Below are 5 photography tips for capturing the joy of springtime puddle jumping.
It had been raining for days. DAYS. The minute the sun peaked out, the kids rushed out of the house and went straight for the enormous puddles. They immediately began to dance.
After about five minutes, I realized I was missing an opportunity to capture childhood. I ran back into the house to grab my camera. Look at that muddy water!
When I saw our neighbor sit in a mud puddle in a striped dress, I asked her, “Does your mom know you are out here?” She replied, “My moms at work, but my dad knows.” I just looked at her and smiled.
Here are a few simple tips for capturing the joy of puddle jumping:
- Don’t interrupt. Quietly get shots as your little one savors the joy of puddle jumping.
- Capture the details. You don’t need an adorable face in every photo. Take pictures of details, too. Boots, splashes, dirty hands … get these precious details.
- Pick the right camera setting. If you are shooting on auto with a point-and-shoot or DSLR camera, adjust your camera to a “sport” setting. Usually this is represented by an icon of a person running. This will increase your shutter speed and help reduce blur in your photos.
- Capture the puddle’s movements. If you are shooting in manual with a DSLR, try to pump your shutter speed up high. You want to capture the motion of the water. It has a personality of its own. Also, if your kids are wiggle worms, like mine, be cautious of your aperture. I have a few shots that turned out poorly because my depth of field was off. These pictures were taken on a 50mm, ISO 800, f/3.2 and shutter speed of 1/1600 sec.
- 15 seconds of ADORABLE. If you are taking pictures with your smart phone, be sure to share a video on Instagram. What’s cuter than puddle jumping?!!
Bonus tip: Don’t be afraid to “Say Cheese” at the end of your photo session. I strongly advocate a journalistic approach to capturing everyday moments of childhood, but there is nothing wrong with a traditional everybody look at the camera shot. My personal goal is to just ask for ONE of these with each session of pictures I take.
Look at that cute sweater dress completely soaked in mud! I ran into her mom later in the week and she asked, “Did your kids come in soaked to the bone, too?” She smiled and secretly admitted that she was glad her husband was home that afternoon rather than her. Sometimes as parents it is hard to say yes to puddles, to mud … to a mess.
I am so thankful I grabbed my camera, so I could share photos of the lovely time her daughter had enjoyed. These pictures are all from the spring of 2013 and the trio of girls has already changed and grown. I am thankful to have captured such a magical afternoon.
Take a breath and say YES to puddle jumping.
Embrace the season. You won’t regret it.
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These photography tips are brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador
Zina is the author of Let’s Lasso the Moon, where she inspires parents and children to interact creatively and enjoy the beauty of everyday moments.