Children grow so quickly. It’s one of those facts of life that we just cannot negotiate with. My little one is seven months old and because he has changed so much in such a short time, I have been able to look back at photographs that are very recent and see aspects of his “babyness” that are already gone.
Today, I’m going to discuss how you can create lifestyle images that will create those same nostalgic feelings (even if you’re babies are bigger) with whatever camera you have nearby. Lifestyle images are photos that are not posed or planned out, rather, they simply show your family doing day to day activities—bath time, afternoon snack, Friday night pizza, visits at the park, or jumping on the bed.
Here are three important elements that I keep in mind when taking these types of photos for my family.
1. Change Your Angle
Move around a bit! You would be surprised at how quickly you can make a mundane activity interesting by changing your vantage point. One easy way to do this is to take three frames each time you photograph—one up close, one a few steps back, and one from an angle that is unusual. I’ve taken photos lying on my back, standing on a chair, and even from a different room!
2. Keep Your Eyes Open
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of photographing bath time? For me, it’s a baby in a bath. Do that first thing, but also take photos from start to finish. The details present in the undressing, the carrying to the tub (or running naked), the towel drying, diapering, pajamas, and snuggles are all part of bath time too and are just as important.
Below are some more images I took from two recent road trips. Instead of just taking images of my grandparents with the baby, I made sure to capture the details of the trip that would soon be forgotten—like our coffee cups from our early morning departure and some of my favorite wall hangings in grandma’s house. They evoke as many memories as the photographs with people and really round out the story you are telling with your photos.
3. Don’t Clean Anything First
This one is tricky! If you are trying to capture your life as it is, it does not make sense to put away laundry, wash dishes, and de-clutter before taking photos. We all want to be perfect but no one is and let’s just decide together that living in a perfect home doesn’t make us as happy as we think it will. I totally understand why you might want to make your house look perfect, but the tendency to do this will just take away from your final photos.
To prove my point, here are some images taken of my home right before Christmas. Not only did I leave everything in its place, I even made sure to photograph the piles of clutter. These photos remind me that while I was busy playing with my baby and trying to get sleep, my house was neglected. There is nothing wrong with that!
While life is always busy, it’s worth taking the time to photograph more than just a smiling face every once in a while. Choose your family’s favorite activity and grab your camera today!