Since we’re going through a bit of a heatwave and my daughter has been in the paddling pool every day, I thought I would share a quick tutorial on photographing your kids splashing in water. Whether they’re in the pool, jumping through the sprinkler or fountains, this heat is a great opportunity for some fun photos. Read on for my tips for capturing some splashy moments.
1. Seek the shade
I mention this in lots of my tutorials, but it’s so important that I’ll say it again! Whenever you’re photographing your children outdoors do what you can to avoid direct sunlight. Direct sunlight is very hard, and creates lots of contrast on your child’s skin, which is often seen as dark shadows and bright spots. On the other hand, light shade will generally a soft, even tone.
On a very sunny day it can be almost impossible to find a patch of shade. Our garden is full of very young plants and trees, and we have very little shade all day so I do understand how difficult it can be! In the case of the photos in this post, you can see that the sun is very bright, but because I took the photo late in the afternoon the sun is low in the sky. As she’s facing away from the sun and is shaded by the sides of the paddling pool, the sunlight isn’t falling directly on my daughter.
2. Play with your angles
Try different angles to capture the moment. I always advocate getting down low to your child’s level when you photograph them as it gives a more natural perspective, but if they are in a swimming pool or paddling pool it may not be possible. Try lots of different angles to see which works best.
3. Use a high shutter speed, and shoot in bursts to ‘freeze’ the splash
The thing that makes photographs of your children splashing in water, or running through sprinklers special is the ‘splash’ of the water – we want to freeze this to make it as crisp as possible. This is exactly the same as capturing any other movement, you need a fast shutter speed to do this. The other thing that will help you freeze the moment is shooting in burst mode – this is when your camera takes multiple photos in one go, meaning that it’s much more likely you’ll capture the moment.
Over to you
I’d love to hear how you get on with this – let me know in the comments below or over on my Facebook page.