Photography has long been a hobby for me, and I’ve always treasured old family photographs and the rich stories they carry with them, but it wasn’t until I became a mother that I became obsessed with the need to preserve and remember each phase and detail of my family life.
The 6th anniversary of my beloved Grandmother’s death recently passed. With each year since I’ve last seen her, small details disappear from my memory. I have a notoriously bad memory and that is one of the reasons I love photography so much.
One of my favorite memories with my Grandma Veronica was in her second floor bedroom helping her hang the laundry out the window on the clothesline outside. Memory is such a strange thing. This was the most ordinary of activities, a chore nonetheless, but just thinking about her, and that simple time together brings tears to my eyes. While I still have that memory etched in my heart and mind, I find myself grasping for the details of her bedroom, her home, and the moments we spent together during my childhood. Where was her jewelry stand I loved to look at- on her night table or on her dresser? What was the color of that soft quilt I remember poking my finger through? As time passes, and with very few photographs of her home, those details are getting harder to recall. I wish I had just one photograph of that room. But I don’t.
I am aware that so many memories are made in-home and as generations come and go, most of the possessions inside our homes will be gone as well, but our photographs will remain helping to tell our family stories and the details that leave their mark on our hearts. I love taking pictures in my home and in my clients’ homes as well. This month’s photo-tip will help you preserve the memories you never want to forget utilizing natural light within your home.
If you want pictures in your home, just go and find a window. Some homes are really dark and it is hard to take indoor pictures without flash, but if you have a window, and there is some daylight outside, then you can take a picture on any camera! Make sure to raise blinds and curtains and turn off lights in the home (artificial light can cause a color imbalance in your photos). Once you have your light source -the window- there are many ways to utilize that light. For a simple portrait of your child you can have them facing toward the window while playing legos, building blocks, doing anything really! Having your subject at a 45 degree angle with your window light will create part of the face lit and part in shadow which I personally really love for more depth and mood in my pictures. You can create a silhouette in the window by exposing for the brightest part of your scene where the shape of the subject will tell the story. If you have east or west facing windows with a lot of directional light, play around with the lines of light and shadows that come through the windows for some creative pictures.
Depending on how big, how many, and which direction your windows face in each room, will show you how far from the window you can get and still take your pictures. My challenge to you is to think about the ordinary but meaningful moments and spaces in your home that you never want to forget and utilize the natural light coming in through your windows to photograph them. Go make and take some memories and happy clicking friends!