Being creative is a huge part of who I am, and I love sharing my passion for art with the girls. They truly love it as much as I do, and I am always amazed as to what they create and come up with! We have an art space that's always accessible to them. Since we've moved so many times in the last few years, we've actually had to get pretty creative on how we store our supplies. We've had everything from a whole cart dedicated to supplies, to just a small bin that corrals our favorite things and is kept somewhere easy to access, like our dining table. Our current set up is actually my favorite. We have a small cabinet right off of our kitchen that we use to store the staples. Then outside in our garage, we have an entire shelf that stores all of the rest of it. I pull stuff out and set it in the cabinet weekly because I notice they love crafting more if there are new materials to use. We also leave this cake stand on our dining table with some of our most frequently used items. The girls love how easy it is to get to, and I love not having to help them pull stuff out every time they want to draw/paint/cut/glue, etc... As much as I love crafting with them, I love documenting the girls being creative, so I wanted to share some of my favorite ways I do this.
cake stand // trays // pretty mason jars
1) Start with great light: As with ALL photography, this is the most imperative part of the equation. If your home doesn't have great light, set them up in an area that does. Most of our every day art takes place in our dining room, but it's actually probably the darkest part of our house. If I want to take pictures of them working on something, I'll set them up in our living room where we have a giant window that lights up the whole space. If you're worried about messes, just set them up on a cookie sheet like the ones pictured above. We do almost everything in these trays. They contain spills, corral beads, and keeps the mess in a space that can just be chucked in the dishwasher when they're done. Mom win! (invest in good ones that aren't flimsy like these Nordic Ware ones.)
hex jars // crayola watercolors
2) Play with different angles: This is one of my favorite tips because I love getting creative here. My favorite way to document my children doing art is from above. I love being able to see what they're working on and to see their tiny hands at work.
But I also love shooting from below to capture their expressions while they're working. Amelia always sticks her tongue out while she's working, and it's one of my favorite ways to see her.
3) Shoot the details: I love getting some detail shots of all the gorgeous colorful supplies. Crayons, bright like candy, colored pencils in every shade you can think of. I love it all, and bonus points if you catch chubby little hands reaching for something. I'll often times ask the girls to point to their favorite color, or to grab the pencil they like best. On a side note, our favorite brand of watercolors are Crayola washables. They are so vibrant and wash right off hands and clothes. We use non-washable palettes as well, but they stain clothes, so I prefer Crayola's most.
(I love including animals in our art supplies because the girls will create playscapes for them and have whole "lands" with these animals. They sometimes paint the figures with washable paint, which provides tons of quiet time in our house. Our favorite animals that we play with are by Toob.)
4) Shoot wide. As much as I love honing in on the details, I also love to back up and take a picture of the bigger picture. Again, since our dining room doesn't have the best light, I'll often pull then into our living room to frame then in our window with better light.
5) Shoot the mess & frame with hands: Ok, this is kind of two parts in one bullet point here, but don't forget these! Shoot the mess because oftentimes, it's beautiful. (And if you're working on cookie trays, it's not stressful to clean up!) Also, ask them to hold their masterpieces. Usually my girls are beaming with pride and love holding up whatever it is they've just made to show me. I love seeing how small their hands are when they're holding their artwork.
crayola tempura paints
6) Think outside the box: Ok, I lied. There are 6 ways in this post, and number 6 might actually be my favorite. Don't be confined to one spot for your artwork. Take your supplies outside, in your living room, or one of our favorite places, the bath tub! My girls ADORE when they get to paint in the bath tub. We used washable tempura paints, and they came off the tiles and their suits with no trouble at all.
So there you have it! Our set up, and the way I document them! I hope you take some pictures of your littles being creative!