
A little known secret about cell phone cameras is they don't capture artificial light the best. It actually adds this grainy look to your images.
Tip #2 Perspective, Perspective Perspective. Being an adult gives us the great vantage point to keep tabs on the shenanigans of our little ones, but doesn't always work when telling the story of those antics. So the first part of this tip is. Get on their level and see the world as they do.
But you don't have to stay on their level. I happen to like getting several perspectives to create a complete story. For example, this is moment when my oldest son decided to show his brother how do draw a car.
One of the mini stories that I always find myself capturing with my boys is their companionship with each other and for this set of images it was no different. By altering my perspective (shot from above, close detail shot and stepping back from the action.) I was able to create a complete story of the moment in three images.
Tip #3 Live In the Moment. But be prepared. This is my ultimate motto when photographing my kids. Because life is crazy. But I don't direct these moments that are happening. For example, Sunday morning I woke up and went to take a shower. My little guy toddled right in after me and saw the pile of towels in the basket and climbed right in. What is great about phone photography is that all I had to do is slip my phone out of my pocket and swipe the camera icon on my lock screen open and away I snapped. Two minutes later I put it away and hoped in the shower, which this little munchkin hopped into too about five minutes later. :)
A good point about using your camera phone for images of your everyday life, is that its not suppose to be complicated or a chore. Don't think you have to taking photos 24/7. You just need to be ready to snap a few shots of your family here and there as a moment moves you.
Now that you have some tips on how to capture your family who wants to join the #MyWeekendStory Challenge?
Click the button below to join! For one week you will receive tips & tricks on how take great pictures of your life with your cell phone. Then March 18-19 the #MyWeekendStory challenge kicks off! Feel free to post your images in to the private ID Photography client group or hashtag your images with #MyWeekendStory on Instagram to get some love and feedback on how your doing!
P.S. Just for signing for the Tips & Tricks you'll be entered into our $20 Social Print Studio gift card giveaway!