Life as we know it is certainly more limiting, but that doesn’t mean special moments aren’t still happening. With just your iPhone or other smartphone you can still take great photos of your family. Smartphone cameras have come a long way and are producing higher quality images than ever before. I’m sharing some easy and fun ways to take the best photographs you can while enjoying the special moments and memories you’re capturing on camera. It’s simple, all you need is a camera (the one on your smartphone is great!) some decent lighting, your kiddos, and you’re ready to go.
Here are some ideas and inspiration of what to capture while you are at home during this time.
Clapping for Healthcare professionals
Embrace the countless special moments of appreciation we have for those working the front lines and snap a candid photo while your little one claps or bangs saucepans. Capture the action like a pro and hold your finger on the capture button. This will take multiple shots so you can choose the one you like best.
Zoom Class and School at Home
Zoom classes have become part of almost all children’s life during this time. To capture this special moments, you can snap photos of your children having fun with education. While your kiddo is in his or her Zoom class, take a quick photo positioning yourself behind them and off to the side so you are out of the frame. Make sure to focus on the Zoom screen but show the back of your child’s head to give it perspective. It shows an interesting image and when you look back at it, you and your child will remember his new way they learned with their peers. If your child always raids the fridge when the class starts, snap a photo to remember it!
Try to take a photo of their new classroom – is it the dining room or their bedroom? Snap a photo of the checklist you made of the school day that you only followed for about 2 days. All are great memories to capture their new school environment.
Social Distancing with Friends/Family
Another special moments that is certainly unique to this moment in time is social distancing. You can document the different ways that we all tried to stay in touch during this time. When family or friends stop by or drive by, have your children stand to the side of the window – which is a great spot for natural light – and wave. You can stand behind your children so you can see them waving and tap your screen to focus on who they are waving to, you can also have your children stand in front of the window waving or blowing kisses while you snap a photo from the side angle.
If you can’t see anyone in person but are Skyping or Facetiming with their friends, screen shot a photo of their expressions.
- To take a screen shot on an iphone simply press the Side Button and the Volume Up buttons at the same time
- To take a screen shot on an android phone simply Press and hold the Power + Volume down buttons at the same time for a few seconds. If that doesn’t work, press and hold the Power button for a few seconds. Then tap Screenshot.
- If neither of these work, go to your phone manufacturer’s website for help.
It truly will make for heart-warming memories of this time.
Drawing rainbows and capturing art
If your child is like mine, they will have become obsessed with drawing rainbows to put in the window. So when she’s ready to show off her art, I open up the camera app, make sure she and her artwork are in focus and well lit, and tap the capture button to snag this special moments. For a more creative photo, you can ask your child to smile and show their photo by holding the artwork straight in front of them while you stand slightly to the side, switch to portrait mode – if available – then tap the screen to focus on the artwork, and show your kiddo smiling in the background. This shows a different perspective that highlights the artwork and draws it into focus, while also showing that your child had fun creating his or her masterpiece.
Another thing your kids might do to entertain themselves is to create sidewalk chalk art. This is a great opportunity for you to snap a quick candid photo while your child is drawing. You can either swipe to portrait mode and get their adorable concentrated expression on their face as they draw or you can have them draw a fun stick figure, or that they can pose with and ask them to make a silly face. Something to note is that angles are your friend, play with different angles, and get creative.
Finding fun in the simple things
Maybe you and your children have rediscovered a love of games and puzzles? Capture a candid photo of everyone working together on the puzzle, get in close and show hands pushing puzzle pieces together or back out and snap a pic of everyone concentrating and searching for the right piece. Don’t forget to grab a photo of everyone posed around the completed puzzle to show their accomplishment.
Have you rediscovered what it feels like to be outside in nature or more deeply appreciate a day with perfect weather? When you head for a walk (social distancing, of course) capture those special moments of wonder that you have found.
Remember to capture some firsts that happen during this time – baby’s first’s steps, your child’s first scooter ride, wearing a mask or even a first hair cut. A great tip to photographing on scooters or bikes is to give some space in the photograph for the scooter or bike to go rather than going in close.
Tip for taking photos at home
If you’re worried about things looking messy, get in close and use portrait mode. This puts all the focus on your subject and blurs the background.
Capturing stay at home moments
I hope this inspires and encourages you to take more photos. Look for the special moments that are endearing and inspire you in these challenging times, bring out your camera, and be creative in capturing them. These photos will help you remember the special moments that happened during the quarantine. You can also share your memories and send the photos to family you are not able to keep in touch with because of stay at home, or create a photo book to keep and share.
I hope this finds everyone safe and well, please drop any questions you have in the comments. Don’t forget to share this with anyone who you think might like it!
Jane Goodrich is an award-winning photographer, author, and mentor based in New York. Find her at www.janegoodrich.com