When I first started getting serious about photography, this is where I messed up. I took a few photographs here and a few there, and felt like I had to move on quickly. What I learned is It’s completely okay to live in the moment for a while. To let the moment unfold and continue taking photos.
The transformation I hope you take with this lesson is to follow a moment all the way through. Imagine your child’s birthday. You get your camera out and take a few photos of your child blowing out candles, a few when she is opening presents, a couple of her decorations and so on.
Instead I want you to think of each little moment as a mini event. This doesn’t mean you have to have your camera glued to your face the whole time. Instead, choose a few moments you want to document and use the tips below to shoot through the whole moment. This kind of photography takes intention, but will give you amazing results if you apply it. You will take better photos with this one change.
How to Take Better Photos by Shooting through the Moment:
Let the moment keep going
This is similar to my point above. Rather than getting the standard image of each mini moment, stretch them out. Keep your camera out as the cake comes to the table, photograph your child’s face as they look at the cake, continue taking photos as you sing happy birthday, as your child blows out the candles, her expression when you hand her the piece of cake, and her first bite. Just live in that moment for a while and enjoy documenting each little part.
Stay out of the way
This is a hard one for me. I don’t know about you, but I have trouble not ‘getting in the way’ when I’m taking photos. I interrupt the moment with, “look over here!”, or something else that alters the actual moment. Your best photographs will happen when you stay out of the way and just take pictures as the moments unfold.
Just like above, stay out of the way, but you also don’t want to distract your subject by making it super obvious that you are taking pictures. If at all possible, keep it very casual and fade into the background with your camera. Keep your camera with you, but not on your face ever moment. Interact and then lift your camera when the moment is right. This takes practice, but as you learn your camera and start to see the moments you want to photograph it will be very natural. Your camera will no longer be a distraction to your kids, but just a regular part of your daily life.
Get every angle
If you’re anything like me you have a default photo you take. Probably standing in front of your child and photographing them from that view. Over the past couple years I have really stretched myself to capture a variety of angles in each moment I photograph and it has transformed my photos. This is a simple way to get more interesting photos each time you take your camera out. If we take the birthday example from above, you could get behind your child and take a photo of all the guests looking towards her. Get above her and get a picture of the cake and her little hands and expression from above. Look under the table and photograph her little feet dangling from the chair. Get down on her level and take a picture of her view. There are so many ways to look at a moment and making a point to get different angles will give you images you love to look at.
Capture the feelings
When you take the time to photograph all the way through a moment you are able to better capture the feelings of the moments. As your child is playing with his dad, move yourself around (while staying in the background so you don’t distract the moment) and get photos of their faces and interactions. They may laugh, make funny faces, wrestle, tickle, sit together, etc. Whatever the moment is, stay with it and take photos that show the feelings and emotions of that moment.
Change your focus occasionally
Throughout any moment you’re photographing there is a lot happening. Look for ways to change the focus of your image in order to capture the whole experience. When you are taking pictures of your child playing, you could focus on your child, focus on their toys, focus on the messy room behind them, focus on their expressions, and more. As you change your focus you will be able to tell the whole story.
There is always more to a moment than what meets the eye. Learning to stay in a moment longer will enhance your photography tremendously. Shooting through the moment means staying present and watching as the story unfolds! You will take better photos just by making this one switch to the way you think about photography.
What to do now:
Get your camera out and choose one moment to try and capture all the way through. Think through each photos and how you can tell the whole story by staying in that moment for a bit longer. You can pin this article for later by clicking the Pinterest icon on the side. My goal for you is that you have fun with photography and make it a part of your every day. Tag me on Instagram (@athomewithkidsblog) and show me your favorite photos.
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