By Heather Joy Roth
The holidays that bring traditional family get-together are quickly approaching, offering us photographers – professional and otherwise – the opportunity to capture life-long memories of the colorful scenery and loved ones. Here are some tips that can help you take eye-catching portraits of the holiday season.
© PhotoHand | greeting cards custom designed from family holiday photos
Take A Family Portrait
It is rare in this busy world for families to make the time to get together. Take advantage of this opportunity by taking a family portrait. It will be a cherished keepsake for everyone.
Capture Children’s Artwork On Camera
With school back in full swing, now is the time to take pictures of your children’s art projects. It is unlikely that you will be able to collect all their artwork for your child to see when they get older, so taking a snapshot — or better yet, having your child photograph their own artwork is not only a great way to remember childhood, but a creative way to get your budding photographer to enjoy the new hobby.
Capture Memories From A Different Point Of View
When photographing symbols of the holidays or loved ones, look for new, interesting ways of capturing them. You can photograph a carved pumpkin off-center or move in for an up close shot, leaving out distracting extras. Get level with the subject you are shooting.
Holidays mean children, and children are at a height level lower than what we usually photograph at. Get down on their level. This will give you the best picture angles you can achieve.
When it comes to the holidays, the time I most enjoy taking photos is when a family member or friend opens their gift. My motto is to shoot the portrait first, and ask questions later. Don’t waste time lining up a perfect shot, snap the photo and capture their face when they open their presents. Parents easily make the mistake of distracting their children by yelling at them to look at the camera.
This is a huge mistake, as children will either shy away from being photographed or pose wildly at the camera. If the children are not looking directly at the camera, not only will you not blind them with your flash, but you will be able to capture spontaneous moments rather than stiff poses.
These moments only lasts a split-second so if you can manage to shoot the subject in that moment of surprise, you’ll have a memory to last forever. Try getting restless children involved by having them take pictures of each other. This works especially well with digital cameras. You will be surprised at what they come up with. Kids literally have a different perspective on the world and their images may surprise you.
Broaden What Type Of Holiday Picture You Take
Try capturing not only “classic” symbols of the holidays, but abstract points of interest. For example, you could photograph a tree covered in snow and this can convey the feeling of the season even more than a photograph of the Christmas tree itself. Look for pumpkin patches, snowmen, even leaves on the sidewalk for inspiring, innovative photo opportunities.
Create Your Own Holiday Greeting Card
© PhotoHand |custom designed greeting cards
Greeting cards that you buy in the store are cheerful, but nothing says “Happy Holidays” more than a personalized greeting card you snapped yourself. Get creative, whether you take a portrait of yourself, your pets, family or even a landscape shot. I prefer receiving these cards versus commercial greeting cards. It shows that thought and consideration went into the card and always brings a smile to my face. These are the cards I keep.
Take A Lot Of Photos
Any professional photographer will tell you that to get a few amazing shots, they had to snap hundreds of photos. Do not be stingy with what you shoot. Try taking pictures of anything that catches your eye. A simple, spontaneous close-up snapshot of some Christmas lights can be more eye-catching than a well planned shot of the whole tree lit up.
Remember, the holidays are a time for family, friends and memories.
Capture the holiday spirit by taking spontaneous shots, not by ordering your subject to pose this way or that way. These photographs allow the happiness of the season to radiate throughout your photography.