5 Perfect Pointers to Perk up your Playground Pictures

I wanted to title this post:

Phive Perfect Pointers to Perk Up your Playground Pictures

because I'm nerdy and love alliteration...

but, I didn't...

because...eye rolling is a thing in our house!  

ahem...I will continue...

I firmly believe that people who understand LIGHT, COMPOSITION and STORYTELLING can create amazing images with ANY type of camera (iphone included!)

I'd love to teach you more in a one on one mentoring session, where you also get to join our private group of Momtographers (moms that like to photograph their kids to capture the everyday life in beautiful ways!) and get extra videos, live broadcasts, encouragement and tips on how to capture the everyday in YOUR life...learn more about that HERE

So without further ado...here are 5 pointers to remember when you head to the park this spring with your camera or iphone.

1. Use the symmetry & geometry of playground equipment.
Allow the shapes of the playground to act as frames for your children. It can give you a perfect frame up situation and also utilize the leading lines of the bars to direct your eyes to the action at hand! The symmetry is also helpful with focal points and being sure to freeze the action.




2. Use Negative space
I love to use the sky or ground to act as my negative space...it shows height, but it also gives the feeling of independence and fearlessness...It's just another trick to show emotion in the little things. It's just a matter of putting your subject in the lower part of your camera/iphone frame and allowing the sky or the sandy ground (if you're in the sandbox) to take up a lot of the space. It makes the picture a bit more dramatic and your eye is immediately drawn to the action.


3. Shoot in a series
Sometimes kids like to stay on the same piece of equipment for a lengthy time...use that opportunity to shoot a series.  You can get them spinning on a merry-go-round, or swining on the swings...think of a storyboard and capture 3 different "elements of a story" (details, character and plot) Zoom in first and get their feet or hands...then back up and get their whole body, then change up an angle and use that negative space again...Or think of a flip book and take a series while they're in motion going from one rung to the next...


4. Don't stop them in the action.
Capture your kids in their moment of accomplishment! Use angles to enhance the action, but let them run & be crazy and do their THING! Just be on your toes and ready to move to capture the moment!

In this shot, my oldest and youngest were playing hide and seek...I had to move around a lot to be sure that I didn't give away hiding spots...and I didn't stop them, I just moved myself to be sure to capture the peeks and action...I also used pointer #1 and allowed the fence to be my "leading' line" to guide my eye to the action.

5. Fill the Frame
Before you leave or just as you get to the park, ask them to "show me how excited you are to be at the park" or "show me how much fun you had"....Get a close up of THEM...it can be full on goofy face and all, or it can be a group hug with siblings...Don't forget to cut out all the background and get in close to get them for at least one shot!

This will be the shot that you'll be noticing the light...it's more challenging on a playground because kids are ever moving and sometimes the harshness of the sun and shadows can't be helped...therefore,  it's important to utilize pointers #1-4 to enhance those photos when the light may not be as cooperative...however, when you have the option and a split second chance to make sure that light is smoother and less edgy...find an open shaded area, so that you can avoid the shadows on their faces and get an image that will definitely make you smile!

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