Summertime Fun: Summer Photo Tips

June 26, 2017, by Nicole

Welcome! This week Sarah, Shelly and I (Nicole) are sharing some Summer Photo Tips!

Since I'm the resident photographer, I figured this would be an easy post for me - but I found it really hard to narrow down some tips! I find having a camera in my hand second nature so I had to really think about how I wanted to approach this weeks theme. Here's my two cents:

Summer Photo Tip #1 - Golden Hour

Anywhere from 1-2 hours before sunset is the best time to take photos. So if you have children, get out there and find the sun. I live for this time of day. I take portraits of my kids in early summer, fall and sometimes winter (I hate the cold) every year. But summer light is my favourite.

There are two ways you can approach this light:

1 .  Back light  (sun behind the subject) I prefer this, as I like glow. It can be tricky to nail your focus with the sun shining into your lens, but if you are patient you will get it. Though if you aren't using a DSLR, or are shooting in AUTO it maybe tricky as your subject will be shadowed if you don't use a natural reflector to bounce some light back in your subjects face. I look for pavement and place my kids on that as the light will shine back in their faces. I never ever use an actual reflector. Here are some examples of back lighting.

** If you have a DSLR and usually shoot AUTO, try it out in manual or aperture priority and meter (expose) for the face. Maybe I should share a post on how to get out of AUTO settings??

For those of you wondering the first 3 photos settings are:

35mm Lens

And I found this old photos of Nevaeh that I love, and it's another good example of Back Lighting

2. Front light (this is so not a technical term) but I almost never face the subject towards the sun, with no open shade. Only in the golden hour can I manage this. Any earlier in the day the subject will have harsh shadows. If I have no choice, I'll side light them somehow or find some way to defuse the light but that's another topic for another time. Here is my other daughter with her face towards the sun (about 30 min before sunset):

Summer photo tip #2 - Document Everything

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that kids grow way too quickly. I'm so glad I have so many imperfect photos of my kids growing up.  I can't always compose the perfect shot and have them stay still, I want to remember the moment, and it doesn't matter if its properly exposed, follows the rule of thirds, and is properly lit. It matters that your children are in the photo and you have memories.  This means you don't have to wipe the ice cream from their faces or have them in matching clothes. Just take the photo - you'll be glad you did.

Here are some old-random-not perfect-but I love - photos of my children over the years.

Summer Photo Tip #3 - Underwater and Sparkler (and firework photos)

Here's where I struggled. I really wanted to take example photos of fireworks as I couldn't find any of my previous ones - but I didn't have any occasions where fireworks were available to me before this post was due. So, I've got some lame sparkler photos I can share. But after July 1st (Canada Day) I will share some on my instagram if you want to follow me (@nicole_miller).

I recommend to anyone with kids or who travel - get a go pro. I love ours, we take it every time we travel because I'm not scared if I drop it in the water. It's fun to get under water photos as well!

I hope someone learned something new! You can head over to my blog and then Sarah's and Shelly's to continue on the hop!  Do you  have any Photo Tips for Summer? We would love to hear them - comment below, or better yet - link up!




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