smiling child playing on a swing

Photography Tips

7 Top Tips for Capturing Everyday Life’s Beautiful Moments

23rd April 2019

It’s easy to feel as though our own everyday lives are mundane and uninteresting, but whatever your normality may be, photography can help you look at it with fresh eyes. Each day we’re presented with endless photo opportunities – from the spontaneous moments that pass as quickly as they came, to the little aspects of a daily routine that we’re so accustomed to – and the best part is that you don’t need fancy equipment or exotic surroundings to capture them!

Read on for our guide to seeking out those beautiful photo opportunities in everyday life.

Set yourself a theme to follow

A sure-fire way to be more mindful of what you see every day is by keeping your eyes peeled for a specific theme for you to photograph. Why not try, for example, choosing a colour and documenting the objects, scenes and details you see of that colour – it could be a small patch of purple flowers growing by the side of the road or a pair of purple shoes worn by someone on your daily commute. This is a great way to develop a stylised Instagram feed and keep your followers engaged: – changing up your theme each week for a new colour or style keeps your feed looking fresh and your audience ready for more.

purple flowers growing alongside a path

Make use of the resources you have

It’s a really common misconception that you have to visit wonderful places and own expensive equipment to take the very best pictures, but we’re strong advocates for the fact that anyone can take a stunning photo anywhere, using just what they’ve got. Once you’ve identified the shot you would like to take, you can use traditional photography techniques to take it up a notch and get that spectacular image you’re after. Light and composition really are your best friends here, so if you need a helping hand, it’s a good idea to brush up on techniques such as the rule of thirds. It’s also helpful to make use of natural light, so you might want to try photographing during golden hour and blue hour, which can produce some really unique results.

a field with a stream beneath a golden sunset

If something makes you happy – snap it!

A good photograph conveys emotion, and if you come across something that evokes happiness in you, chances are it’ll have the same effect on your audience! When something catches your eye, try your best to capture it just how you see it, allowing you to preserve that small moment of happiness for you and others to enjoy time and time again. Even if you’re sure it won’t be the most professional-looking photo or it doesn’t fit with your usual photography style, give it a go and keep your own record of the small happy moment you enjoyed. You could even try collating them over time and creating your own book of happiness! (Top tip – we think Small Square Photo Book is perfect for this)

a happy dog paddling at the beach

Investigate your surroundings

Arguably the best place to start your quest to capture life’s little nuances, the area in which you live is likely to be rich in stimuli and full of examples of everyday life. As we’ve learnt from street photographer Kiran Bhamra Cox, exploring your locality and documenting exactly what it shows can be equally as rewarding as it is revealing. Kiran’s warts-and-all approach to street photography in his hometown of Southall offers a realistic glimpse into his area, depicting exactly what it is to live there. Kiran’s photography really gives you the sense of being transported to the location through his images, giving his audience a real feel for the atmosphere. Read more about Kiran’s photography and see some of his top tips here.

a black and white street scene showing a policeman leaning against a wall

Got a lot on your plate?

We know how photography can take you right back to a moment or situation – the smells, the sights… and even the tastes! Next time you sit down to eat, before you grab your cutlery, try reaching for your camera instead. Food photography has rocketed in popularity in recent years, particularly on social networks such as Instagram, and we can really see why. As you manage to capture each element of the dish along with its individual texture and colour, you’ll be creating a well put-together photo as well as a visual reminder of that tasty meal you enjoyed. Again, remember to use techniques such as the rule of thirds and try altering your camera settings to manipulate the image and create different visual effects. Even beans on toast can look great with a photographer’s eye!

a person taking a photograph of some plated tacos

Seek out patterns and uniform objects

There’s something undeniably aesthetically pleasing about well-arranged objects and neat patterns, giving you the opportunity to produce a stunning image from virtually anything. As you go about your day, keep your eyes peeled for visual elements that show order and regularity – it could be a row of trees, perfectly painted road markings or even something as simple as the salt and pepper pots on your table. Think about how you can manipulate the light to create shadows or try photographing from a different angle to gain a new perspective. Uniformity and symmetry can be found virtually anywhere you look and, with a creative approach, you can produce high-quality, professional shots from objects you see every day.

four yellow luggage trolleys lined up at the airport

Capture people in action

If you’re in a public place, you’re likely to find a subject for your next shot wherever you turn but as always, when photographing people, it’s important to remember a few key rules. Always be respectful of your subject, make sure you don’t intrude on their privacy and (this one we can’t stress enough) always ask permission from your subject. What’s vital about people photography is the authenticity of the shot – whilst it can be tempting to ask your subject to pose for a photo, it can often be more natural and authentic if they aren’t anticipating the shot. Don’t be afraid to interact with your subjects and, if necessary, ask them to carry out an action that you can then capture. Be sure to pick out those moments that show genuine emotion!

a candid shot of a family enjoying a picnic on the beach

As you go about your daily life, you’re bound to come across all kinds of photo opportunity, and we’d love to see the pictures you come up with! Let us know how you get on with everyday life photography, and be sure to share your photos with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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