Your Summer Story Photo Challenge – Week Two

Welcome to Week 2 of Your Summer Story Photo Challenge! If you’re just joining us, thanks so much for signing up! I’m so happy you’re here. You can catch up on Week One by clicking here.  

Last week we talked about bucket lists and I wanted you to build your own. How many of you actually did it? If you did, bravo!! If not, there’s still plenty of time! And if a bucket list isn’t your thing, that’s ok too. The only thing that really matters is that you start to think about ways you can connect with your kids this summer.  

This was our first week of summer break and we got to check one thing off of our bucket list already. The girls and I went to a water park. I had planned on taking them to the boardwalk, but it ended up being too hot so the water park sounded more refreshing. Olivia, my 15 month old, did great! The big girls loved walking her around and seeing her excitement at something new.

I didn’t bring my big camera because we were around so much water, but I did have my iPhone. Being able to document the day is definitely more challenging with an active toddler so I gave myself a goal of capturing just one photo. Here’s my favorite shot from the day. 

This week is all about storytelling.

This week we’re going to focus on how to tell stories with your photos. I don’t think I ever really understood what that meant when I started my photography journey. It wasn’t until I had kids that I realized a photo could capture so much more than a perfect smile.

The reason we pick up a camera is to freeze a moment in time that we want to remember forever. The idea is that you’ll be able to look back on that image years from now and remember how you felt – that you’ll remember the story. 

But how the heck do you do that? How do you tell a story in photos?

My first piece of advice would be to plan ahead. 

We’ve got a holiday coming up this week so it’s the perfect opportunity for you to practice. The 4th of July parade in our town is one of my favorite summer memories. We sit in the same spot every year. My brother-in-law puts our chairs out the night before. We get bagels in the morning and dress up in red, white, and blue. Afterwards, we head to my sister in law’s house to swim and BBQ. We stay until the sun goes down and then watch the fireworks. I look forward to it every year! 

When I think about that day, there are certain images that pop in my head that I know I’ll want to capture. A wide angle shot of all the kids sitting on the curb waiting for the parade to begin. Another wide angle shot of the adults sitting in lawn chairs. Close-ups of any red, white, and blue decorations. The magic is in the details. Portraits of family members who are there. A few floats from the parade (you don’t have to capture it all!). Action shots – kids reaching out for candy that gets thrown to them, someone waving a flag, water guns spraying water, dancing, etc. 

What’s your family’s 4th of July tradition? Think about how you’ll be spending your day and what photos you can capture to tell the story of your day. 

While I’m trying to get those shots, I’m also thinking about how I can photograph them in an interesting way, using different angles and perspectives

By taking a variety of angles and perspectives, you get a bigger picture of that day. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.  

– get down low if you’re photographing kids to show things from their perspective.
– shoot from above for a bird’s eye view.
– add something to the foreground to show depth. 
– try an interesting or unconventional crop.
– shoot from the hip. literally. hold the camera at your hip, snap away, and see what you get.

Don’t forget that stories have a beginning, middle, and end. We get bagels every morning on the 4th so that might be a detail I’d want to include to start our story. The middle is filled with food, fun, and lots of swimming and then we end the day with fireworks so that would be a great shot to wrap things up. 

And lastly, make an effort to be present in these photos mamas. You want to be a part of the memories you are working so hard to create this summer, don’t you?

Week Two Homework!

OK lovelies, your assignment this week is to think beyond a perfect portrait. Try to capture a series of 7-9 shots with different elements and perspectives. Think like an author and tell the who, what, when, and where of your summer story. 

And don’t forget to use the hashtag #mysummerstoryinphotos so we can cheer each other on! I’ll be sending another email on Friday to check in and see how you did. Please feel free to leave a comment and ask me any questions. I’m happy to help!