I am a full time first grade teacher, and the mother of two busy kids. There are many different techniques and tools I will pull out of my bag of tricks to keep pushing myself to shoot creatively every day.
One fun way to find inspiration to shoot, is using literature and film as inspiration. This is also a wonderful opportunity to include your family in your creative process.
Start paying attention to the lighting when you are watching movies or TV shows. I find myself mesmerized by beautiful light while I am watching TV ever since I learned photography. Watch old movies, or TV shows to find something that may trigger a memory.
Ask your children who their favourite author is, or favourite book. Look for scenes you are able to recreate with them from one of the stories. A fan favourite at home and in my classroom, is anything by Robert Munsch.
Another classic children’s book “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein inspired me to recreate its’ cover. There are lots of different ideas about what the moral of this story is. I like to go with the idea that the story is about how we need to value relationships over material things or gains. That we need to be generous and giving in a relationship (not just one sided).
Every June I read the story “Hey, Little Ant” by Phillip and Hannah Hoose. I love how the story has an open ended ending. We are left wondering what happens. I always ask my students what they would do, would they squish the ant? This is what inspired my next photo. I used my GoPro Hero 6 (black) to get down real low to get a shot of my son with his foot up. What do you think? Did he squish the ant, or did he let it go?
The next image was inspired by the story “The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig. I love this story, and read it to my class each year. It is about Brian, a boy who feels invisible at school. The illustrator (Patrice Barton) brilliantly draws Brian in black and white throughout the story, until near the end when Brian starts to feel less invisible. By the end of the story, Brian is illustrated in full colour.
Teaching first grade Science, I find that Magic School Bus episodes are great to help reinforce some of the concepts we learn throughout the year. This inspired me to dress up as our favourite animated educator “Ms. Frizzle”.
My family LOVES Halloween. Every Summer we are thinking about and trying to decide on what or who we can all dress up as. My husband is also a huge Horror film buff. So of course I jump at the opportunity to help create using inspiration from him. Here are a couple of my favourite.
You do not need to recreate scenes from literature or films. Sometimes watching a film or show will leave you with an overall feeling. Same with reading a book. Take that emotion you are feeling and use it to create something. The next photo I created after re-watching an old favourite of mine “13 going on 30”. I just love the essence of Jennifer Garner playing a 13-year-old Jenna. The feeling of innocence and carefree, free spiritedness reminded me so much of my own daughter, we created this.
Speaking of overall feelings, who loves Stranger Things? I’m obsessed with the retro feels of the music and visuals. The feelings of nostalgia taking over my senses. This is what inspired me to create the next photo. I actually borrowed an old 80’s bike from my aunt, and borrowed my best friend’s adorable boys as well (Thanks Jayne!xo).
One evening, my daughter and I decided to have just a “girl’s night”. I did her hair and nails, and we watching “Little Women” together. This film inspired me to create the next image.
My son is so sweet and loving. He is also loud, free and a tad on the wild side. He inspired me to shoot this Peter Pan “Lost Boys” themed portrait.
You can find inspiration anywhere; you just have to look for it! If you want some more ideas or inspiration on how to keep shooting creatively, check out my new course here: