Tips on Documenting Your Summer.
We all look forward to the summer and summer break. There is something comforting and soothing about this season, whether it is the sunshine, the travels, or the time we get to spend with our loved ones, particularly our kids. I always feel a sense of calm, relief, and contentment during the summer. And it goes without saying, I love taking lots of photos during my son’s summer break. Here, I will share with you how to document your summer in photos. I share some easy tips on what to photograph and what to do with your photos.
Be a storyteller.
We all have a story to tell. We all do things differently and in our own, unique ways – you know, things we do that make sense to us but may seem odd or complicated to others. Some of us make the bed every morning, to some of us that is a waste of time; some of us have a schedule for meals, sleep, and chores, and some of us just plan as we go. There is not a right or wrong way of doing things – there is simply our way of doing things.
Here is how to document your summer in photos: observe your family’s routine, even think of things that others praise, or frown upon, break out you iPhone or camera and start documenting it. Do your kids make their own breakfast? How do they leave their room at the end of the day? Do they make a mess? Do they dress themselves? What happens to the toys at the end of the day? Do you live in an organized living space or organized mess? What do you do when it’s hot outside? Do you play in the yard? Do you read or watch movies together? What about shopping, baking, etc. Don’t overthink this and don’t try to make this perfect. The point is to document things you love to do together. For example, both my mom and my mother-on-law love to bake. I always make sure I take photos of my kid learning these skills with his grandmothers.
Document the things you love most about your children and family.
My kid loves to read. He also loves to make a mess and never put his stuff away. I find clothes and socks in many places, including under the couch cushions, in the yard, and the toy box. He also makes the biggest mess while he eats. But he is also the most loving, kind, and creative kid. He loves to play in the water and create with LEGO. These are all the things I love about him, mess and all. So, when I see him read, with his feet up on the couch, I grab my camera and take photos. When I see him water the plants with his dad, I take photos. And when he picks up insects, worms, and other things that make me squirm, I grab my phone and take the photos. He is only going to be little for a short period of time and I want both of us to remember his childhood, socks everywhere and all.
Tell stories of your travels, near and far.
In my previous post I detailed how to prepare for travels, especially as a photographer. Here, I would like to add how to do it with kids and what to document on your travels. Before I begin suggesting what and how to document your summer in photos, I want you to remember to enjoy your travels and be present and in the moment. Now, after you have allowed yourself to enjoy the sites, take out your camera or iPhone, and remember some of these tips:
- Don’t make your kids pose for everything: they don’t have to look at the camera all the time, so take same spontaneous photos of them sightseeing, being curious, and exploring.
- Food: my kid loves to eat. As a matter of fact, he equates memories with foods he has eaten at various travel locations. So, document the enjoyment (or dislike) for foods your kids have. Document them eating favorites or trying new foods.
- Document the sites, signs, and attractions: we love to hike and if it weren’t for the photos, I would not be able to tell where we went on some of the hikes as they can look a lot alike.
- If you are visiting family, make sure you document interactions, especially with grandparents: reading together, baking, gardening, and playing.
Get in the picture.
I cannot stress this enough. It is great to be able to document your summer in photos but more importantly, it is important that you, as a parent, are also in the photos. I wrote about this extensively in this blog post but wanted to remind parents of the importance of being in the photos with your kids. Bring a small and light tripod with you, set the timer, and get in that picture!
Don’t forget the details.
I love details. I love close ups. When I take photos of our summer, whether at home or while traveling, I make sure I take a wide shot or scene, a medium shot, and a close up. Yes, there is more work later – someone has to go through all those photos – but I never feel like I have forgotten to take a picture of something. For example, when my son waters the plants in our garden, I take a wide photo of him with the water hose and to establish the scene; then I take another photo of just him, watering the plans; and lastly, I take a close up of either his hands holding the hose, the water falling on the plants, or the excitement on his face because he gets to water the plants. You may not use or print all these images, but you will have lots to choose from.
Print, frame, or create a photo book.
You spent the time and made the effort to document your family’s summer. You scroll through your photos, relive the memories, smile, and put your camera and phone away. Don’t let the memories end here! And don’t let your photos sit on your phone or computer, pile up, and overwhelm you. We always print, frame, or create photo books of various seasons of our lives. I recommend you print your photos and put them in an album. If you have favorites, make sure you frame them and put on your walls. And if you have too many favorites, put them in a photo book.
And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed my suggestions on what and how to document your summer. If you would like to receive monthly educational freebies, be sure to sign up here.
Let me know in the comments below how you document your summer, what works for you, what your favorite photos are and why, and how I can help you with this topic more.