How many times have you gotten out your camera for a special occasion, hoping to come away with pictures that tell the story of your day and you come away with a few awkwardly posed shots of your unhappy kids + some random happenings from the day that don't flow? I know I have! I find that something that helps me is to create a very loose "shot list" in my head before the day so that I'm organized in what I'd like to capture, as well as how I might go about it.
To show you what I mean, here's my possible shot list for this Easter 2016:
- The kids' faces when they find their Easter baskets. (I'd settle for nailing this shot for even just one child!) To get it, I'll have to know where the baskets are and get in position so that I can see their faces, not their backs.
- The boys as they look at what is in their Easter baskets. Any time I have a shot like this where I know there will be "stuff" all around them, my favorite angle is almost always straight down because it cleans up all the background clutter. It leaves me with just the child, the blank floor, and the objects. So to prepare, I'll just need access to a chair or high nearby surface so that I can get nice and level and shoot straight down.
- Dying the eggs. This one is a tricky thing to capture, especially if your kids are still little and not yet independent. You literally have to juggle your camera and the eggs- and try not to break either one! This is why I like to decide which part I will shoot and stick to just that. And since my kids are still little and slippery-fingered, I usually wait until the very end when the colorful eggs are all back in the cartons and no one is still handling any eggs. I like to leave the mess around them - paper towels, colorful drips, and spills.
- The kids playing outside at Grandma's with the spring flowers included. This doesn't mean I need them to SIT by the daffodils. It just means that I want to include the flowers as a way of showing what our lives are like in the spring, and specifically what Easter at Grandma's is always like. There are lots of ways to do this, but so that it does turn out too much like a snap shot (i.e. boys playing over here, flowers on the other side of the frame), I might plan on getting down very low and shooting through the daffodils so that you get the feeling of flowers but still keep the focus on the kid's playing.
- Easter dinner. Rather than shooting down on the whole table, which would certainly be one option, I might choose to highlight one of our Easter traditions and put them in the foreground, like the dyed eggs.
And one last bonus shot. The one all moms dream of...
BONUS: A posed picture of the boys outside in their Easter outfits. Sure, it's posed, but what mom doesn't wish she could get just one smiling picture of the kids in the outfits she worked so hard to put together? I wrote a whole article for non-photographers on how to take a posed outdoor shot for my March newsletter. Make sure you subscribe right away so that it comes to your inbox this week! Click here to subscribe!