Heather Palmer, owner, Heather Palmer Photography

I recently found a priceless photo from eight years ago. My husband and our two oldest boys were sitting next to a big tractor (my oldest son’s favorite thing at the time). Memories of that precious time in my life started flooding my mind.

I have always loved taking pictures of my children. Last year, I decided to participate in a 365 project where you take a photo every day for an entire year. It really pushed me to notice the beauty in my everyday life. Birthdays and vacations seem like “natural” times to take photos, but capturing day-to-day moments seemed to be most important.

Here are some of my favorite everyday photography tips, so you can start your own photo project, too.

  • Tell your story. I have five little boys. I do my best to capture their moments. The dirty feet, bugs, superheroes and everything else. Embrace your life as it is. Don’t feel like your house and kids need to look perfect for every photo. Find beauty in everyday life.
  • Say “no” to posing, at least some of the time. My kids to love to avoid me when I pull my camera out, unless I let them continue what they are doing. I would rather have them engrossed in what they are doing than giving me a “fake” smile. I guide the moment and ask them to do things like “Can you make dinosaurs fight?” or “What would his growl sound like?” Sometimes I tell them a joke to get them to laugh, or talk to them to capture real expressions.
  • Have your camera ready. Today, it’s a lot easier to take photos than it used to be. I always have my camera available and close by for when I need it. Don’t be afraid to take a lot of pictures in the same setting, then you can delete those you don’t like later.
  • Get technical. Now that you are noticing your story and keeping your camera nearby, what can you do to make each picture better? Photography is all about light, so find where the best lighting is in your house. Remove anything from the area that would be distracting to your subject. Try changing your prospective and get down to your kids level. Zoom in close to them, then take a step back and get the whole scene. Sometimes little things make a big difference.
  • Print your photos. Kids love looking at photos of themselves, so don’t forget to print your pictures. I have read that this is the most photographed generation, yet they have the least amount of physical proof.

As I look back through my photos, I realize that it’s those everyday memories that are most precious to me. Even if you don’t feel like you could commit to a year of taking photos, consider trying it for a week or a month.