Friday, December 6, 2013

Just Another Sunday at the Beach

We go to the beach at least once a week.  We vowed when we moved here that we wouldn't turn into one of those families that lives minutes from the beach and never goes.  So we decided that we would go at least once a week.  Now that it gets dark so early that means we go on the weekends mostly now.  When we first moved we would go after my husband got off work to watch the sunset.  I can't wait until we can do that again!  I don't usually take my camera to the beach for a number of reasons.  I don't like it getting all sandy and salty from the wind.  I don't like having another thing to carry out to the beach.  I don't like worrying if we go for a walk that someone will come by and snatch it (not likely, but still, I don't like leaving it unattended).  And sometimes I just want to sit and watch and not take any pictures.  And mostly I just forget to bring it. :)  Recently, I knew we were going to stay for a couple hours so I took it.  And I'm so glad I did!  I don't need to take it every time, but I'm glad I captured some memories from what is a pretty typical day for us now.

Since some of you said you'd appreciate photo tips in my posts, I'll add some today.  First of all, these aren't portraits.  Nothing about these was planned.  This is what people refer to as "lifestyle photography".  I think most lifestyle photography is still pretty planned out and styled, but this is the real deal.  I think that when I look back at my family photos, some of my favorites are these because they are more true to how we are in real life.  And my favorite thing about lifestyle photography is that it tells a story.  I think in order to showcase this style of photography you need to keep a few things in mind.  You need to have a variety of types of shots.  Some wide (with lots of background) and some close up.  I think it's especially important to get some wide shots to give context to where you are.  After you get those, you'll need to include some detail shots.  The things that really grab you, the things you want to remember.  Little things like the way the your daughter has sand all over her forehead.  Or the way the sunlight catches the tendrils of her hair.  You might also want some action shots.  The boys playing catch, or your girl digging in the sand.  After you get all of these types of shots, you'll naturally see that you have captured the story of your day.  This is so much more meaningful than being at the beach and then pausing for a couple minutes and telling your kids to smile at the camera.  That's great if you are doing a portrait session or something, but what kid wants to pause from playing in the sand to come pose for shots for mom?  It's so forced.  I think that's why these photos resonate so much with me, they aren't forced and so I see my family for how it truly is.

I take a ton of photos, so going through them and deciding what to share is a very important step.  I think a lot of folks tend to either overshare or undershare.  One or two shots of your kids on the beach doesn't tell a story.  Over 50 shots and we've got too long of a story and we start to yawn.  I think around 15 to 30 is a good goal for something to share.  I tend to lean toward being an oversharer, so I try to keep this in mind!  I think then you just have to sort of let the photos speak for themselves.  Something I need to work on since I tend to just keep typing!  So here you go...enjoy a little photo story of our day at the beach!

I'm going to interject and not let the photos do all the talking so that I can point out that my girl caught a fish in her net for shells.  Can you see him?

Okay, so I did ask her to stand there for this photo.  I wanted to practice some shots of silhouettes.  I don't want you to think I never ask them to stand still or pose.  I do sometimes and that's okay.  I just try not to let it turn into a photo session when I do.

We stay until sunset usually.  It never gets old.  The sky is different every time and God paints us a beautiful picture each time.  We love it here.  How could we not?

I hope you enjoyed my tips!  I will try to get more creative with them and include some more technical stuff too in the future.  It was fun...I do like to talk about photography stuff!

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