overcoming everyday obstacles

by Kristen Ryan

Have you ever found yourself feeling bored, frustrated or creatively challenged because you have been shooting in the same space of your home time after time, day after day, maybe even month after month? Maybe you’ve been cooped up, or you’ve had lots of rainy days, or perhaps you are like me and have several young kids that could run off in different directions making it unsafe to explore beautiful outdoor locations without assistance. Well, I definitely relate. Over the last number of months as I have been shooting daily, I have frequently challenged myself to come up with new ways to shoot within my home.  Along the way I have learned several valuable lessons and taken away many helpful ideas for keeping the creativity and inspiration alive:

1. Watch the natural light in your home and look for light you might not have used before.

Maybe you think you’ve tried it all, but I challenge you to look for light you’ve overlooked or an angle you haven’t tried before.

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

Remember that the light changes throughout the day. Maybe there is a spot you can use on the weekend at a time you are gone during the week. As the seasons change, so does the light and the length of the days. Work to control the light with curtains, sheers, or blinds.

2. Experiment with light sources other than natural light.

When the sun goes down, don’t forget that there are many alternative light sources you can use creatively to produce amazing images. Light from lamps, iPads, laptops, flashlights, and speedlights are all at your disposal and create light in places where natural light does not exist. Move your light, or your subject, around until you are happy with the result.

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

3. Exhaust your perspectives.

Get close, frame through a doorway, get as low as you can, try a wide angle perspective, or shoot from above.

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

4. Get in the frame!

You have a cooperative and willing model at your disposal all of the time. Use yourself to experiment with a new technique, space, light, or just to change up your subject. And when you get in the frame with your kids, you may just see a cooperative and loving side of them show up.

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

5. Experiment with still life or macro.

These genres allow you to take your time, be creative and experiment with the light and composition until you achieve your desired result. Giving your more challenging subjects a break can re-energize both you and them!

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

6. Pick a day to focus on close-ups and details.

Focusing in on these details will help keep clutter out of the frame…without having to pick up!!

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

7. Move some furniture to utilize a space not usually available or to change up the environment.

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

8. If you have an assortment of lenses pick a lens you don’t usually use (lensbaby, macro, wide angle, etc.) and challenge yourself with just that lens for the day!

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

9. Capture a real moment!

Genuine emotion and connection is never redundant!

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

10. Let your child choose what you do for the shoot.

If your subject is truly on board, no doubt you’ll get memorable images you love, regardless of how many times you’ve shot there before! I have taken a zillion images in my master bedroom on my bed. But given the option, my kids will always choose my bed for a shoot because it’s a spot where they relax and have lots of fun.

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

overcoming everyday obstacles photo

overcoming everyday obstacles photoKristen Ryan
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Kristen is an enthusiastic hobbyist photographer from the suburbs of Chicago where she resides with her husband and 4 young children. Her passion lies in capturing the real moments and genuine emotion of childhood as well as the beauty of everyday. She’s a Nikon girl, armed with a D800 and an assortment of lenses. In addition to being a photographer, she’s a harpist, runner, tennis player and loves coffee, pizza, red wine, and anything chocolate.

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46 Responses to “overcoming everyday obstacles”

  1. Addie
    Jul 29 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Fantastic article, Kristen!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 3:38 pm #

      Thanks Addie :)

  2. Jul 29 2013 at 11:34 am #

    Great reminders and tips, Kristen! I need to do some of these!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 3:38 pm #

      Thank you Tricia!

  3. Kerri
    Jul 29 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Great tips! I esp. like the one about letting your child choose the shot. Thank you, Kristen :)

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 3:39 pm #

      Thanks Kerri! Yes, I think it makes them more enthusiastic…at least some of the time ;)

  4. Jul 29 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    Love the second shot of the little boy on the floor. Great perspective! Great article!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 3:39 pm #

      Thanks Roberta :)

  5. Kristen Lester
    Jul 29 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    Great tips, Kristen!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 3:40 pm #

      Thanks Kristen ;)

  6. Jul 29 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    I loved this article!! Really helps me think of some ways to change it up since I’ve hit “the doldrums” in my 365 right now.

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 3:40 pm #

      Thanks Sarah! Hope it helps you find some new inspiration!!

  7. Jul 29 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Love Kristen!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      Thanks Elise!

  8. Jul 29 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Love Kristen!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      Thank you Mickie :)

  9. Jeanie Shea
    Jul 29 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    Lovely. You opened my eyes. Thank you.

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 3:42 pm #

      Thanks Jeanie ;) So happy it was helpful to you!

  10. Jul 29 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Great tips Kristen!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 9:36 pm #

      Thank you Amy

  11. Billie-Jo
    Jul 29 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    Such great tips and I so love your images. I especially love #4 and the last one.
    Thank you Kristen x

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 9:37 pm #

      Thanks Billie-Jo!

  12. Julie
    Jul 29 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    Such great advice and inspirational images! Thank you Kristen!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 9:37 pm #

      Thanks Julie :)

  13. Melissa Anderson
    Jul 29 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Great article Kristen!!!!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 9:38 pm #

      Thanks Melissa ;)

  14. Proud Mom
    Jul 29 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    Nice article Kristen :) xoxo

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 9:38 pm #

      Thanks Mom ;)

  15. Kristin Dokoza
    Jul 29 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    Perfect reminders!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 29 2013 at 9:38 pm #

      Thank you Kristin :)

  16. Azka
    Jul 29 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Great post Kristen, loved reading it! LOVE your work!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 30 2013 at 10:11 am #

      Thank you so much, Azka!

  17. Jul 29 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Love this!!!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 30 2013 at 10:11 am #

      Thanks Carla!! :)

  18. Jessica Reischel
    Jul 30 2013 at 12:31 am #

    OMG Kristen! These images are just fantastic!!!!! I went back to look to pic a favorite. Can’t do it. So much fun!!!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 30 2013 at 10:12 am #

      awww, thank you Jessica :)

  19. Jul 30 2013 at 7:59 am #

    fantastic tips, kristen… and i loved seeing all your beautiful photos too!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 30 2013 at 10:12 am #

      Thank you Jodi ;)

  20. Jul 30 2013 at 11:25 am #

    thanks so much! great tips!

    • Kristen Ryan
      Jul 30 2013 at 6:38 pm #

      Thanks Kim!

  21. Bree H
    Jul 30 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    Fantastic article, Kristen, and gorgeous images as always <3

  22. Erin Bremer
    Aug 04 2013 at 8:41 am #

    Love this article, and your images are beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  23. Aug 04 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Great article, Kristen. You’ve given so many wonderful tips and new ways to freshen up our images. Loved you images – gorgeous as always. <3

  24. Kim Peterson
    Aug 08 2013 at 11:46 am #

    Wow!! These are great tips and the most gorgeous/emotive images ever!!!!!

  25. Jessica Reischel
    Sep 02 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Kristen! Thank you for the lovely reminder! These images are breath taking!

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  1. Sunday Links - My Life - Aug 11 2013

    [...] post over a Clickin Moms about Overcoming Obstacles had me thinking about my photography journey.  I really want to start at 365 or a Project 52. But [...]

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