Your fourth of July photos don’t need to be expensive or involve sourcing a dozen expensive or hard to find props!
We LOVE the styled set ups that we see in the CLG community… but not everyone has the time, the money, or the mad styling skills to pull it off! (Hello Pinterest fail!).
So for those of you who (like me) love simple and thrifty, we’ve sourced ten of the best ideas we could find to help you take your own fourth of July photos without the overwhelm!
Source: Mandy Ringe Photography
If you have one of these radio flyer wagons, yaay! All you need is some flags to stick in the ground, a gorgeous field like this, and you’re good to go!
If you don’t already have one, you might want to invest in one. They’re not overly expensive, and kids of all ages love them! They’re also fantastic for containing older babies and toddlers who are hard to capture.
Alternatively, substitute it for a 3 wheeler bike, a wooden chair, a crate… basically anything you can sit on that is either neutrally coloured or… yes, red white or blue!
This idea is simple and incredibly striking! Easy? Tick! Inexpensive? Tick! Looks awesome? Tick!
If your backyard doesn’t look like this… find an open field in a large park or reserve.
As it’s open sky, you’re subject to harsh light. So aim to shoot during the golden hours – that’s the hour or two after sunrise and before sunset. At this time the sun is low in the sky, and filtered by the horizon giving you a much softer light which is more flattering to your subject.
If you place it behind them, you’ll get even light on their face and avoid squinting.
Related: Golden Hour Photo Tips
Source: The Crazy Craft Lady
Source: Think Make Share Blog
Source: The Country Chic Cottage
Source: See Vanessa Craft
With gorgeous backdrops like these, who needs more props?
Seriously though, adding anything other than your subject will create a lot of clutter in your photo and it can be quite jarring. You know what they say… less is more!
Just add your little subjects, dress them in something very simple (red, white and blue of course!) and go for it!
If you’re crafty… go you! Follow the links to these ideas for the DIY how-to. If not… try Etsy!
Hang your backdrops from a tree, with light coming in from behind (see our previous tip about golden hour shooting when the sun is low in the sky). Then use your settings to create some beautiful bokeh – you know those beautiful spots of light you see in professional photos?
Related: How to Take Bokeh Photos
Alternatively, hang it indoors against a white wall for a really pared back, light and airy photo style.
Source: Hello My Love
One inexpensive helium balloon (you might want to buy 2 or 3, just in case of accidental popping!), one white wall, one cute kid. That’s it.
This shot is a perfect example of what we’re always saying… simple is striking. Less is more. All that.
Getting down to their eye level is of the easiest and most effective things you can do to level up your photos instantly! This is one of those tips all professional photographers learn very early on. It makes it easier to engage the child, and easier to create a connection between subject and viewer.
Related: Get Down to Their Level
Source: Studio DIY!
Another way to use balloons for a simple and effect shot.
In fact you could seriously pull this one off with coins! Balloons, streamers, novelty glasses… it doesn’t get much cheaper and you could source it all from a dollar store or reject shop.
A wide angle lens was made for shots like this. They allow you to get in close while still including the environment. As an added bonus, the slight distortion adds an element of fun.
Try shooting with anything from 24mm to 35mm.
Related: Wide Angle Lens Fun
Source: 5 Minutes for Mom
That’s right, I said spray chalk. If you’re familiar with sidewalk chalk photos, this is next level! It’s a spray… and it’s chalk! I know right? And don’t worry… it washes away with the hose!
Perspective is the key to success for this type of shot. It won’t work if you are standing at an angle, or using a long lens. You need to get up high – stand on a stool if you have to – and shoot directly down with a wide angle lens.
Also a word on safety… make sure you use your camera strap when you’re elevating yourself and shooting down. When you’re looking through the viewfinder it can be easy to lose your balance, and you definitely don’t want to drop your camera on your subject.
Source: Laura DiBernardino-Tilly
Source: Lisa Burch, LMB Photography
Source: Melanie Nebbeling
The elements are simple… some red white and blue clothing, hair accessories, add a flag print headscarf as backdrop if you like. Then shoot it like a regular portrait!
Soft light is perfect for portraits as its flattering to our subjects and easy to use. You’ll find it in open shade such as under porches or in gazebos, in doorways or even garage doorways.
Source: Martha Stewart
Get into the festive spirit and try some light painting with sparklers and glow sticks!
You’ll need to be shooting in manual mode so that you can fully control your settings, because a very slow shutter speed is needed to capture the writing from start to finish.
Iyou’re not yet in manual mode, try this…
Related: Get out of Auto Mode
But if you’re reasonably confident in manual mode, try this tutorial for a step-by-step guide on capturing writing with sparklers and glow sticks.
Related: How to Take Sparkler Photos
Source: Parents Magazine
The can toss idea is extra rewarding, because it begins with creating the RW&B cans… and that’s something you can involve the kids in! I’m all for anything that entertains the kids in the holidays without screens!
Set up in nice light… if you can’t find soft light during the day in an space big enough for the game, wait until late in the day and start during the golden hour!
Think outside the square – any game can be a fourth of July themed photo shoot if you can incorporate red white and blue. Think skittles, bean bag toss, ball games…
Source: Yesenia Cortez
Source: Thomas Wade Photography
Source: Vanessa Hicks Photography
Source: Brittney Diane Photography
Source: Kristeen Marie
When you use fun food that kids love to eat, in red, white & blue, you’ll get some really natural smiles in your portraits!
The more summery the food, the better! Because what says fourth of July more than summer?
Source: Lash Next Door
Kids love this fun photo project! Substitute the usual glitter or confetti for red, white & blue and voila, fourth of July themed confetti portraits!
Related: How to Take Confetti Photos
We hope you loved these ideas for easy Fourth of July themed photo ideas! If you try any of them, please share them to Insta and tag us! We’d love to see the results #clicklovegrow
If you’re lucky enough to be heading to a fireworks display this year, try our tutorial How to Photograph Fireworks!
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