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There’s something so satisfying about photographing what you do everyday. Before I had my son, my everyday was very boring. It consisted of work, eat dinner, sleep, repeat. My weekends were exciting. But anytime my photography friends wanted me to do a Day in the Life … I couldn’t! I couldn’t figure out how to create images that showed my everyday.
If you have kids, it’s a different story! There’s plenty to do and plenty to take pictures of to show your everyday. I am going to give you some tips to taking pictures of your everyday. And yes. It is possible even if you work a full day. Don’t be discouraged! You can still make time for photography. Let’s dive in.
Have your heard about my new course? It’s all about how to Capture Your Everyday Life and Create Art. In this course you will learn:
-Simple compositions to use everyday
-How to use and see the light
-6 Creative Exercises to help you capture your everyday
-5+ Editing videos
-Tips on taking Self Portraits featuring your everyday
This course is NOW OPEN FOR ENROLLMENT!
day in the life
Honestly, one of the best ways of photographing your everyday is doing a day in the life project. A day in the life means that every hour (it could really be flexible … every two hours, twice an hour, at least 30 photos in the day, etc.) you take a picture of what you’re doing, essentially. These photos don’t have to be amazing. But they do have to show what you are doing throughout the day. This is a great photography project to try, if you haven’t already! (I should do one … they are really fun. I’ll do one if you do one!).
So, why would we want to take pictures of our everyday? Honestly, sometimes we might find that our everyday is boring. We are so used to what happens on a daily basis, that it could become a routine. So, why would we want to photograph it? Here are a few reasons …
- it makes your everyday exciting again!
- it challenges you to take something simple and make it amazing! How can you photograph breakfast and make it exciting??
- it gets you out of your comfort zone.
- it (hopefully) gets your creative juices flowing.
Alright! Are you ready for some down to earth tips on how to photograph your everyday? Ready? Set? Go!
how to take a picture of your everyday
First and foremost … what does your ‘everyday’ look like? Is it super busy? Is it relaxed? Does it change from day to day? I want you to write down what your typical day looks like.
Planning your shots make it so much easier to get the exact shots that you want. Write down what you do daily and how you could make the daily stuff exciting.
1. take a picture daily
There’s something you do daily. Whether it’s put on makeup, making breakfast/lunch for your kids, taking a walk, playing with the dogs, getting ready for the day, etc. This is the type of thing you want to capture. If you think it might be boring, that’s ok! Try to capture it anyways! Something I love to capture that happens daily is nap time.
The reason you might want to capture this daily stuff, is because it might be daily right now, but years down the road, your daily life might change and you might forget what it was like. Nap time might turn into play time, and eventually those littles will be out the door (insert sobbing face here!!!!), so capture those sweet moments and memories. They might not seem like much now, but they will later in your life.
2. it’s OK to stage the scene
So … what do I mean by stage? If you always have a perfect scene in your house, you will see me bowing down to you … teach me your ways! If you are a mom of littles, I know your house is not always picture perfect! You can set the scene up to make it look like it’s perfectly clean. Simplicity and cleanness make your images look more professional.
That being said … sometimes the mess adds to the story. Folding laundry? Being buried alive? Leave the laundry piles in and show your exasperated face!
Set the stage by cleaning up the scene, but this could also mean bribing your littles to get the photo you want. Are they playing with a board game in horrible light? Move them (ever so sneakily) to a place with beautiful light and have at it! Think before you shoot. Set the stage before you shoot!
3. take your camera out in public
So when I did my first day in the life … I was working full time! I decided to take my camera to work and to photograph what I do throughout the day. I was so scared. Nobody asked me what I was doing, but I was so self conscious. I didn’t get the images I wanted because of it. Don’t do what I did. Instead, be brave! Now that I’ve actually shot more in public I am here to tell you that no one is watching. And if, for whatever reason, they are, it really doesn’t matter! This is your work. This is your day in the life. If your day in the life includes a trip to Target, take that camera with you! Do it. If your day in the life includes going to a public park, take that camera with you! Sometimes people ask me what I am photographing … and I’ll tell them and that’s that! They really don’t care, and you most likely won’t see them again. So, who cares? Be brave!
Take your camera to Target (I love Target pictures!) take your camera to the park! To the Library! To Kroger! Always have your camera with you and don’t be afraid to take it out. Mom’s are constantly taking pictures with their phones, so what’s different about a big camera? I used to be terrified of taking pictures with my big camera out in public. I once got asked why I had my camera with me and I just simply said, ‘You never know when a moment will happen!’ They legit thought I was crazy!! Now I’m totally fine with having my camera out. It doesn’t bother me if I get looks (but to be honest, I very rarely get looks, everybody is worrying about themselves). I take the pictures I want to take!
4. don’t be afraid to jump in the frame
I mean, you are part of your daily routine, I would hope! So don’t be afraid to get in the frame with your kids. If you don’t have kids, don’t be afraid to jump in the frame! Getting in the frame adds to the feeling of ‘day in the life’. These images don’t have to be perfect. They really don’t! They just have to showcase exactly what you do each day. And later down the road, your children will be so excited to have pictures of you!
If you are new to taking self portraits, you’re in luck, I have a self portraits post you should check out!
My number one tip is to set up a tripod (or put your camera on a flat, safe surface) and to set up an interval timer. You will want to pull out your camera’s manual to see how to do it for your own camera. If you have a remote for your camera and want to use it for self portraits, I recommend putting your camera on a delay so that you don’t get pictures of you pointing a remote to the camera. Been there, done that.
5. capture nap time
So I always say when you are new to photography, you need to practice on subjects that don’t move. And what better subject than your own sleepy kid! They’re so cute and definitely photo-worthy! Practice getting different images each day with nap time. Think of new ways to capture nap time. One day you could focus on the details, like their sweet closed eyes and their long lashes. Or their cute toes. Or the way their mouth looks when they’re relaxed. The next day you could practice framing them using doorways or the crib. Think of how to use the light creatively. There’s so much to do with nap time!
Pro tip: the camera’s shutter can be too loud and wake your child. That’s no good! You don’t want to interrupt their nap time! Some camera’s have a quiet shutter option. Look in your camera’s manual to see if you can turn on a quiet shutter. It makes your shutter a little softer and hopefully won’t wake them up.
put the camera away
Once you get the shot, put it away, and really spend time with your family. There was one time that I was itching to take a certain picture … but I could tell that my son just wasn’t having it. So, instead of giving myself a headache, I put the camera away, picked up my son, and we played and had a great time. Do that. Family is way more important than the images you take. Trust me. Spending time with them is exactly what they want. Giving them a break from the camera could actually get them more comfortable in front of the camera (could we call that reverse psychology?).
Just remember to have fun and make sure your children know you aren’t just having them to take pictures of them. :’) Happy shooting, mama’s!
Alyssa (sometimes going by Aly) is a hobbyist photographer who loves to teach. Her love of photography started before she ever had any kids. Now a mom of two, she loves to photograph her kids, flowers, and landscape. She specializes in capturing her everyday life. She loves to teach fellow beginner photographers how to take control of their cameras and get the images they dream about getting.