Summer is my favorite time of year! Longer days & warmer temperatures provide more opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends.
To make those memories last, I take a ton of photos. I’m fortunate to have 7 nieces and nephews who make summer even more fun! There’s nothing like being around kids to remind you how the simple things in life make it so wonderful.
Today we’ll focus on two of my favorite aspects of summer fun that are great to capture on camera.
Action. Play. Swimming. Running. Being absolutely silly!
Summer FOOD! Burgers, ice cream & cold beer!
In summer especially, I try to make sure to have my camera handy. Of course you want to make sure its far enough from the pool to avoid splash. And when you think you have it far enough away, give it another 3-4 feet. I always underestimate just how far tiny bodies can get water to travel.
Summer presents all sorts of other options for fun and gaming that you may not take advantage of the rest of the year. Last summer my parents put in a dart board! While I don’t particularly enjoy darts, its part of our new summer landscape and I enjoy that. There’s laughter, and jeering and new sounds. And in the beginning, teaching other new things. I love how games and sports often point out how people work together and appreciate each other.
There’s nothing more classic than kids running around bathing suits on, wet hair, dirty feet, all smiles and laughter. I swear they could run and run for hours and never tire. They don’t want to stop for dinner. They never want to go to bed. They inspire their uncles whose knees often ache to run with them like they too are 6 years old! The fun is infectious!
I do a fair bit of running around, playing ladder ball and swimming, but in other times, I enjoy looking on. Sometimes I just sit back and let it all sink in. Other times, I grab my camera and let it fire.
I often just put my camera into the automatic sports mode, in continuous shooting (so I sound like the paparazzi auntie I am) and capture as much as I can. Sure I delete a lot, but you never know when you’re going to get that perfect expression, so buy a larger SD card and let fill up!
Sometimes I have my camera out and ready. Watching, waiting for the perfect shot of the energetic little munchkins. And other times, its just a happy accident. In the shot below, I was testing out a friend’s lens. I had just put it on and was practicing getting the settings right. And all of a sudden…. my niece Aila fell out of the bouncy house. Just fell right out! You never know what’s going to happen with kids!
An important part of every summer, when kids are involved, is swimming progress. I enjoy documenting whether kids are using various floating devices, swimming on their own in the shallow end, jumping off the diving board. There is always progress! Each kid is different. Some have a hard time getting up the nerve to jump off the diving board. Others need encouragement to go underwater.
For Oisín, its keeping his mouth closed when he’s swimming that is the challenge! He gets so excited and laughs so hard that his mouth is completely open, sucking in so much pool water. Every adult attempts to chide him, warning him not to swallow the water, but in the end we all just laugh because he can’t stop and then neither can we. Maybe next year he’ll grow out of this, but for now, I’m happy I caught it on camera.
Almost nothing beats a cold beer on a summer day! I don’t drink all that much, and at other times of year I prefer other things, but to me- summer is for enjoying a cold beer by the pool! And drinking by the pool looks different than drinking inside–like this new bottle opener at Mom & Dad’s pool!
Don’t forget about the ice cream! Even if you’re on a diet or watching your sugar intake for 10 months out of the year, please do yourself a favor– do me a favor- and enjoy some ice cream in summer! And even if you only have your cell phone handy (like I did for this shot), capture all of its delicious texture and melty goodness!
Then there’s burgers! I may not eat them, at least not the beef kind but the kids love them! Riley especially loves when Uncle Dan makes them and she’s happy to show me just how much she’s enjoying every single bite.
As single images they may not look like much, but to me these photos call to mind, even in the dead of winter, what summer feels like, sounds like, tastes like.
You don’t need to be the world’s best photographer to capture these moments. Just get in the habit of capturing these details. As you do, you’ll find yourself capturing the same kinds of shots over and over as the summer goes on. Take a look at what you like and what you don’t. If you’re having a good summer you’ll get plenty of chances for a do-over. Adjust, try things from a new angle and try your best next time!
It’s only August. Here in Boston there’s still plenty of summer left and plenty of time to capture summer memories! I’ll be back soon to share some more! Until then, do you have any tips on photos to take to capture the essence of summer?