Of all the technological advancements that have occurred in my lifetime, I think the development of digital photography is my favourite. The invention of smartphones has put the ability to a snap a picture (and even edit it) at our fingertips at all times, and this has made it possible to create physical mementos of life’s fleeting moments in a way that was never possible before. I’m a big fan of appreciating the beauty in the everyday and practising gratitude for the little things, and I find taking pictures of all the good stuff in my life really helps me to do this. It’s hard not to feel content with your lot in life when you have so many beautiful reminders of the little joys that surround you.
So here are my five tips for using your camera to capture the joy of the ordinary:
I’ve always liked taking pictures and treasured my photographs. But I really started taking photos regularly when my partner and I began blogging in 2011. I am so grateful that we have captured so much of the last three years and only wish we had begun taking more pictures sooner. Make a point of taking photos, even of things that might seem trivial or unexceptional. You will be surprised by how fondly you might look back on these lovely ordinary things one day. To keep the picture-taking momentum up, it might also help to set a goal for yourself such as taking a photo a day.
Keep your eyes open
An amazing photograph can happen when you least expect it, so keep your eyes open to the world around you and try capturing unplanned and unposed moments, objects and scenes. A rainbow of gorgeous ingredients while you’re cooking dinner, frost on the grass when you leave for work in the morning, a spontaneous dance party with your children; these natural moments in time pass us by quickly and cannot be choreographed or planned. But their beauty is worth preserving.
Don’t worry about trying to take a ‘good’ photo
Not so long ago buying film and getting it processed was costly and time consuming and as result, photos were taken sparingly, mostly on special occasions with everyone posing and saying cheese. These days we don’t have to worry about the expense of film or hassle of getting photos developed. We can take photos to our heart’s content then simply delete the pictures that don’t turn out. In the digital era, there is no such thing as a wasted photograph, so snap away! And remember that practice makes perfect. The more pictures you take, the better your eye for a good shot will get.
Capture the details
Every day of our lives is a collage of a million flickering vignettes. Dew drops on the petals of a rose, the bow on a beautifully wrapped gift, steam curling off a delicious homemade cake fresh from the oven; these tiny details can sometimes better capture the mood and atmosphere of a much wider picture, so don’t be afraid to zoom in.
Remember to live in the moment, too
It is wonderful to capture life’s joys in picture form but it’s important to recognise when to put the camera down and just soak it all in. Don’t fall into the trap of living your life through your lens. The habit of photographing your everyday will teach you to better notice the beautiful, seemingly insignificant moments around you. So even when you don’t actually reach for the camera and take a picture, you will be more aware of them. Enjoy those moments!