Bluebird Chic ambassador Emily Ockwig of Everbranch Photography shares her best tips for capturing the beauty in everyday life!
Not all of our moments are magical, but that doesn’t make them less important. Capturing your daily life is all about little things, that are really the big things. It’s about seeing how quickly things change, all while staying so much the same. Three years ago, I committed to shooting my daily life. I wanted to take a photo a day of our ordinary life. Since then, I’ve rarely left home without my camera. So much of my life (especially the pretty, well-lit parts during the winter months) happens outside my home.
Tip #1 – Bring your camera with you.
I usually bring around my DSLR and a lens. If I’m doing something really exciting, I’ll bring my 20mm and my 35, but usually, I pick one or the other, depending on what kind of story I’m hoping to tell. And I always use my BlueBird Chic camera strap and a big bag I bring everywhere.
Tip #2 – Shoot in public.
Search for the beauty outside of your home, there is so much to see. If shooting during all of your outings is overwhelming, pick one, or pick part one activity of one outing. Pick just one part of your adventure to document. I find it easiest to shoot my kids in areas that aren’t too busy and are somewhat enclosed, so I don’t have to worry about them running off. Our local library has a children’s wing and we love it there. There are big windows, open spaces, and tables to sit and play quietly.
My kids and I love a good coffee date, so our local coffee shop is another favorite place to take photos. We grab a table by the window, get a couple of hot cocoas, and bust out our bag of trucks or a coloring book.
Other fun places to shoot include zoos and conservatories, indoor play areas, children’s museums, Target, shopping malls. Shooting the basic parts of your daily life tells the story of your life now. Your life isn’t standing in a field in coordinating outfits, it’s eating donuts in the shopping cart at Target while balancing a Starbucks. It’s doing the monkey bars and building sandcastles, working on homework on your kitchen table.
When I shoot daily life, I think about what memories will be most important to me ten years from now? What will I want to remember most about this chapter in our lives?
Tip #3 – Find new light.
Technically speaking, a perk of shooting our life on the go is learning how to get the shot I want and how to work with light in any number of conditions. You don’t know what exactly what you’ll get when you’re out in public, but if you’re comfortable with your style and your camera, you’ll be able to get the shots you want in a variety of situations.
Tip # 4 – Try new things.
If shooting daily is overwhelming, try a Day In The Life or an Hour By Hour Project. Day In the Life (DITL)’s are all about shooting one whole day of your life, every single activity, from the time you wake until you (or your kids) go to bed. Hour By Hours are similar, but you shoot once an hour, all day long. These day-long projects focus on finding beauty in the mundane, and are a great way to look at the ordinary in new light.
Worried about what people will think? Don’t. People will think what they want, regardless. This isn’t about them, this is your project.
Emily is a “mostly stay at home” wife and mom to two ridiculously wonderful kids, a part-time professional photographer and a “nap-time” Etsy store owner selling typography and photography prints of things that make her smile. Emily loves taking pictures and brings her camera everywhere. She says “I am so, so thankful that people trust these memories, their tiny toes, their little smiles, in my hands.” To see Emily’s work visit her site Everbranch Photography.