Every spring we have the opportunity to embrace April showers and capture some amazing action photos of our kids puddle jumping! Get five candid photography tips below for snapping a terrific water action photo.
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April showers bring — yes, yes, we know — May flowers.
April showers also present the opportunity to say YES to puddle jumping.
Below are five family photography tips for capturing the joy of springtime puddle jumping.
It had been raining for days. DAYS. The minute the sun peaked out, the kids rushed out of the house and went straight for the enormous puddles. They immediately began to dance.
After about five minutes, I realized I was missing an opportunity to capture childhood. I ran back into the house to grab my camera. Look at that muddy water!
When I saw our neighbor sit in a mud puddle in a striped dress, I asked her, “Does your mom know you are out here?” She replied, “My moms at work, but my dad knows.” I just looked at her and smiled.
How to Get a Terrific Puddle Action Photo
Here are a few simple tips for capturing the joy of puddle jumping:
1. You want a candid photograph, so don’t interrupt.
Quietly get shots as your little one savors the joy of puddle jumping.
2. When doing lifestyle photography, you want to capture the details.
You don’t need an adorable face in every photo. Take pictures of details, too. Boots, splashes, dirty hands … get these precious details.
3. Pick the right camera setting for your action photo.
If you are shooting on auto with a point-and-shoot or DSLR camera, adjust your camera to a “sport” setting. Usually, this is represented by an icon of a person running. This will increase your shutter speed and help reduce blur in your photos!
4. Capture an action photo of the puddle’s movements too.
If you are shooting in manual with a DSLR, try to pump your shutter speed. You want to capture the motion of the water. It has a personality of its own. Also, if your kids are wiggle worms, like mine, be cautious of your aperture. I have a few shots that turned out poorly because my depth of field was off. These pictures were taken on a 50mm, ISO 800, f/3.2 and shutter speed of 1/1600 sec.
5. Action photos are great but don't forget to grab 15-seconds of ADORABLE.
If you are taking pictures with your smartphone, be sure to share a video on Instagram. What’s cuter than puddle jumping?!!
Bonus Real Life Photography Tip:
Don’t be afraid to “Say Cheese” at the end of your photo session. I strongly advocate a journalistic approach to capturing everyday moments of childhood, but there is nothing wrong with a traditional everybody look at the camera shot. My personal goal is to just ask for ONE of these with each session of pictures I take.
Look at that cute sweater dress completely soaked in mud! I ran into her mom later in the week and she asked, “Did your kids come in soaked to the bone, too?” She smiled and secretly admitted that she was glad her husband was home that afternoon rather than her. Sometimes as parents it is hard to say yes to puddles, to mud … to a mess.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: If you love taking puddle jumping action photos as much as I do, be sure to also check out our post on Summer Water Action Photography!
I am so thankful I grabbed my camera, so I could share photos of the lovely time her daughter had enjoyed. These pictures are all from the spring of 2013 and the trio of girls has already changed and grown. I am thankful to have captured such a magical afternoon.
I know the water is messy, but I encourage you to take a breath and say YES to puddle jumping.
Embrace the season. You won’t regret it.
P.S. I didn't forget!!! Check out these great printable Spring Photo Lists from two of my favorite photographers!
Spring Photo Lists
- Snap Happy Mama — PRINTABLE LIST
- Simple As That — PRINTABLE LIST
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