How to capture everyday life's beauty
Our guide to finding the beauty in life's day-to-day moments.
It’s easy to miss the beauty of the everyday. Between work and home, pick-up and drop-off, we barely have enough time to appreciate moments when we’re in them, let alone photograph them. Here’s our guide to help you celebrate and capture the little moments of beauty that surround you every day.
1. Set yourself a photo challenge.
Start the day with a photographic goal, whether it be (respectfully) snapping a portrait of a passer-by or capturing the morning dew on a blade of grass. It could be as simple as setting an early morning alarm to photograph the sunrise or putting a reminder in your phone to capture the very moment you’re in—just give yourself a daily goal and stick to it. Soon you’ll have a great collection of photographs to look back on.
2. Try to see differently.
Often, it’s not where you look but how you look that invites more beauty into your life. Walking to the bus, waiting in line at your local coffee place, a Tuesday night at the dinner table—these little moments can be rich with photographic opportunity. All it takes is approaching these parts of your day with a fresh outlook. If you look with wonder, it’ll translate in your photography.
3. Get focused.
Focus on a single idea. Maybe it’s creating a photo series around a single color or texture. Maybe it’s shooting a single outing. Just focus on the story you’re trying to tell and try not to deviate. Once you’ve done that, focus even further by looking for the small moments within the story. This can be as easy as moving in closer to the subject or using a zoom lens to capture the little details of the scene. But it can also require a little mindfulness. Keep an eye out for individual moments. If you’re photographing a baking session in the kitchen, capture the all-important final product but be sure to get a photo of the little one licking the spoon, too.
4. Blend in.
We can all recall a time when we felt a camera on us and immediately stiffened. An important part of capturing authentic moments, whether at home or in public, is to let them occur naturally. The moment we try to orchestrate authenticity, it abandons us. Everyday moments are special because they’re real and unforced. It’s important to keep them that way.
5. Embrace imperfection.
Sometimes we get paralyzed by the idea of perfection, so much so that it can stop us before we start. The perfect tools, the perfect scene, the perfect moment—these are just ideas. Once you shake the idea of the perfection, you open yourself up to a world of photographic opportunity. The best creativity can come from think-on-your-feet innovation, and the imperfection of day-to-day life creates a much more interesting perspective anyway.
6. Don't be afraid to take photos.
Sometimes it can be simple shyness that prevents us from taking photos. Just as your subjects can worry on how they look on camera, we can worry about how we look photographing a leaf on the footpath. Life is short and it’s worth it for that money shot. So when you find yourself up close with beauty, don’t be afraid to pull out your camera and capture it (from every angle).