06 | right now with teens

One of the biggest things that I struggle with in taking photos of my teens is what on earth am I going to take photos of? We talked last week about how to handle photographing the same thing every day/week and this week were talking a bit on finding those little moments in your day to photograph.


We’ve discussed how photographing your teen is so very different than when they were little. We just took a ton of photographs because they were just cute all the time. Teens aren’t cute all the time. They just aren’t. And finding those moments to photograph where they’re being adorable is hard. So you need to remind yourself that isn’t what you’re looking for. You’re helping them (and you) document their days, their lives. And our days are filled with little moments. Things that we don’t think we need to pull out our camera for, things we might think are silly to take photos of. Things that they most definitely will think we’re being silly for photographing. But you’ve gotten them on your side with this new way of taking photos and you’ve thought about areas to focus on taking photos…but now you’re stuck.

My favorite tip - what are you currently doing? What’s going on right now? When you’re going about your day, stop and think. What are we doing? How is this important in telling the story of our everyday lives? And take a photo. Be creative, look at the 10 tips to documenting the same thing everyday for some ideas on how to get creative with your shots.

What we’re doing right now

  • what are we eating - has someone decided to be a vegetarian? Is someone on a huge cereal kick and that’s all that they’ll eat? Do you have a giant child getting up at 11pm for second dinner like I do?

  • what are we playing - board games, video games on the tv or on your phone? Is there someone in your house always playing pranks on someone? What are we doing for fun around the house or out in the world?

  • what are we reading - books, magazines etc…digital readers or paper books? Do you have a teen with their nose always in a book? Trips to the library or stacks of books everywhere? These are great images to get to remember something that they are passionate about.

  • what are we talking about - get photos of your kids talking to each other, I love looking back on photos of my kids carrying on conversations all on their own. Kids talking with parents or friends or other family members…get them while they aren’t looking, peek in on those little moments.

  • what are we practicing - instruments or sports? What are the things that our kids are working on every day? Have a new driver like I do? The photo above of him gripping the wheel as I’m panicking in the passenger seat is a memory I don’t want to forget. There are many things that our teens practice to get better at…you might be missing something you aren’t even aware of.

  • what are we listening to - do your kids always walk around with at least one earbud in? Are they playing records in their rooms? What is the music of choice in their cars? Are they on itunes or spotify (a screenhot of a current playlist is always fun)? What images can you get that tell the story of their taste in music right now?

  • what are we watching - sports or movies or tv shows? Do you have someone with their face buried in Netflix or someone that is addicted to Impractical Jokers? What about someone who loves going to the movies and always gets a photo of their tickets and their feet showing the crazy theater carpet…just my daughter? Ok.

  • what are we working towards - I love this one. What big goals and dreams do your kids have? Have you asked them? What are they striving for? Do they want to make their varsity football team? Maybe they’re working hard at getting their grades to be amazing so that getting into college is a slam dunk. Are they writing or drawing, working towards getting into a specific program in college? Are they getting up for 5am practices so that they can swim faster than anyone on their team? Working towards getting the lead in the school play or working at perfecting their free throw shot and shovel the driveway just to get more shots? There is likely something that your teen is working towards, take some time and find out what that is. Celebrating the journey along with the achieving the goal is so important to showing them how proud you are of all of their hard work.

These little everyday moments are what our memories are made up of…they’re the things that we’ll miss, that we will look back on fondly. Don’t let them slip by…be present in these moments and snap a pic or two to remember them by. Looking for some inspiration? Find a few instagram accounts that you love and look closely at what speaks to you about those images. What are other people documenting about their lives and how? I love looking back on my instagram recaps to see the little moments in our lives.