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Guest Post: My Favorite Snap Academy Lesson

in Practical Tips
Created: 10 May 2016

We are wrapping up our month long test run and things are going really well so far.  Only a few things went wrong and we arn’t focusing on the fact that we don’t have air and water this week.  It just adds to the sense of adventure:)

This week as we head back to Maryland, Connie Holden, a Snap Academy graduate, is sharing how she solved a messy backyard problem with a lesson she learned.

  It’s late summer and I have four little boys.

And my backyard is trashed…

It is literally littered with water guns, baseballs, a wadded up slip n slide and pieces of some unsuspecting plastic sandbox toy (or two?) that got caught up in the lawnmower.

Not exactly an awesome backdrop to capturing the last days of summer play with my camera.

Yes, we could actually get out trash bags and clean-up the remnants of our summer fun, but this particular morning was the last Saturday before school started. Spontaneity ruled, and this mom decided to let it go and enjoy the moment.

Enter my favorite Snap Academy lesson:

finding (or creating!) white space.

I have noticed that my favorite pictures of my kids are the ones with very simple backgrounds. Just empty space that doesn’t distract from their sweet faces.

On this particular Saturday, my husband and 7-year-old were jumping on the trampoline. The edge of the trampoline and fence behind it created harsh horizontal lines that were distracting. So, to capture the scene on camera, I changed my perspective and found that white space in the sky.

Here’s another time when I changed my perspective (to look down, instead of up) and capture my 3 year old with a neutral background, capitalizing on a few square feet of clutter-free deck.

My Snap Academy “aha!” lesson? Find that white space!

I now see white space wherever we are, and move myself around to use it as a backdrop for my photos whenever possible. 


  Connie Holen is a wife, mom, and Air National Guard Pilot. When she’s not chasing after her four boys or piloting a refueling plane, you can find her designing and sewing bags for her business, FlyGirl. Her newest collection of handcrafted leather bags hits the shelves of her etsy shop in November 2013. Find out how a FlyGirl bag can pull-together your look at www.flygirlbags.com