Summer Fun in the Low Country

Brother and sister exploring outdoors and climbing tree in the summer vacation
Brother and sister exploring outdoors and climbing tree in the summer vacation

This month we packed our bags and the cameras and took a road trip to South Carolina to photograph and video some summer fun.

Here we caught up with a great family who were enjoying their school vacation in the great outdoors. The beautiful natural environment with big trees and expanses of water are the ideal playground for adventurous, brave, energetic kids to explore and learn just by being themselves.

Summer fun would not be complete without friends, brothers and sisters to share it with. This family of four took us to their grandparents home where they love to be. A tree swing, a big grass area to run around and a wooden boat dock jutting over the river was the perfect location for our photography.

We took along some props for the kids to have fun with. Some bubbles, water bombs and juicy watermelon were introduced intermittently. By doing this the kids response was real. Laughter, expressions and spontaneity where there to capture in the camera.

The really wonderful thing about these kids is their desire to be outdoors. They are not afraid to run barefoot, get dirty feet, swim in the lake and climb trees.

During a location scout we found a friendly neighbour who had a fallen tree in her backyard. It stretched across a muddy dyke where pieces of wood had been placed making precarious bridges. Having made sure it was safe ( Gary’s excuse for crossing the bridges and climbing on the tree trunk) we brought the kids to the tree and let them loose. Their pleasure at discovering a new adventure was exciting. Off came the flip flops and bare footed they explored their capabilities.

Back at the dock they amazed us once again by fearlessly jumping into the river, climbing higher as they gained confidence. It was refreshing to watch their support and encouragement of each other as their held hands and leapt to the count of three.

Of course Mum was at hand for these moments and no one was pressured out of their comfort zone.

Due to the great light in the early morning we were able to use minimal equipment. For stills a Canon 5dmk3 with a bit of handheld strobe light to kick light into shadows and for film a Canon 1dc shooting 4K and a hand held reflector.

Regardless of how much attention we paid to photographic equipment, propping and styling the best ingredient for this shoot was undoubtedly the kids themselves.

See a link here to more images.

Girls with dreams

Girl puts robot head on boy in the woods
Girl puts robot head on boy in the woods

Girls with dreams came to life when we took a few kids and some junk, mixed them up with some creativity, sprinkled some imagination and topped it off with a bit of fun.

We wanted to capture the belief that ‘Girls with dreams become women with vision’ and to show that boys AND girls can have the same ambitions and dreams.

Big brands have been using advertising to spread a message to blur the gender stereotype that often shows males in for example, the mechanical or science industries . The  Verizon’s Inspire Her Mind commercial highlighting girls and science and countless others show that female empowerment has become a significant focus in corporate marketing

For this shoot we cast a few kids aged between 4 and 10, both male and female. Wanting a large play area outdoors to enhance the children’s creativity and imagination we revisited a location we were familiar with belonging to a friend, this wooded area is  her back garden! The kids were local people who knew each other so a good relationship from the start. We made a few props and to start with briefed them that they were to build a robot. Then it became apparent that kids are best if left alone to explore and discover. They made the scenes better, interacted with each other and equally shared the ‘ inventer’ role and the robot role between boys and girls. In a candid way of shooting we watched and clicked away the real things happening. Sometimes it was necessary to get them to repeat something really good…they were happy to oblige!

This shot started a the girl building her robot in the garage then taking it to the woods. She ‘pretended’ to direct it left, right, straight ahead with simple commands. Malfunctions with a loose head meant she had to keep making adjustments which is when this was captured.