Raise your hand if you are excited about summer! But what breaks my heart a little is that we only have a certain number of summers with them. I am always inspired by the long lazy days and want to capture it all. This year we are travelling to France as a whole family and I am looking forward to making memories with my kids and going on adventures.
You don't need to travel across the globe for amazing pictures. Just your everyday summer routine is worth capturing. So if you want to document with intent and need some inspiration, here are a few ideas you can try:
- Take one picture a day for 100 days or document ONE day. Think of all the things you do when you have more time from sunset to sunrise: your kids sleeping, breakfast, free play, screen time, water fun, ice cream treats and popsicles, flipflops... Think of the big picture (your summer house, a scenery, trees ...) and details (chipped nail polish on your daughter's hand), or milestones (birthday party, first swim alone ...) and in-between moments like long car-drives, hotel rooms, downtimes ...
At the end of the summer, make a book!
- Hand the camera to the kids. Let your kid do the work for you! It is always enlightening to have their point of view and express their creatively without words or not too much thinking. You can use different type of cameras: a cheap digital camera, one that goes underwater, or if you are the old-school type, a disposable camera! Just warn them that there is no instant gratification and that it can be pretty expensive. Use it with older kids, maybe.
- Journal with your kid. If you go on a trip, it is easy to describe the adventures and collect memorabilia from new places. It can be a family project where each family member shares the best things of the day. But even if you stay at home, there are still many things worth remembering: go on a nature walk, draw flowers, use prompts (what is your favorite thing to do in the summer? Write a poem about summer, who would you like to see this summer? ...). I usually do this with my daughter but now that she can read and write, I can't wait for this year's writings.
Usually what works best is to choose a beautiful notebook, get a special pen, markers, stickers, glitter etc. I have an instax mini that helps A LOT as well (Snap! Paste! Done!).
- Summer bucket list. If you need a list of things you want to accomplish this summer, then make a bucket list! It can be *only* about you, or things you want to do as a family or with the kids. It can be about places you want to visit or activities you would like to do. Invite friends, take your camera and go through your list.
Ideas for YOU: try a bright lipstick, dance the night away, swap flats for heels or wedges, swim at sunrise or midnight (skin-dipping anyone?), enjoy live music, do a cannonball off a dock, take a nap in a hammock, say YES, make a summer-music list, read a book ...
Ideas with your family/ kids: go to a carnival, listen to an outdoor concert, play in the sprinklers, watch fireworks, build a sandcastle, create your own lemonade stand, hold a hula hoop contest, go to a farmer’s market, get a temporary tattoo, send postcards ...
- Messages in a jar. All summer long, have all family members write a special memory of the day or a tiny moment, you can even write down Haikus (Japanese verse in 3 lines: line 1 has 5 syllables, line 2 has 7 and line 3 has 5 again). You will take notice of the little things that happen each day.
Examples found online:
Cabin in the woods.
Birds and bears and wily raccoons,
instead of my boss.
Grandpa taught us on the farm
more than our school does.
No light in the tent.
We lay quiet in the night.
A mosquito whines.
So this summer, try one idea or 2 from this blog, get inspired, make memories and document your days. You'll be so happy you did.
I have a documentary approach for photographing families so they can just slow down and enjoy the simple moment of being together. If you would like to see more of my recent family photography, head over to my Instagram account. I love to document the love (and tears) that go into family life, or managing a small business or a sweet reunion. Subscribe to my newsletter, I would love to have you there. xx