We spent the last 3 days celebrating the loud, speedy, in-your face kind of joy. The one that's synanymous with exhileration, excitement, energy.
But your children have quieter kind of joys too. The ones that despite not making them jump up and down in excitement, give your kids an immense pleasure and happiness, a sensory thrill or a quiet, but very content feeling of self-fulfillment.
Kids can get totally immerse themselve in an activity that brings them joy.
Their focus on it - all consuming.
What's their quiet joy?One of my children must have been a fish in her past life because her happiest place is underwater, diving in like a fish or making an almighty splash. I love watching the joy it brings her, and how her body relaxes the second it hits the water.
These are the kind of joys we're focusing on today - and it starts with watching your kids closely.
Be an observer.
Think - what do your kids absolutely love doing. Something that's 'their thing' Something that brings them delight and joy and a sense of peacefull fulfillment.
It could be an 'active' thing or a quiet, static kind of passtime. What does the activity involve? Is it a solitary joy or shared with someone? Look at how they play from different angles - what would be the best direction to photograph them from so that in the photo, it could be instantly clear what they're doing and how it affects them? And the outcomes - does the activity bring them pride? Enjoyment? Hilarity?
Once they get stuck into whatever makes them happy, put that camera away and just observe first. Make your eyes glide over them, stopping at the little things and taking in the wider picture. Learning about their joy.
Notice the little sensory things.
Look at how their body responds to it - do they stick out their tongue to help them navigate a tricky lego contruction phase? What are their little fingers doing?
Can you zoom in at the detail levele and really notice the sensations they get through their fingertips, through their skin as they are fully engaged in the activity?
What are they looking at? what are they touching?
From a composition point of view - how would you draw attention of the viewer to that detail?
How do you really highlight something small? We did a lesson on capturing detail in one of our previous bootcamps - check it out now for tips on isolating your subject, making it stand out and be the centre of attention
And the bigger picture:
Don't forget to 'zoom out' whether that's with your lens or by simply moving a bit further away.
Think about the bigger picture too - where is the activity taking place?
What's the envoronment like? Are others involved?
Look at the scene as if you've seen it for the first time - notice the scale, the location, the way they interact or ignore their environment THROUGH the activity.
You might want to go wide-wide, or you might want to simply go wide enough to go from a 'detail' view to a 'more of the person and what they're doing view' - it's your call.
Vary your angles and direction of the shots - see what makes a better, stronger photo - it's up to you! If you want some inspiration, check out this mini lesson on angles from one of our previous bootcamps
Storytelling in 2 partsThink about it as storytelling in 2 parts - with the bigger picture you get the lay of the land. The 'What's going on? The 'Where?' The main characters and the general plot.With the detail focus picture you zoom in onto the important things. The things that make a difference. That make the story come alive.
YOUR TASK FOR TODAY
Your task today is to take 2 views - a wider shot and a detail shot and and put them side by side.
One - the focus on the activity and the bigger picture, the second - a detail : something sensory or your child's expression, or a close up of something key to the situation.
Thinking about booking a place on one of our courses?
Don't worry, they're not as fast paced at this bootcamp and we have one starting soon, just in time for summer.
And we have some questions and answers you might have about it here: