January 3, 2018

Embrace the Chaos | Documentary Photography Tips

Embrace the Chaos | Documentary Photography Tips

You will never regret documenting your family and your days within the walls of your home.  Embrace the chaos. I am reminded of so many amazing moments that were lost in the fog of motherhood because I chose to document our days.  It is a new year and ahead lies a new opportunity for you to resolve to document your days too.  Give the gift of memory to your small children of the beautiful laughter and madness-filled days that you shared together.

I encourage you to embrace the mess.  Embrace the tangly hair.  Embrace the spaghetti sauce on the ceiling and the water that spills over the walls of the bathtub. Find humor in the meltdowns. Document it all in all its glory.  Think less. Try less. Just shoot. Gain access to all my best tips here but here a few little insights to get in the game…

Capture “Normal”

The kids brushing their teeth.  Dad reading a bedtime story. Kids running around sans clothing.  Kids getting dressed to head out the door. The most mundane seemingly ordinary things are so unique for that given time that they deserve to be documented.

Slow Down

Chances are – it can wait.  It probably won’t be the end of the world of your kid show up late to dance practice or is late to school.  The grocery store or gym will quite likely be there if you show up 10 minutes after you intended.   Take a moment to savor the moment and if you want – grab a photo.  My daughter was no less than 20 minutes late to her first of few ballet practices and I did not and will never feel bad about that.  She quickly realized she didn’t like ballet but at least we got the leotard pics to remember it.

Don’t over-think it

We have a crazy amount of storage in our phones and memory cards.  Just shoot.  You can delete it later if you want.

Lighting

Indoor lighting can be difficult but it adds interest! Go with it.  It gives each image a character and tells a story.  The lighting might not be perfect but the moments are.  You can make things easier in the day and open windows and turn off the lights but you don’t want to limit yourself to only taking photos in easy situations.  Embrace the grain of dark photos.  Embrace the harsh shadows and inconsistent lighting.

Moral of the story

There are times to create beautiful look at the camera and smile-ish portraits.  There are also times to shift your thinking to the importance of the little moments that make life worth living.  They are worthy of the frame. I encourage you to slow down and tell your story the way nobody else could.

 

xo, Susie

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