From the picture desk – February 2021

MaHa Magazine - From the picture desk February 2021

Oohhh how ridiculously wrong I was – writing about capturing going away for February half term! Anyway, like I did say in the MaHa magazine, the only thing we can’t predict is the future, and some things from the article still apply.

So February half term will be yet another stay-cation, and not even a fun one with exciting day trips out, so we will all be digging deep to come up with stuff to do at home, and you could/should definitely still capture this. The more we are stripped of external “doing” the more we can focus on capturing at home “being”.

Some additional tips for capturing February:

What it is vs. how it feels

We got snow, and maybe we will get more? Look at the pictures you took during the snow, when you re-discover them in years to come, will those pictures trigger a simple memory of “we had snow”, or will they trigger broader memories of “we had a fantastic time in the snow, the kids played together, sledging, laughing, rolling, covered in snow”.

Same with holiday pictures (that we won’t be taking), you can either have a pictures that triggers “we went to Rome” vs. images that triggers memories of eating the biggest ice creams, exploring beautiful back streets and the kids skipping up the Spanish steps full of smiles.

Don’t just take a quick thoughtless snap for social media, stop and access the situation, exactly what emotions and memories are important here?

Don’t be lazy

Is that harsh? Apologies, but honestly 80% of the every day pictures we take could be miles better is we just changed the perspective. EVERYONE sees the world from that boring standing up waist height. Go low and go high, make it look more engaged? I’m not suggesting you throw your self on the muddy ground every day, but crouch down, and then lower your phone a bit more. Or stand on a chair to get a birds eye view.

If it does snow again, definitely get down low for those sledging pictures.

Turning any (tiny) event into a story

I can turn anything into a full blown photo shoot!

Let’s take cooking or baking as an example, as this is something we are all doing during lockdown. You can of course take pictures of the final master piece (in lovely natural light, by a window, don’t photograph it in your orange kitchen light), but you can also capture the raw ingredients, chopping, stirring, kids helping, and the utensils. You might have pretty aprons, things from your grandparents, or just generally meaningful pretty cooking/baking gadgets (after all we do have both the Kitchen Range Cookshop and Bagel&Griff locally). Once you put these images together, they become a beautiful visual story of the activity.

Do this for one event every day during half term, and you will feel you have a great February half term 2021 stay-cation album to make. Which in turn will keep reinforcing to you that is WAS half term, and you DID have a good time 😉

Ideas for what to capture around every day events


Ingredients, prepping, chopping, rolling, aprons, kids helping (big picture and close up of hands and facial expressions), utensils, the final result, table settings.

Going for a walk

Walking, running, close up of pretty foliage (try to capture this close up, and experiment with the different look of having the sun behind/in front of the foliage), close up of holding hands or arms around, any signs explaining where you are walking, reflections in ponds.lakes/puddles, wildlife, your dog, maybe a close up portrait of the kids, maybe get the kids to take a portrait of you and your partner?

Snow day

Building the snowman, rolling the snow, putting the nose/hat/scarf on, throwing snowballs, laughs, sledging (go low), pulling the sledge back up, falling of the sledge, your kids sharing a sledge or pulling each other on the sledge, pretty pictures of the toboggan (if you have one), running/kicking the snow, throwing the snow up in the air., details of fur hoods covered in snow and even all the hats drying up on the radiators afterwards. Take pretty pictures of the beautiful landscape, but make an effort, crouch down, do a variety of big picture and closer details.

Decorating the kids bedroom

It’s a great idea to document your kids bedrooms, their changing personalities are always reflected in how their rooms are decorated. You can capture some of the mess during the decoration and of course the final room. Do some pulled back big pictures, but also include the details of toys, books, that special teddy they have had for years, posters, games clothes. And get some pictures of your kids in their new room.

Watching a film

The film you are watching, the roaring fire, the snacks, the blankets, everyone cuddled up on the sofa, anyone doing any activities like knitting or drawing, the cat/dog who things they are part of this family moment, rain on the window (assuming you are having a film day because it’s raining).

Making a den

The messy work in progress, the final den, close up of hands/feet sticking out, from above, kids sitting in the entrance of the den (often this is great light) , and teddies/dolls taking part, tea party set up, pet’s getting involved, kids expressions.


The pens/pencils/brushes/paints, what everyone is drawing (again, be creative, capture this from above, from the side close up), the final master piece (held by the artist?), the final picture framed or hanging on the fridge.

Playing an instrument

This is actually really great fun to capture. Shoot it big picture and the close ups (hands playing piano, strings on the guitar), facial expressions, the music stand showing what piece they are playing. Maybe try to combine this with the January tip of using that contrasty winter light coming through your windows at the moment, and create some amazing black & white pictures?

Example images








Share your images

I hope you have a lovely February half term, what ever you end up doing. I would LOVE to see your pictures, so please do keep using the #mahapicturedesk and feel free to send me questions.

This blog post is an extensions of the MaHa Magazine “From the Picture Desk” article, you can get a copy of the magazine from local shops or view it on the their website