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Photographing Everyday Life

Photographing Everyday Life

It's pretty easy to remember to take a picture of birthdays and holidays, but when was the last time you took a picture of your family running errands? Does that seem like a weird idea to you?

I like to capture more than just the highlights of my family's life. I want to capture the everyday moments, too, that make up the bulk of our days. I want to be able to look back on my photos and remember the day-to-day moments and the small parts that when put together shows how we lived our lives.

If you would like to capture those moments, too, here are some tips and ideas to get you started.

Photographing Everyday Life

1) Be real

Here's a photo I took in 2002. I only had two sons then and they were three and one. On this morning I was going to wash floors and then I saw their little footprints. I can't remember how they got such dirty feet or how they managed to track across my floor, but I can remember thinking it was the cutest thing ever. I took a picture and let the floors stay dirty a couple more days. How I loved their precious little feet!

Be mindful of moments like this in your life. Messes and piles of stuff that might annoy you, but that you will miss later. Grab your camera or your phone and snap a couple shots.

Photographing Everyday Life

2) Capture routine moments

Here is a picture that I took with my phone of my husband and son while we were running errands. I don't even have words to tell you how much I love this. No words.

If you're like me you spend a decent chunk of your life running errands. It's part of everyday life and I think everyday life deserves to be in the picture, too.

Watch for special moments while you are going about your day-to-day life. Little things that capture a time and an age. Whether you're eating a meal at the dinner table or driving to another sports practice, that is your life. Get a photo of it.

Photographing Everyday Life

3) Take candid photos

Candid photos allow you to capture life as it happens, authentic and unscripted. They give you a chance to photograph your subject without them feeling self-conscious or awkward and can result in more true-to-life pictures.

My brother, Grant Johnson, is really good at taking candid photos. He took this picture of my son and I during a family gathering and I didn't even know he had done it. What a treasure it is to me!

Here's his trick. He shoots from the hip, doing his best to frame the photo without bringing the camera to his face. I'm going to admit that it is a bit annoying at first (Sorry, Grant!) but after a few minutes we all forget he is taking pictures. The result is a collection of candid images of us simply being.

It is even easier to take candid photos with the camera on your phone. It allows you to be very subtle so you don't interrupt the action. Remember when you are taking candid photos that you are a spectator, not a director. Let the scene play out how it will and resist the urge to tell anyone to say, "Cheese!"

Everyday Photo Opportunities

I challenge you to take some photos of your everyday life this weekend. Be mindful of opportunities to capture the routine elements of your life so you can treasure the moments for years to come. To get your creativity flowing, I made you a free Everyday Photo Opportunities Checklist that highlights 36 different aspects of daily life that you can photograph. Simply download, print and start taking photos. Enjoy!



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