4 Photos to Take on Your Next Bad Day

She’s just come to me for about the gazillionth time on a lazy Sunday afternoon asking for another snack.

“I’m starrrrrrrrrrrrrving…..!!!!!!!” she proclaims, hands on her stomach doubled over in a dramatic display.

I give my husband the look. The one where he knows I’m about to lose my everlovin’ mind.

“She’s your daughter,” he coyly offers back. Yup, the drama, the boredom, the persistence. He’s right. It is all me. We both take a deep breath and let out a chuckle, but it doesn’t change the fact that we’re exhausted.

We’re worn down by the constant questions from our 6-year-old. Whether she’s asking for a snack, for more screen time, or for the reason the sky is blue, there’s always another question in the wings.

She’s curious, creative, and a bit cunning.

But so am I.

Parenting is a rollercoaster ride of crazy highs and extreme lows. I’ve been on a mission since my daughter was born to capture it all with a camera. So on the days when I’m about to lose my cool, I immediately get curious about how I can use our camera to creatively capture life—and cunningly shift gears from the request for snacks and television to something a bit more meaningful.

Today I’m sharing with you four photos to take to change the tides of a bad day and bring more joy into your life.


I find that my favorite photos over time tend to be the ones that document the “normal,” mundane pieces of our daily routine: bedtime prep, a reading session, water play in the yard, a walk around town searching for bugs, flowers, and rocks.


You don’t always have to have your child or their face in the photo. Why not photograph the way your kid grasps his grandparent’s hand? Or the imaginary playland she left set up in her room to return to later… or his favorite stuffed animals or the art project she’s working so hard on finishing. My students tell me time and time again that the little details are the best things they’ve learned to explore with their camera.


Take a tour of your home and capture the details throughout. Make a trip to your favorite ice cream shop, the local park, or your child’s school. You may shift a bad mood by simply getting out of the house, and you’ll also have memories of the special places around your neighborhood or city.


I think selfies get a bad reputation sometimes, but I’ve found with my 6-year-old that taking selfies together is an immediate form of connection. We love making silly faces or checking out the latest filters on Snapchat. Plus, it’s a way to easily get me into some photos (not an easy task!).

Bonus Tip

If you really can’t convince yourself to pick up the camera on a bad day, why not simply pull out a photo book and look at photos with your child? Connecting over memories our family has made, old and new, is another easy way to use photography to bring more joy into your life. {Related: 4 Actionable Tips to Help You Finally Print Your Photos}

What other photos would you add to this list? What are the images in your archives that make you smile time and time again? I’d love to brainstorm more ideas with you in the comments!


  • Reply
    Mary Leigh
    April 6, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Great post! I love the idea of using the camera to shift your perspective. There really is beauty in the chaos – especially when it comes to parenting.

    • Reply
      Erica Layne
      April 6, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      So true, Mary Leigh! ESPECIALLY when it comes to parenting. 😉 🙂 So much beauty and so much chaos!

    • Reply
      Beryl Ayn Young
      April 7, 2017 at 5:04 am

      Thank you so much Mary! I’ve found time and time again how the camera is such a mood shifter. Glad you’re finding beauty in the chaos too.

  • Reply
    Amy Brinton
    April 6, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    This is an idea that I would have never come up with on my own, but I LOVE it. Also love the bonus tip, that one always pulls me back to my center on a bad day—week. 😉 Great post Beryl.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2017 at 10:34 am

    My favorite idea is changing locations and maybe even scouting for something specific. Especially if we can get fresh air, good endorphins pumping through us, and search for a new perspective.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2017 at 6:27 am

    What beautiful insight, Beryl Ann! I love the idea of looking through a lens to see a different perspective! I’m definitely going to start doing this more often, especially looking at the details. Your daughter sounds like my son, always full of exhausting questions! Thanks so much!

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