Tradition and the Holiday Photo

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Every year my entire life there is a picture of my brother and I in front of the Christmas Tree.  The photos showcase sheer excitement, red eyes, bad bangs, ‘I’m too old for this’ attitude and then sheer excitement again.  I give you a few tips: 

  1. Get down.  I read this tip in the book Expressions by Donna Smylie and Allison Tyler Jones.  You should hold your camera so that it’s in between the subjects belly button and shoulders.  It will help eliminate the distortion that you get from looking down at your subject or looking up at your subject.  
  2. Get further down.  When photographing little kids you get big expressions when they are looking down at you and you can fill your lens with some interesting backdrops.  
  3. Get up real high.  Stand on a chair, a piano bench, on the fireplace mantel (okay, that only happens AFTER the egg nog) and get a landscape of your room.  Then zoom in and take close ups of some fun elements.  This is on my list of shots to get this year for sure.  I want to see the living room littered in gift wrap and then I want to zoom in on one single bow, my little girl in the mess, my niece and nephew experiencing the wonder, my father sipping his Southern Comfort on the rocks, my husband watching the NBA game in the background.  Then I want to do a collage like our Inspiration Tuesday lady of the week.  
  4. Turn on the lights.  Turn off the flash.  Get some good authentic light into the space pull the drapes as they say in Cinderella.  Light some candles (up high), turn on the lights.  Light does great things. 
  5. Pass a point and shoot to the left.  I always bring at least two point and shoot cameras with me and a Flip video cam.  Give someone else a chance to get the moments.  Be in some pictures already, you deserve to be part of the memories.
  6. When you do your big group photo don’t say Cheese.  Here’s a favorite trick of mine.  Ask people to sing Fa-la-la-la-la.  Shoot on each La.  The facial expression you get when you sing this is natural, upbeat, eyebrows are up, chins are lifted and you get a great look from people.
  7. Tell people to do their best impersonation.  I asked my brother to give me a “mom look” over Halloween and I LOVED how he did her look – it was so SPOT on.  I’m going to be doing a lot of this over the holiday.  
Anyone ask Santa for a Digital SLR?

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