Just Add Water: 9 Photography Tips
Why focus on water? Our kids are naturally drawn to it—sprinklers, pools, beach waves, and tubs. Because it's reflective, water happens to be a great addition to photos. Here are several ways you can creatively incorporate it into your photos.
Tell a Story
Remember story-telling details when taking water photos. What does soaking in a pool all day make you think of? Pruned toes, slivers of sunshine, relaxation—capture it. I brought my camera into the water and got level with my daughter to focus on her feet and capture this float shot.
Overhead angles make great pool shots. Have your child climb into a pool float and then stand directly above them (outside of the pool edge) with a wide angle lens (I used a 16-35mm for this shot). This angle not only captures your child, but all of the beautiful water ripples.
In the Pool
The best way to get a good pool jump shot is to actually get in the pool and shoot toward your subject. Set your shutter release mode to rapid-fire shooting to ensure a good motion shot. 1, 2, 3—now jump!
Capturing a good splash can make for an excellent beach photo and suggests movement. Next time you’re visiting the beach, invite your children to run along the shore and take multiple photos to capture their movement. (For this photo I used f/2, 1/5000 sec, IS0 100.)
Adding soap suds is a great way to make bath tub photos more interesting. When your baby is in the tub, encourage some good suds play. Pat some tear-free soap suds on their cheeks, their hair, their toes and snap photos along the way.
Don’t let a harmless rain storm keep you inside. It’s a perfect opportunity for some good play and makes for beautiful photos. A colorful pair of galoshes contrasts beautifully against rain puddles, and the bigger the splash, the better the photo.
After the Rain
Post rain landscapes make great photo backdrops, and a colorful umbrella adds a nice pop of color to photos. Tilted behind the shoulder, an umbrella acts as a reflector and allows the subject’s face to shine.
A pop of color makes water shots stand out as extraordinary. A bright bathing suit, a colorful inner tube, a vivid pail and shovel, or even rainbow-colored bath toys all add contrast and interest to otherwise ordinary water images.
Want to take water shots to a new level? Bring a bottle of bubbles to the pool, beach, or bath. They photograph beautifully and add prismatic colors to your images. Plus, your kids will love the fun they add to water play.
Kelle Hampton is a mom, photographer, blogger, and author who lives in sunny Florida. To learn more about her, visit Enjoying the Small Things.
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