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Summer-time photo ideas

 Send me your questions, ideas, observations and tips on photography. I will attempt to answer, and/or comment, and maybe even publish some of them.

Summer is almost here. I think. Writing this in early May, we have seen “variable” weather, from the mid-70’s and sun to high winds, snow, and other yuck. But summer does get here bringing with it family gatherings, picnics, and adventures. Your job as the family photographer [should you choose to accept it] is to record these.

I contend that you should not merely record these adventures but lead them! Set up situations that will enable you to capture the youth and energy of children and grandchildren. Show your friends and family participating in events, and interacting with each other.

Action shots [where people are doing things to, and with, each other] are always more interesting than that posed group shot where everybody is [sorta] standing together, looking bored, blinking, turning away and not wanting to stand next to that person.

A couple examples:

  • Get all the kids on a dock and capture them jumping into the water together. You will probably need to try a few times to get them all in the air together and you might get your feet wet to be in the right place to get that image. That’s what it sometimes takes to get that perfect shot. It has the additional advantage of tiring the kids out as well. Next try the same thing with the adults.

  • If you want that family or group photo, get creative. Don’t stand them all up against a wall or huddled together in a group. Pick a area that lends itself to the group, like a picnic table or a beach. Let people form smaller sub-groups with some sitting, kneeling, standing, etc. Mix it up!

Remember that you as the photographer can also be in these pictures. Get out your camera manual or go online and learn how to set your camera to delay the shutter opening. Most cameras allow you to delay up to 10 seconds. I know, it doesn’t sound long but it really is more than sufficient time to hustle into the picture and still wonder how much longer is this going to take?

You will need either a tripod or something to hold the camera steady if you try this. Sometimes just leaning it against something like a rock is sufficient to hold it in place.

Have fun with summer! Get creative! I promise you that these pictures will be in the family photo album for years to come.


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