I used to hate going to the park. It’s my dirty little mom secret. The thought of having to stand there, pushing a swing for what felt like a million hours made me cringe. The thought of having to say “We don’t eat or throw sand!” every three seconds made me want to gouge my eyes out. And yet we went, because that’s what a good mom does.

These days I beg the kids to let me take them to the park. I plead, cajole, bribe, all so we can go for a short half-hour or so. I try to time it for the tail end of the afternoon, just before dinner, so the park is mostly empty and the light is amazing.

You see, now that they’re old enough to not need pushing and constant supervision, the park has become my playground. I use it as the perfect backdrop to fun action shots of the kids. Even if your children are too small to entertain themselves, try whipping out your phone a few times. You’ll be amazed at how the right light can make for some incredible pictures.

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