Hope everyone is enjoying the run up to Christmas – not long now! Since having my daughter I like to try and get a photograph of her by our Christmas tree each year. It is a nice memory of the season plus you get to see how fast they grow each year. Getting a great photograph of your child/children (or pooch!) can be tricky so I thought I would put together a few pointers.
Turn the room lights off – if you would like to get all atmospheric and really capture the tree looking festive then turn off any overpowering overhead room lights (a small lamp would be OK left on) The above image was taken at sunset so there was still some available light coming in from outside.
Tree lights – make sure all your tree lights are on constant (easier to photograph than flashing!) and you have plenty of lights on the tree. Ideally white Christmas lights work well, coloured lights can leave odd colour casts on the face of your subject.
Avoid using your camera flash – if you can set your camera to ‘manual’ (M) mode. Switch off your flash as this will overpower the image and reduce any atmospheric light (known as ambient light) in your image.
Increase the ISO – this is increasing the light sensitivity on your camera. Some cameras will allow you to shoot at a higher iso than others. My images were shot at around 2000 iso.
Open up your aperture – this is the ‘f’ number. The lower the number the wider the aperture. Therefore the lower the number – the more light you are allowing in. My images were shot around F2.8.
Shutter speed – Slow down your shutter speed. Bear in mind that if you have toddlers running around then they will be blurred in your photographs so try to keep your subjects as still as possible (see below) You will also need to be aware of camera shake (from your hands) so I would avoid going much lower than 1/100 when handheld – if you do want to then you could use a tripod. My images were shot at around 1/60 (60th).
Tips: Get the kiddos to wear some Christmas PJs or festive clothing to make your images look extra Christmassy. Give them something to hold to keep them busy or still (!) like a little chocolate, a candy cane, a decoration or Christmas stocking. For dogs it is definitely time to bust out the doggy treats 😉 To keep little ones still long enough for you to photograph them can be tricky – try asking them to sing you a Christmas song or ask them to pick their favourite decoration on the tree. Alternatively ‘hide’ something in the tree for them to find. As well as some nice wide shots including all of the tree try to do some close ups too.