This is hard to believe, but we are nearing the end of 2020!
Probably one the longest years in my life (excluding 2010, 2013 and 2018 – the years I got my babies!)
I know that we will not wake up on January 1 and everything will be much better, but I think psychologically we all will feel a little bit of relief, even if this is not rational.
Everything was weird during this year and so will be our holidays. I made a plan how to connect with those, who are far away from you. And today I would like to talk about, how to connect and capture those, who you can hug.
Here are my 6 tips, how you can capture those holiday days and create photos, which will bring you a smile every time you look at them for many many years!
(1) Take it Easy
Do not be disappointed – this is really my main and probably the best tip!
I am trying to convince all my photo students, that you should take photos of ordinary things on ordinary days. I really believe in this!
However most of the people only remember to take photos, when there is something extra ordinary going on – your child is ridding a pony for the first (and maybe the last?) time!
The usual reason, why people do not take photos of ordinary things is that they are busy – this is what I hear all the time!
But the truth is that on extraordinary days you are EVEN MORE busy and stressed! And not only you – but everyone.
So the worst decision you could possibly make is to take photos all day on Christmas, your child's birthday, wedding etc.
There are days to take photos and there are days to do not! And there is a good reason, why people invite photographers to take those photos on special occasions: when there is something special and important going on, you should not be taking photos – you should be in the moment with people you love. And of course you should be in these photos too!
I take just a few photos on my kids' birthdays and I take all of them in the morning, so when there are guests, party and excitement, I can be with those guests and feel the excitement. Or just being worried, that they will burn down the house!
I am usually just aiming for one portrait of a happy and sleepy child with a cake. That's it!
So if you have something special planned for Christmas, the New Year Eve or some other day, do not plan to take photos all day. Take your photos in between! Christmas family portrait can be taken on December 28 and it will be even better.
(2) Capture Your Family Traditions
Traditions make us feel connected, safe and happy. They are the ordinary in your extraordinary holiday season.
Is there anything you do every year? Capture it!
And if you do not have a family tradition yet – start one this year!
We have a bunch like decorating a Christmas tree, baking cookies, making a concert, playing board games, going for a long walk on the last day of the year and many more!
This is really fun and special to look at the photos from different years, where we are doing the same things! And this is also very important that we have photos of our very loved people, who are not with us any more.
(3) The Food
If you cook and eat together with people you love, these are the moments, really worth capturing! And do take photos of some action – not only sitting around the table!
Taking a family portrait at the end of the year is a lovely thing to do. You can use a selfie-stick or just a long arm, but it is better to use a remote control, so you can actually hug each other.
And take many at once – some when you look at the camera and some when everyone is just being goofy and silly!
Aside from a family portrait, try to capture an individual portrait of everyone. It is the best to spread them though out several days.
I do not mind if my family members do not look at the camera, but if you want this eye contact – ask them something, tell something funny / nice or just make a strange sound!
Please do not tell them “look at me and smile!”. You know this does not work, right?
Taking photos of small things, that bring you into this festive mood is very important! They are perfect to blend in your family albums or wall art.
(6) Less Is More
You really do not need many photos!
You only need photos, that make you feel something nice, photos you will be proud to put on the wall and include in your family album.
Holiday season is not the time. when you should practice your photo skills or take a photo course.
Try to capture some emotional moments, some action, make a few portraits and detail shots.
And if you think you could do better – take a photo course in 2021.
Here is a small photo check list for you, if you need some ideas:
- family action around your Christmas tree (in my family: one reading, one jumping, one taking down the decorations we have just put on)
- kids helping in the kitchen (in my family: just messy! + secretly eating the dough…)
- you and your partner cooking (in my family: my husband cooking, me – drinking wine)
- breakfast, lunch, dinner … anything! On any day during your holidays. If you are too stressed on a Christmas day – make it before or after. This really does not matter!
- board games (in my family: one is laughing, one is crying, one is stealing the dice)
- crafts: take photos of the process! (in my family: paper snow fall is a real thing!)
- walks, day trips, simply playing outside. I like some action shots, some landscapes with tiny people and some nature details. I also like to look for some great colour combinations!
- people busy with their presents. I really like the moment, when everything is unpacked and everyone is getting happily concentrated on their gifts. Usually no one notices, when I take those photos!
- family portraits. If you need some cooperation tell your kids, that this will make the best gift for grandparents – and this is TRUE!
- individual portraits of everyone, taken on different days and at different times. One per person is enough! Do not forget your partner and DO NOT FORGET YOURSELF. Ask someone to take a picture of you!
And more tips!
PLAN to take photos – do not decide to take pictures spontaneously!
DO NOT: “OH! This is cute! I should take a picture FAST!!!!”
You will rush, you will ruin the moment and you will probably discover that you have no battery, no card, not enough space or all of these!
Decide that you will take photos during this walk, during the dinner, when you will bake cookies… decide before!
And my secret photo wisdom:
The BEST TIME for family portraits is after breakfast!
Thank you for reading!
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