MANHATTAN, KANSASDocument Your EverydayCorners of our House

I notice it everyday.  Pockets of beautiful light throughout the house.  At this time. At that time. Sometimes streaming through.  Sometimes barely enough.  I’m noticing it and commenting on it all the time. But to actually document the boys in our daily life takes effort.

I realized I had to stop talking about the quality of the light, and grab my camera and document some delicious moments of our crew.  It seems hard.  It seems exhausting to stop my thought process which was to change a dirty diaper, grab two cups of juice, possibly my coffee and tidy the house a bit before I go insane with the clutter.  To then change it to, “hey, let’s shoot some beautiful portraits of you dirty yahoo’s”.  It never comes when it’s convenient.  But every time I ignore the beautiful light, I regret it.

So today, I grabbed my big girl camera and observed the light and the sweet little subject in it.   And what I found was that I became more peaceful while observing and shooting.  It’s part of why I love shooting. And I always forget that!  It’s almost meditative.  It’s truly a time to listen to what’s in front of me.  To hear the soft sounds of jumping on the couch pillows.  The screams of delight.  The hilarity of watching another enjoy themselves.  And then I wait.  For the soft moment to take over.  Observing the thoughts being processed in that growing mind.  Wondering what he must be thinking as he stares out the window.  It lasts 15 minutes.  It’s spectacular and joyful and enlightening.  It’s humbling and I never regret it.  Ever.

Here are five tips to document your everyday.

Document Your Everyday

Five Tips for Capturing Your Children at Home

TIP 1. GRAB YOUR CAMERA

This seems easy right?  Wrong.  There usually is no room left in my bag in between the snacks and the drinks and the diapers and the extra set of clothes.  I eventually found what works for me on shoots, works even more beautifully in my personal work.  The Holdfast Camera Strap.  It straps your camera to you so that your hands can be free.  It’s probably my favorite and most used camera accessory.  Now I can hold both boys’ hands, carry a diaper bag and my camera all at the same time.  It’s pretty genius and makes my life easier.  I use it around the house too. That way I can let go of it while the nugget jumps into my arms, and the camera just hangs at my side.  Regardless, be intentional and grab whatever camera you have.  Take the extra step and go out of your way to remember to bring it with you.  Go shoot.  Go document your everyday.  I’m telling you, these moments have brought me so much joy and I know they will do the same for you.  Your iphone, point and shoot, DSLR, whatever it is.  Make time to document your crew.

Document Your Everyday by Bethany Meysenburg Document Your Everyday by Bethany Meysenburg

TIP 2. WATCH THE LIGHT

When you’re home, observe the light first thing in the morning, at lunch time, late afternoon and evening. When is it harshest?  When is it softest?  Make mental notes of the time it is most pleasing to you.  These next few were shot around noon.  So it was softer, more even light.  The sun wasn’t spilling through at all.

Document Your Everyday by Bethany MeysenburgDocument Your Everyday by Bethany Meysenburg

TIP 3. READY THE SPACE

Once you find the light you want to use.  Think through the space a little. Do you need to declutter?  Do you need to move furniture near the window?  Or further away from the window to provide more negative space?  I always remove bright colored objects, like red toys or blue cups.  That way I minimize distraction and point the viewer’s eye right where I want them to go.

Document Your Everyday by Bethany MeysenburgDocument Your Everyday by Bethany Meysenburg Document Your Everyday by Bethany Meysenburg

Tip 4: MAKE IT FUN!!

Let’s jump on the couch.  Or make a pillow fort.  Let’s play catch with their stuffed animal.  Or play peek-a-boo under their blanket.  Provide some moments to interact with them in silly ways.  It provides an authentic window into their personalities.
Document Your Everyday by Bethany Meysenburg

TIP 5: SIT BACK, OBSERVE & SHOOT

Watching them take in their environment is beautiful.  This is when the quiet moments happen.  I let myself be silent.  I play with angles and watch for beautiful movement to happen.  It’s in those moments a beautiful stillness happens in my heart.  When we are in the now and embracing the moment.  It is a happy place of mine and a huge, lovely bonus when I create these portraits.
Document Your Everyday by Bethany Meysenburg Document Your Everyday by Bethany Meysenburg Document Your Everyday by Bethany Meysenburg Document Your Everyday by Bethany Meysenburg Document Your Everyday by Bethany Meysenburg

So, do you think you can make this happen?  What’s holding you back?  Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments if you want to chat about it.

For those times when you need to be in front of the camera too, jump up to the top of the post and click Contact.  Get in touch and let’s start planning something amazing for your family shoot. Or just click HERE to get there faster.

xo Bethany