The holidays are just around the corner! Perhaps you have your advent calendar ready to go and a Christmas shopping list that can help support local businesses. When the big day comes, one of the biggest tasks we face is making sure we capture all the beautiful memories to share for years to come. Read on for my tips on how to make this holiday’s picture taking as stress-free as possible!
1. Light is the first priority
Even when taking photos indoor, it’s important to make light your first priority. Try to plan ahead all your important shots and time them during the day. Open up the blinds/curtains and let in as much natural light as possible. Turn off your fluorescent lights as they tend to throw off the white balance of your photos. Position your subjects toward the source of light (i.e. window) and use as many natural reflectors as you can. For example, you can place a white blanket near the Christmas tree for your kids to sit on. The white blanket will bounce light back into your children’s faces for a natural, soft glow.
2. Christmas Bokeh
Don’t you love the blurry Christmas tree in the background? That blurry effect is called bokeh. The best way to achieve this is to have the subject be far from the background and close to the camera. (Of course, it also helps to have a nice lens that can be shot at a low aperture to increase your depth of field.)
Don’t forget the details also help tell the story of Christmas! Did your kids make a gingerbread house, decorate cookies, or make their own ornaments? Make sure you have photos showcasing these crafts! The example above featured an ornament my husband and I painted during our first date since Khai was born, an ornament Khai painted himself, and almond cookies my husband baked.
4. Christmas Glow
One of the most magical photos of Christmas are those taken at night when the house is lit only by the tree. This dim lighting can be a nightmare for natural light photographers. But don’t think you’re limited to just silhouettes during Christmas eve. You can, in fact, take beautiful photos that illuminate both the tree and your subjects. Here, my boys were reading a book next to the tree. How did I achieve that glow on their faces? I hid a flashlight in between the pages. 😉
5. Live the Experience
Don’t forget to put the camera down every now and then to enjoy the holidays with your family. You don’t want to look back and realize you experienced all these moments through a viewfinder. If you are keen on making sure every moment gets captured, set up a tripod in a corner of the room and let it automatically release the shutter at certain time intervals. This works best during Christmas morning when everyone is gathered to open presents. These photos can be taken at the same angle and will make for a nice time lapse video. 🙂
Bonus Tip: Embrace 2020
I hope the above tips are helpful to you. May your holiday season be delightful and warm!