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How to Do a 4th of July Photo Shoot I Boulder 2018 I For Photographers

Happy Independence Day! In Boulder, for more or less 17 years (!!!!), we have always snuggled up in a little private location that only our friends know about in central Boulder right under the fireworks. We bring lots of food and wine and glowy toys for all the kids to share and I stay in photographer mode and document everything until the light goes and the fireworks begin! I'll post those photos tomorrow!!!

My family loves this little ritual. It is a wonderful holiday to celebrate with people you love and an opportunity to fill your heart with GRATITUDE for the privileges we have due to those who sacrificed their lives for us so that we could make our own way in the world-242 years ago!

Adam calls it "The Christmas of the Summer." I think that's a great name.

And the watermelon this time of year...Delicious!

I put up a Fourth of July child photography tutorial on Instagram. So if you'd like to get images photos like these, it is super easy and the tutorial is literally 1 minute long:)

Just a quick synopsis if you don't get a chance to head over to Instagram, follow these simple steps:

I grabbed a $15 3x5 ft American flag from the Boulder Home Depot (in the back, by the garden section on an end aisle), put Amelia in neutral colors (she didn't have anything red, white, and blue), went down the road at golden hour (though it was cloudy, we got a few peekaboos of sun), and I just had her run around in circles for 15 minutes.

That's it.

Click, click, click, and back to the car!

Voila! These are just a few of my favorites <3

The location, if you are wondering, is just off South Boulder Road and 75th. I am pretty sure it's private land, so I never do full family shoots there, but it is a great little spot to stop with my own family to do quick, personal photos. It has a nice, safe place to pull over and park your car. Being Boulder, the gates are always open and there are no structures within view of the site, so I feel good about my walking the line of the law;)

If you're outside Boulder, find a nice open field with some trees in the background for visual reference and added texture and interest to the images, and aim for golden hour-the time just before the sun goes below the horizon (or in the case of Boulder, behind the mountains) when everything is lit up and magical. It was a cloudy night so we only got snippets of sun, but the 15 minute photo shoot still turned out exactly how I envisioned it.

-Have your child or children or whole family wrap up in the flag.

-Hold it by it's top two corners and run slowly (or quickly) in circles.

-I had trouble getting Amelia's face focused when she was running so fast *towards* me, so I had her run parallel to me back and forth a couple times (see above photo).

-If the sun is out, do everything you can to get the sun shining through the flag, peeking out the top of the flag, behind your children, etc... A photographer is an artist that paints with light, after all, so experiment with the light and get different angles.

I understand not all new photographers know how to shoot into the sun, so some quick tips for you:

-Never shoot on auto. Your camera will meter the light for the background and not the subject's face.

-Choose your F-stop and set your ISO to it's lowest setting. Move your shutter speed up and down to meter the light.

-Have a person block the sun from your camera, while the subject you are photographing is still in full light (hard to do if they're running, though!).

Hopefully those tips help a bit because my son wants to use the computer and firework time is approaching!

Just quickly, though, one last thing!

Sweet, tiny, 8 year old Amelia Padma took this image of me, worthy of a ClickinPro. Give her a high five next time you see her and let her know that she is on her way to becoming a pro like her mama and 13 year old brother (I kid you not-my children are the best kid photographers I have seen, and I have taught several children's photography camps and classes to know!).

Sorry for the mama brag, but look at beautiful, patriotic me! I usually loathe photos of myself, and she took 10 and got several lovely ones. A little photographer in the making, she is.

Gorgeous right?

Have a happy fourth of July! There is plenty of time to go out and get some photos of your own family on the way to the fireworks tonight! If you're in Boulder, look out for my family tonight an come say hello if you see us!

I am making family photography tutorials like crazy right now in preparation for my "For Family Photographers Workshop + Product" launch later this summer, so if you have ANY questions-especially you new photographers out there + moms who want to learn how to take beautiful photos like these of their own family-please ask them because I am dying to make more tutorials and would like these to be about things YOU want to learn.



Stacey Potter is an award winning lifestyle family photographer in Boulder, Colorado. Her work has been featured in many magazines but she is best known for her authentic family photography images. For more information on scheduling your own family session in or around Boulder, or if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call her at 303.818.7757 or email

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