Hey, is it the 1st of December already? A few more days and we will officially get busy with all the Christmas preparations.
My kids adore the month of December. This is the month of family traditions and holiday magic. A lot is going on in our house during the month of December. Christmas holidays is all about spending time with your family. It is about enjoying favorite traditions and activities that make lasting memories.
10 quick tips for creating great images and getting variety.
These simple tips were inspired by the questions I’m most frequently asked. Play with these tips, allow yourself to make mistakes, and watch your photos change overnight.
My number one rule for filmmaking and photogrpahing is to have fun! Remember, you are there to make some life long memories with your children.
When photographing kids, get down to their level, whether you sit on the floor and shoot straight on, or use Live View to hold your camera at knee level.
Don’t feel discouraged if your child is challenging you with the camera. Oh I know, they can be very tricky little subjects, don’t even try to make them follow your directions. In fact, prepare strategies for the specific temperament of your child. May be have Dad hold him tight and tickle him. Be prepared to distract your toddler over and over again. The trick is to keep their attention coming toward you. The best way to keep them engaged is to ramp up the energy versus trying to calm them down.
Find available light by turning off all the artificial light around the house. Yes, you heard me right! We are often trying to figure out how to “add” light to a room, but sometimes all we need is to turn off the indoor lights to see the dramatic window light and use it to our advantage.
Not every photo you are going to take will be perfect. Be willing to miss shots. Often the most unexpected shot will tell the story the most powerfully. Slow down, look for the story you want to tell before you even lift the camera to your eye. Be focused on capturing one moment, the one that will transport you back and bring on a wave of nostalgia.
As long as your camera is safe, all is good. Let your kids be little. Clothes can be washed. Let them have fun as long as they want to and take advantage of it by capturing their raw emotions and documenting your memories as they unfold,
Give context to your subject through environmental portrait. The setting for your photos plays a big role in the overall story you are communicating. In the very beginning of my photography journey I was always overlooking this storytelling element, because I was more focused on taking close-up pictures of my girls. And sometimes it was really difficult to identify the moment when the picture was taken, was it a Christmas holiday or one of our summer trips to the beach, you know what I mean, the same face with a different expression and try to guess where it was captured. Try to experiment with different camera angles. It is entirely up to you how much of the setting you decide to include. The environmental portrait helps us to remember where the story took place.
Kids love building snowmen. Grab may be a spade, or may be not and make a snowman. Shoot from above. Lay down in the snow and shoot at their level. Think about your background too.
I am sure we all have quite a few nostalgic childhood Christmas food memories from growing up, should it be a cup of hot chocolate with matshmallows from a street food fest, or anything else. Be sure to capture your favorite Christmas food memories at least a few time over the course of December to help to tell the complete story. Try both up close and pulled back images and it is not really necessary if your child look at the camera.
This is a very important tip, especially when you are out and about and our cameras are constantly in our and our child’s hands. Don’t forget to wipe the lens often. This is a very sensitive area and the chances it gets finger smudges are high. Clean the glass!
I have started with this Christmas tradition since my first child was born. What I love the most about this tradition is that my children don’t remember the presents they’ve received, but they do talk about things like picking up a Christmas tree, setting up our Nativity set, making Christmas cards for our family and teachers, or going ice-skating and having hot chocolate with marshmallows.
These are the moments that stick with them and that's the reason why I love celebrating Christmas countdowns.
Having a set of advent activities helps me to be intentional during the holidays and do something TOGETHER, spending more quality time with each other. Some of the activities are pre-planned, like decorating our house, picking up the Christmas tree, or making Christmas cards. Others are surprise activities for my kids. I mostly keep our activities the same, but as the kids are growing I modify them just a little bit, so they are appropriate to their age.
These activities go well as a photo and film prompt list too. Just snap a couple of pictures daily and you will have a wonderful variety of pictures documenting your December.
You can print this list on to white card stock paper and stick it on your fridge, or fold it up and tuck it in your pocket.