Photographing the Holidays
Capture your family's holiday spirit throughout the year
Holidays begin with the setting. Remember to take pictures of the backdrop of your holiday—what your home looked like Christmas morning, the Valentine’s Day garland you hung from your kitchen window, close-ups of your Thanksgiving table details, and materials for Easter egg coloring.
The fun part of taking holiday photos is combining setting and characters to create great holiday stand-alone images. By including the valentine in this photo (as well as pink and red clothes), the holiday setting is created and yet the characters—two sisters—still take center stage.
A great way to combine setting and characters in a holiday photo is by creatively positioning the subjects of the image. In this photo, by positioning my daughter on the far right edge of the image, I’m allowing the setting of the pumpkin patch to be included.
If you’re interested in your holiday photos taking a unique edge, try taking a photo from a different angle to blend characters and setting. By taking this photo from below, you still sense it’s Christmas, but it’s not another been-there-done-that photo of a baby next to a Christmas tree.
Dress the Part
Want to make your kids shine as characters in your holiday photos? Dress the part! Festive clothing makes photos come alive, plus you’ll always know when the photo was taken. The flag sticker in this photo allows the celebration of Independence Day to come alive.
Finally, an important part of holidays is the series of events—the traditions we practice with our families to celebrate. For these memorable traditions, get close! Don’t be afraid to zoom in to capture all the little details of your holiday memories!
Challenged with light? Move to natural light. For our annual holiday baking, I wanted to capture my daughter helping me, but the afternoon light in our kitchen isn’t great. I moved our baking session to a big open window which created not only better photos but a fun way to change things up.
If you scrapbook or make albums for your kids, think about each holiday in terms of layout, and make a mental checklist of everything you want to include. Don’t forget details including food, friends who visited, table settings, holiday favors, etc.
Most importantly, ask yourself, “What do I want to remember about this holiday?” Smile and look around and enjoy the moment and your family. Sometimes, you’ll be surprised what photographic moments you discover when you just relax and enjoy yourself.
Kelle Hampton is a mom, photographer, blogger, and author who lives in sunny Florida. To learn more about her, visit Enjoying the Small Things.
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