I’m still in shock that I’m even typing that word – quarantine. Can you believe that’s where we are right now? Being quarantined to our homes. I know it’s the absolute best place to be, it just sounds so bizarre.
I’ve been filled with a mix of emotions these past few weeks. Sadness. Disappointment. Fear. And I know my kids have those same feelings too. My way of coping with it all is to document. I’ve been picking up my camera every day to record little bits and pieces. This is such an extraordinary time in our history and I want to remember it all.
So now that we find ourselves with more time at home, it’s the perfect opportunity to dust off your camera. Or pull out your smartphone. I’d love to share some tips for photographing your family during quarantine.
Capture the details.
The details of this unfamiliar time are so important. What do you hope to remember? How are you spending your days? In the backyard? Going for family walks? What does ‘school’ look like for you? Where do the kids do their work? Where do you work? What are you doing for fun?
When you’re photographing details it’s fun to play around with perspective. Get nice and close. Try a different angle: from above, from below, straight on, etc. Just keep moving. Even the slightest change in perspective can make a difference in the story you’re trying to tell.
Photograph the things that are different.
My days haven’t changed much. I’m home with Olivia all day anyway so things are pretty much the same. We paint. We play with Play Doh. We go outside.
What is different is now my husband and two teenage girls are home. Before it was hard to get a photo of all three kids together because they were always off in opposite directions. Now everyone is home and I love being able to document the girls together.
Capture the joy.
You’re not going to want to remember the hard times. Parties that were canceled. Trips that had to be postponed. Graduations. Dances. Sports. It’s too sad and too overwhelming. Instead, focus on what brings you joy. Have the kids done any fun chalk drawings? Did they volunteer to make cards or write letters? Did you have any fun birthday celebrations?
Both Olivia and Jaime had birthdays in March and we made the best of a sucky situation. Jaime had planned a Cupcake Wars themed party with friends, but when that got canceled, she baked cupcakes over FaceTime anyway. My sister in law and nieces drove by in the rain and held up signs and brought gifts for Olivia’s birthday. It’s moments like those that we’ll remember forever.
Get in the frame.
While you’re documenting your family, make sure you include yourself in some of those photos. Show your kids that you were there, watching movies, helping with homework, making dinner, working. Whatever your ‘normal’ is right now, capture it.
Having photos of this time can be therapeutic. A way to stay creative and look for the beauty in everyday moments. Have you been picking up your camera more lately?