Great Springtime Photo Projects for Your Family

By Carrie Waller

Challenge your family to go out and photograph the beautifully unique aspects of summer, such as seasonal plants, coastal activities and silly family portraits.

With the warm weather starting to take hold across most of the US, this is a good time to challenge your family to capture the season with their cameras. From photographing silly moments on the beach, to documenting favorite spring and summer activities, these seven photo projects will have you up and on your feet in the sun in no time.

foliage

Step 1

Make the most of all the emerging plant life and blossoming trees around you by grabbing your camera and hitting the soil or sand. One way to really boost these particular seasonal photographs is to increase the saturation when editing the final images on your computer. This makes the colors of the leaves or flowers natural focal points within the picture.

Saturation-adjustment tools may vary by image-editing program. Adobe Photoshop Elements, for instance, has a saturation slider that you slide to make colors more vivid or more muted.

Tip

Try photographing on a cloudy day since harsh sunshine could create distracting variations in light and shadowed areas.

beach portrait

Step 2

We've all seen posed family portraits on the beach, so try thinking outside of the box this year. Grab your camera as your family heads off to the sandy coastline, and follow them around snapping candid images as you go. These everyday moments and movements can be just as meaningful as seeing everyone smile right into the camera, if not more so.

seasonal bike riding

Step 3

Springtime and summer are rife with fun activities, so document the excitement with a "Day in the Life" project. As you and your family set off to indulge in anything from a bike ride to a pool day, take your camera along and snap photos all throughout the excursion. Imagine all of the fun memories you could capture by keeping your camera close during a day filled with family meals, beach fun, and sunny lounging.

beach bonfire

Step 4

Once you feel comfortable with operating your camera, it's time to start thinking creatively about composition—that is, how you set up the photo in your viewfinder. For example, try photographing outdoor family meals from afar so that you capture the entire landscape.

Tip

The rule of thirds is a popular photography composition trick. To ace this idea, mentally separate the image in your viewfinder into thirds, and place your subject in any one of the three sections. This instantly makes your photo a bit more interesting than had you simply centered the activity in the middle of the photograph.

blue sky building

Step 5

Because the season is typically full of sunny days and sometimes cloudless skies, take advance of that crystal clear natural blue background. Set out with your family to document the interesting architecture around you by crouching down low and pointing your camera towards the sky. This will place your subject against the saturated blue color, which makes for striking images nearly every time.

fly fishing flies

Step 6

Another way to think creatively about your compositions is to photograph summer family activities using the macro setting on your camera, or by using a macro lens. When you photograph things like meal preparation, afternoons spent fishing and even sand castle building up close, they become really interesting portraits of your family's favorite summer memories.

fun summer portrait

Step 7

The springtime and summer months are often considered to be the most fun season of the year, so play into that idea with out-of-the-box portraits of your family. Get silly and goofy when photographing your subjects. If your subject is looking a little stiff when smiling into the camera, ask them to laugh a little. Even if the laughter is forced at first, the goofy moment will usually bring out a real-life grin that will show through in your family photos.