12 Days of Christmas Tips – Day 11: Christmas Photo Tips

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12 Days of Christmas Tips – Day 11: Christmas Photo Tips

Taking photos at Christmas time is an age-old tradition. For many people, its hard to get photos that capture the moments. You look at your pictures and they don’t look the way you remember the scene. Let me suggest a couple of Christmas photo tips.

Do you take pictures when people are opening their presents? Do you remember happy children and smiling spouses, but your photos show odd expressions, the side of someone’s face, or blurry hands? Try this instead. During the opening of the gifts, don’t take any pictures at all. Their brains are trying to process what’s in the box, how to best open it, and whether it’s the toy they wanted or new socks. That often does not translate into the joyous expression you really want to capture. Instead, be fully engaged in the gift opening time. You won’t miss an important moment, and you can savor the experience without worry about getting “the shot.” Instead, take the pictures after the gifts are open and being enjoyed. Let your wife model the new necklace, or the diamond earrings you got her. She will be all smiles, and you will have a picture of your beautiful wife clearly demonstrating what a wonderful husband you are! 😉

Once the kids are fully engrossed in playing with their new toy, take a picture of them actively enjoying it. Or ask for them to smile for a picture while playing. You will get great shots that show the gifts being used and enjoyed, instead of torn wrapping paper and surprised expressions. Don’t hesitate to get close. No one wants to see the sofa, or a bunch of empty floor on both sides of the subject. Either physically get closer to them, or if you have one, use a zoom lens to get a close view of your subject. If you crop your pictures when you are taking them, you will get better, more engaging pictures, and you will also save yourself a lot of time not having to edit and crop them later.

Another traditional photo people always want to capture but often struggle with is the Christmas tree or outdoor lights. To take a picture of the tree, turn off most of the lights in the room, and let the lights from the tree light the scene. The lower light conditions will mean longer shutter times, so often a person’s photos will be blurry. Place the camera on a tripod, or a table, chair, counter, or any solid surface. Use the self-timer to activate the camera, so you can push the shutter button, allow the camera to focus, and then not be touching it while it actually takes the photo. Shutter speeds that are 1/30 of a second can show hand shake, so having a solid surface to hold the camera for you is vital to getting good pictures. Just pressing the shutter button can cause blurriness, so the self-timer can eliminate that issue for you.

Most of all, make sure you get photos of the people you love and care about. Those will be the pictures you most enjoy months and years later. Merry picture taking!



Keith Owens is the owner and founder of Owens Investigations.

photo credit: Will Montague via photopin cc

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