There is still snow on the ground for many of us, but the promise of spring is beckoning as March roars in. Already the days are getting longer and there are fewer grey days on the horizon, which means it’s time to start thinking about what to photograph this spring! After a long winter inside, your DSLR or point and shoot will be happy to get outside in the sunshine, and so will you. So what to shoot? Here are ten things to photograph this spring, why you should take a photograph, and how it will be different from last year or next year.
1. Your Kids Outside
Why you should: Well, you always want to photograph your kids! They are always doing something different, and it is usually adorable. As the weather gets a little warmer and they begin to spend more time outside go out with them and photograph them doing what kids do.
How it’s different: Your kids have grown since last spring, maybe a lot. If you take annual photos your kids will have keepsakes of the passing years as they continue to grow.
2. Your Garden
Why you should: Whether you garden flowers, vegetables, or just have a little landscaping, photographing the plants in your yard helps you reconnect with nature and create personally meaningful art. Look for small details in the plants. Repeating patterns of a flower, the veins of a leaf, or a new bud about to blossom. All of these signs of spring help rejuvenate the spirit.
Photos of your garden will also help with: Do you remember the bed of flowers you planted last year that looked great until mid-summer, and then spent the rest of the year looking like weeds? What was the type again? You would know if you had a picture!
3. Your City/Town
Why you should: People are outside, things are happening and buzzing in the spring. Going out to photograph your city or town helps create a connection. You will notice things you have passed by in the past. Amazing things happen when you go out with the intention to explore and photograph. You may even find a new restaurant or shop to go to.
How it’s different: Even old fashioned Main Street communities change every year; the diner that is here this year might be something else by the time next year rolls around.
Why you should: Self-portraits are one of the most difficult and technically challenging subjects in photography, and you can learn new skills just by making the attempt.
How it’s different: Be artistic and capture how you look today; just like your kids, you are changing and growing all the time.
5. People Watching
Why you should: Whether at the market, the mall, or the airport people watching is a fun pastime, and can create memorable photography.
How it’s different: Each time you people watch and photograph foot traffic, you will be capturing new people, new outfits, and new ideas!
6. Old Fashioned Businesses
Why you should: The delightfully tacky ice cream shops and motels some of us grew up with are rapidly disappearing; truly old fashioned institutions like drive-in movie theaters are at even greater risk.
How it’s different: Many of the buildings that were standing last year are already gone; what is year this year might be gone next spring.
7. Moving Water or Rain
Why you should: Besides being a technical challenge, photographing moving water creates stunning images with metaphors for spring. Be careful if you are heading out to photograph a rainstorm. Take precautions, but the result can be very interesting artistic work.
How it’s different: Be it a creek, river, waterfall, or something in between the same water is never going through twice, and the surroundings never look the same from year to year.
Why you should: Hardly anything tells us that spring has arrived like birds coming back with the warmer weather, and these vigorous creatures make interesting subjects. The simplest way to do this is to set up a bird feeder in your yard...preferably in an area close enough to you to get good photos of the birds...now it is just a waiting game.
How it’s different: Even if you are photographing a tame pet bird, you will never get the same shot twice; it’s rather like photographing children, come to think of it!
9. Spring Trip
Why you should: Even if your family only makes it out on a weekend to an amusement park, local attraction, or camping tip; you should record the fun memories to share with others who couldn’t be there. You can use your phone camera and your regular camera so that no details are left untouched.
How it’s different: No two trips are ever alike, and with your digital photography you can capture what makes each trip unique.
Why you should: Sunsets in spring are particularly sweet; the temperature is right, the light is fantastic, and rapid moving spring thunderstorms often create intense colors.
How it’s different: Really, whether you photograph a sunset in spring, summer, fall, or winter, it will never appear the same way a second time, so like the other things on this list it’s important to catch the amazing moments when they happen!