Tips for Photographing your favorite people - Long Beach Island, NJ

Wendy & The Lost Boys (above)

Finally, it's summer! We're all are eager to vacate the hustle of everyday life and slip into the quiet of vacation.  I know our family craves it by the time our school year is over and the fact that work for us never seems to stop unless we leave it all behind.  The moments where were get uninterrupted time with our friends and family are the moments we want to capture to remember forever.  So, how do we do that?!

My very first photography teacher way back in high school started our class with "you should be able to take a good photo no matter what the camera. The story, and your care, are the frame that matters".  I've held onto that piece of wisdom ever since, so I wanted to pass along 3 tips for capturing photos of your family as you play this summer...

1.) Capture the Story.  I always want to have a story board of what's going on.  That means backing up & capturing the setting.  Step back & capture a wide-angle photo to set the story.  (Here, my crew is at the beach.)For candids you don't even need to say anything to those you're photographing- just snap as many photos as you can of the action that are close up or a few steps back.  You can go though & delete the ones you don't want later. Till now, for example, I haven't said anything to my kids about photos- I'm simply playing the part of photo journalist.  After the fun is done, just say "hey guys- let me grab a photo of you looking at me!" Since everyone is having a blast already, they lumped together and I snapped a portrait. My crew already thinks I take too many photos, so I save this request for the moment I really want to remember.  

2.) Clear away clutter!  If you have a moment, move those shovels, objects, trash, or extra toys out of the frame. Unless you're taking photos of action in a mess on purpose you want a clean area.  No one frames a cluttered photo.

3.) It's all about timing...  If there's one thing that the kids, babies, and families I've photographed over the years have taught me, it's that timing is everything. You stand a better chance capturing that timeless moment with a baby or a toddler, for example, after they've had a good nap or a meal- that way you're not forcing photos during a meltdown at the end of a day. On the other hand, big kids and adults may want their picture taken after the new adventure or big accomplishment; wait for the right moment, and don't miss it!

Bonus tip: Join the fun! Capturing great images of your family & friends is wonderful; but being a part of the experience is even better! So, don't forget to put down that phone, stash the camera, & join the fun!