Capturing the Everyday- by Jill Marzion

Updated: March 18, 2014 Mpix Support Guest Post, Photos, Tips


Jill Marzion is a family photographer located in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In a short time, Jill’s little hobby of photography transformed into a full-blown passion for capturing all of the beautiful details of life. Visit Jill’s studio website to see more of her professional work.

Like many of us, I used to only break out my camera for the “big stuff.” Birthday parties, holidays, graduations, you know the drill. While those moments are important and worth documenting, my world completely changed when I purchased my first DSLR. All of the sudden, the mundane seemed magnificent and the ordinary moments seemed extraordinary.

Here are a few tips so you can start capturing the everyday:

Make it a habit.  Bring your camera with you everywhere and have it ready.  I always carry a spare battery in my bag and keep plenty of SD cards.  It’s like a seatbelt: once you are in the habit of using it, you feel naked without it!

Post your pictures somewhere.  I have a personal blog that I keep as a little diary of our days.  Try a photo-a-day challenge on Instagram, it is a fun experience that will help you get in the routine of shooting.  I loved it so much that I collaborated with others to start a 365 project: @my_365

When in doubt, whip it out.  I have so many images at Target, the bookstore, grocery shopping, etc.  At first it felt a little strange, but what I capture from different locations is a great reminder of our day-to-day life.

Capture children in their element. Brushing teeth, playing with the iPad, reading, relaxing, helping make dinner, counting their money, painting nails, etc.  Anything that they enjoy doing, photograph it! These are the moments that we cherish as parents and your children will adore these snapshots when they are older.

Simplify by getting rid of clutter. Clutter is a big distraction in photos so if you take 5 minutes before you start shooting to pick up the space you are in, it will make your photos 10 times better!

Give directions and ask questions.  If you’re looking for something specific, don’t be afraid to give some directions. If I want a genuine smile from my 8 year old, I will tell the other kids to tickle him. I will ask certain questions to evoke different emotions from them. Ex. “What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?”  As they think, I have the camera ready to catch that emotion.

Think outside the box.  If my toddler is relaxing watching his favorite show or eating lunch, I am moving all around to get different angles of him.  I shoot from the side, above, in front, etc.  Don’t be afraid to try new things! Some of my favorite shots break the “rules” of photography and I still love them.

Focus on details. Think of all the teensy details that you love about your children. Bellies, curls, eyelashes and baby toes. Shoot, hands and feet can tell a story themselves!

Be you!  The more I shoot for myself and what I love, the better my photos are.

For more photography tips from Jill, check out her post 6 Key Tips for Composing Your PhotosTo check out more amazing work from Jill Marzion visit her blog and Instagram.

26 Responses to “Capturing the Everyday- by Jill Marzion”

  1. March 18, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    Great tips, thanks for sharing!

    • March 18, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      thanks ann!

    • March 18, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

      thanks so much ann!

  2. March 18, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    Great tips!

    • March 18, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

      hi yvonne! i am glad you liked them! thanks 🙂

  3. Mike Smith March 18, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    Great ideas and insight! I find it so rewarding to look at my older photos and the memories and feelings they recall. You don’t have to be Ansel Adams, he could never capture your moments like you can.


    • March 18, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

      hey mike! i couldn’t agree more! looking back at photos is one of my favorite things!

  4. March 18, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

    Thanks for sharing – mind if I ask what lens you use most often?

    • March 18, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

      hi wendy!

      most often i have my 35mm 1.4 on my camera. it is an amazing lens!

      • March 19, 2014 at 11:09 am #

        Thank you! 🙂

  5. March 18, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    Great tips; great captures. I added you to my blog reader. Can’t wait to see more of your photography. (I am also from Wisconsin.)

    • March 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

      hey fellow wisconsinite! thanks for checking it out!

  6. March 19, 2014 at 6:47 am #

    Thank you for reminding us of the importance of capturing the routine and the commonplace stuff of life on “film”. It seems, with the passage of time, those mundane moments mean the most. Great advise.

    • March 19, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

      isn’t that the truth kristin! and those ‘mundane moments’ are the ones we seem to forget the most! glad you enjoyed it!

  7. March 19, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    Love it! You’re an inspiration.

    • March 20, 2014 at 9:41 am #

      thanks so much nancy!

  8. March 20, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    Thanks for sharing your photos. I really enjoyed them. My biggest problem is at family activities if I have my camera out, some feel annoyed that I’m taking photographs. What tricks do you have to make others to feel comfortable?

    • March 20, 2014 at 9:42 am #

      hi judy!

      yes, that can be a challenge! my advice would be to tell them to act like you are not even there…i know people tend to feel ‘on the spot’ when they see a camera, but if you don’t put any pressure on them, that helps a lot! hope that helps!

  9. Jen March 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

    Congrats Jill–these are great tips. Yay you and yay us because we get to enjoy your gorgeous pics. xo

    • March 22, 2014 at 8:46 am #

      thanks jen! you’re the best!!

  10. Aubrey May 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    Thank you for this! I have owned my photography business for 4 years, so I’m used to the portrait side if photography, but now I have a 7 month old and what to capture her growing and learning. This is very helpful!

  11. October 24, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    I love all your vimeo’s. Enjoyed watching them all … Wish I had the time and talents to capture all the moments of my little boys.


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