Summer is such a brilliant time to try new things and, for little ones, it's full of sensory experiences.
If, like me, you love taking every chance you can to get outside with the family, get creative with seasonal photos, and don't mind getting a little messy, here are the top five cheap (or free) experiences your little ones will love which will look fab on camera too. Whether you're using your phone or any other sort of camera, try these top tips this season.
1. Oh I do like to be beside the seaside
Summer photography is full of opportunities to show emotion as your little ones explore the textures around them, and the beach is a great place to capture this.
Through their eyes...
Zoom in to see things from their perspective - the first feeling of warm sand and freezing waves on your feet.
Through your eyes...
Zoomed out photos can help capture the overall mood and story of the moment. Before you take the photo, pause and check the composition, are you expressing the beauty of what you see?
When I see this photo of my daughter from a recent trip to the beach I'm immediately transported back to the feeling of that afternoon when we stumbled across a stunning abandoned beach that she couldn't wait to explore.
I thought very carefully about the position of the horizon and the sparse clouds, which I think makes her look like an explorer in an undiscovered landscape.
2. Cooling off with an ice cream (or frozen yoghurt for babies)
There's something so essentially summery about the pastel shades of ice cream, and they're a chance to get some happy expressions. Get in close to the ice cream (whether you're using a phone or camera) or crop the photo in an unusual way to focus on this happy feeling and the texture of those irresistible drips.
3. walks in the countryside
There are so many beautiful locations in Kent and Sussex to enjoy the summertime countryside. Get down low to take your photo to show the 'wide angle' view of a family walk like here at Knole Park, Sevenoaks.
4. exploring meadows
Always hunt for the best textures in your photos - in winter it's jumpers and knits and in summer it's got to be flowers like dandelion clocks and whispy grasses. At this time of year, different flowers and seeds are constantly coming in and out of season, and so you can even visit the same spot and find a completely different scene from one week to the next.
Why not incorporate a bug-hunting expedition too!
5. Trying their gardening skills...
Little ones love getting messy, and this is a great opportunity for summery shots... like little E here who decided the woodland floor just had to be explored!
Activities like growing vegetables from seed are also a great chance for a series of photos, from the process of planting the seeds, to their gradual growth, watering, harvesting and - the best bit - eating. Get creative with your shots and think about how you tell the story through your children's eyes - can you angle your camera over their shoulder as they busily work, or shoot upwards through the plants? This summer, we're growing strawberries and tomatoes and can't wait to enjoy the results.
What are your favourite photo moments on summertime family adventures? Share your best in the comments below.