No-Sweat Summer Photos
By Margo Navage Padala, Contributing Editor
I love how time slows for my family during the summer. After months of frenetic schedules we trade our sneakers for flip-flops, ready for a more casual pace. The photos I take reflect this relaxed mindset, and my family’s summer story is usually told through snapshots of quiet moments and everyday pleasures. Regardless of the vacations we take or the parties we attend, our story always unfolds subtly— through images that convey an impression of our summer rather than the actual events.
Whether you take 5 photos during the summer or 500, the following tips can help you capture the right mood to tell your story. The last thing you want during summer is unnecessary pressure so keep your camera handy, but don’t stress about getting “perfect” photos. Rather, use your senses to tune in to your surroundings and see what strikes you.
Is the smell of basil hanging heavy near your garden? Zoom in on a few of the leaves. Are you sipping ice-cold lemonade on a sweltering day? Snap a shot of the drink in front you. Are you savoring a few minutes of silence at the park now that your toddler has fallen asleep? Capture that peaceful face while you can. Are you a summer surf goddess? Shoot a stack of colorful beach towels, or your board propped against a fence. The more you notice and enjoy around you, the easier it will be to whip out your camera (or phone) to preserve your impressions. Think about the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that mean summer to you, and focus on the little details that create them.
During the lazy days of summer, the small moments tell the best stories. One of my favorite summer photos was taken with my iphone one night on my front porch. My 10 year old son and I were having an impromptu “date” with popcorn, candles, and To Kill a Mockingbird. The night was unplanned and uneventful, but it’s one of my favorite memories from last summer. When I look at that photo I am reminded of how giddy my son was at the thought of staying up late, and how thrilled I was that my oh-so-cool 10 year old was still willing to cuddle up to me so I could read to him. Private moments like these often say more about us than big events and, for me, they are the moments worth holding on to.
Happy summer snapshots!