Click Love Grow Advanced Grad and mentor Emma Davis shows us today how to take beautiful bubble pictures of kids running around, playing, and enjoying some bubbly time!
I love to take pictures of my kids at the park — which is just as well given how much time we spend there! But sometimes my kids’ photography feels a bit the same old, same old, and my toddler loves bubbles. So every now and then, we mix things up a little with some bubble play!
Bubble wands are fun, but for maximum fun — and frames filled with bubbles — a bubble machine is definitely the way forward! We picked up ours at Kmart for around $10, but you can also get them relatively cheaply on Amazon.
For the best pictures of bubbles, you’ll also need plenty of foam and bubble mix! There are tons of recipes available online.
My fave is this one because it’s super simple and I always have the ingredients available on hand (although hubby does occasionally ask why we seem to go through so much dishwashing liquid!) Plus, it makes consistent, reliable bubbles.
Don’t forget to store it in a bottle with a childproof cap!
There are a few things to consider when choosing the perfect location for your bubble pictures.
To start with, of course, you need more space than your average kids’ photography session! Lots of playing ground for your little one to chase all those glorious bubbles! We don’t have a backyard, but we are lucky enough to have several beautiful parks in our local area that make a lovely backdrop for images.
You need to make sure you have enough space for your little one to run around because those bubbles will go EVERYWHERE! I like to look for a nice, open space with a few trees or shrubs for framing. Trees also come in handy for hiding the bubble machine!
Related: Perfect Playground Photos
Bubbles are an activity that works best when there’s not too much wind. Otherwise, the bubbles will disperse too quickly. You’ll need a flat spot to stand the bubble machine on, ideally either behind a tree or just out of frame, so it’s hidden. It’s much easier to hide it in camera than to clone it out of every single photo in Photoshop later!
Your little ones will no doubt be racing around trying to catch bubbles, so you’re going to need a fast shutter speed for this activity!
Related: Capturing Kids in Motion
Think about different angles and perspectives you can use to tell the whole story. Get up close and capture the joy on those little faces, then take a step back to capture the entire scene.
Look for elements in the environment around you to use for layering and framing, and consider which angles to use to frame out any background clutter.
I love the sense of scale here — how small my little guy and the bubbles look against the trees.
Related: 12 Tips for Photographing Toddlers
So what if your final shots don’t quite have enough bubbles to fill the frame the way you envisioned they’d look? Well, then it’s time to get creative in Photoshop!
I have a few different bubble overlays I like to experiment with, and Etsy has some good quality but relatively inexpensive ones. All Things Precious and MixPixBox are two of my favourite sellers for overlays, textures, and backgrounds.
The trick when using a bubble overlay is to make it look realistic. You want to accentuate what’s already there without overdoing it. Make sure the bubbles you add in your pictures are a similar colour, size and opacity to the bubbles that are already there. Also, make sure they’re moving in the same direction so they look natural. And don’t go overboard! Most bubble overlays are a full frame of bubbles, but you can use a layer mask to choose where you want the bubbles to appear.
If you’re new to Photoshop, or the idea of using textures, backgrounds and overlays freaks you out a little bit, I’m mentoring CLG’s next Creative Workshop — Discovering Photoshop. I’ll be teaching you how to use these fantastic tools to add an extra level of magic to your bubble pictures and not only.
Check out the workshop details at the end of this post!
Would you believe there were only two measly bubbles in this original shot?!
Emma Davis is a CLG Advanced Grad with a background in journalism and photography, a Kiwi expat based in Sydney, and mum to six gorgeous muses who indulge her love of hunting and capturing light.
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