Although many of us may already have our holiday cards signed, sealed and delivered at this point, Beth Hontzas joins us today with some great tips if you are still trying to capture the perfect photo, or to help you point, click and shoot perfect pictures during the holiday season and all year long…
It’s that time of year again. You know what I’m talking about. Sending out that perfect Christmas card photo of your adorable children so that everyone can see how fabulous and lovely they are! It’s amazing how your children cooperate and smile beautifully on cue!
This is at least how we picture it in our mind. How it truly comes out, might be a little bit different.
As a photographer, I have met children of all personalities. There are times when I have to go that extra mile to get those smiles. I’ve had various things tossed at me and bop me in the head. But a few bumps are worth it when you get that one perfect shot! Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you round up your family this year.
1. Turn off your flash and take your pictures by a window or open door. (You can even do this on a point and shoot camera.) On-camera flash can flatten the image. Window light will shape their faces and make their eyes sparkle!
2. Put your camera in Aperture Priority or Portrait mode. (I know, I hate pulling out the manual too.) This will give you a shallow depth of field, in turn giving you a nice blurry background.
3. Take your children outside, whether it’s in your backyard or on a nature trail. Leaves are always fun, whether they’re throwing them in the air or lying down in them.
4. Show off your city. Pick an urban setting and let your children discover something new.
5. Pull out some fun hats and coats and watch your children’s personalities get silly.
6. Clothing is always a tough one. Outfits don’t have to match, just coordinate. You can go subtle or bold in color, depending on your taste and personality. Just keep in mind that large patterns can distract from their sweet little faces!
7. Avoid the word “Cheese!” Try to get reaction-based expressions instead. Ask them questions about their girlfriend/boyfriend, have a friend there who can sneak up and throw leaves or “stinky” socks on you. Whatever it takes!
8. Have that same friend photograph your whole family and then offer to return the favor. Keep it fun and casual, whether you’re all walking together or piled up cheek to cheek. A slow-starting tickle will add lots of giggles to that shot!
9.Shoot, shoot, shoot! You have a whole card, so fill it up!
10. Reward them, whatever it may be! I often promise letting the kids do a silly shot at the end, but only at the end. Often times, those will be your favorites!
Thanks so much, Beth, for these great tips and for sharing these beautiful photographs with us today!