The top 8 not-to-be-missed playground shots to grab during this, ‘playground season’

Ok – is it just me or does back-to-school time also mean cozy-nesting time? The air is cooling off (thankfully – after that crazy Toronto humidity last week!!!) and I’m feeling that annual nesting instinct. Staying close to home and cozying up for fall; re-establishing routines, relocating blankets for evening Netflix binges, and reacquainting myself with what it feels like to wear socks! Anyone else??

The kids are coming home from their days tired and there is a lot of down time, but they still need to run around and have fun – particularly on the weekends. In my books, that makes it playground season!

I adore photographing playground time. As long as I know the kids are safe on the equipment – that it’s age appropriate and there is another spotter on hand if need be – then I can be free to dedicate my hands to the camera and capture the moments.

Here are the top 8 not-to-be-missed pics to get your little ones in the playground, and how to capture them perfectly!

1.     The Swing

It’s the FIRST thing my little ones go to. EVERY. TIME. Requires some pushing but once they’re going you can grab some sneaky pics. Swings are also a great opportunity to capture the other parent pushing and interacting with the kiddos. Try to go for some different angles on the swings – there are LOTS of opportunities here. Having trouble capturing the motion? Learn more about getting sharp photos with my free 'Fix Your Blurry Photos' Guide here.

2.     The Slide

Another perennial favourite. (Watch me here, I’m pretty sure I can say that about any playground apparatus!) As long as your little one is in for a safe (or caught) landing, snap away – from the top, from the bottom, from the side. All sorts of opportunities here too!

3.     The Sandbox

Try getting down to their level in the sandbox. Go for the detail shots as they may be a little more ‘still’ playing here. With a little more control over this shot, make sure you position yourself well to optimize the light. Learn more about lighting for your kid photos in a previous post here. NOTE: Be careful not to get sand all over your camera!

4.     The Splash Pad

I LOVE Toronto’s splash pads, and I LOVE photographing kids playing in Toronto’s splash pads! Stand back and zoom if you can, so you don’t risk getting your camera (or you!) wet! Splash pads make for great sunny day shots – let the sun illuminate every droplet!

5.     The SeeSaw

Grab lots of different angles here too! Try lying down and shooting up, or shoot from the side or the opposite end, or stand back and capture all the action!


6.     The… the… Springy-Thing (I have NO idea what this is called.)

Sources of endless joy for both my little ones. No matter the shape or colour or springy-ness – they loved them!


7.     The Climbing Frame

Embrace the colourful verticals and build them into your shot. Climbing frames provide great opportunities for perspectives and to see your little one from a different angle! Take advantage!

8.     Monkey Bars

The hang, the upside-down, the swing, the tongue-out, the eventual jump down. All worthy of capture!

Alright mamas, make a plan to get out there with your kiddos while the sun is shining and before the rain comes in for the weekend! Go out and have fun and bring home some memories.  Ace your photos using awesome advice from a couple of my recent blog posts – using light and getting sharp pictures.

Make the most of your hard work at kid wrangling and paparazzi-ing (not a word, right?) and post your best results on social with hashtag #funlove_bettersnaps.

Don’t forget to share the love! Send this post to your mom-friends.


Heather Davidson-MeynComment