Learn How to Take Great Family Photos at Christmas

Don't know about you folks, but this is how I feel!  How quickly do Mondays come around?

Christmas comes but once a year and will soon be upon us

The festive time is getting closer and closer and I'm not at all ready!  Are you?

Be camera ready

However, the one thing you can be ready for is your family photos.  Memories which are all too soon forgotten.

Window behind me and Aperture Priority F4  ISO 800
This week we're talking about what we need to be camera ready for Christmas.  Hopefully you can get some practice in too so that you can pick up your camera without even thinking and snap away.

Use camera settings you're comfortable with

Importantly you should use the settings you're comfortable using as you definitely don't want to miss the action at this time of year.  

Revert to fully Auto if you need to, but if you're confident now with Aperture Priority it is a great setting to use if you want to focus on family faces and expressions.

Get ready for the action ...

  • Batteries fully charged (plus all spare batteries)
  • Memory cards cleared, formatted and spares at the ready
  • Lens - personally I use a 28mm so that I can move around, go in close for facial expressions and stand back for all the action of unwrapping pressies etc telling the story of the day.  If you have a kit lens ie 18-55mm this does a brilliant job, I have used one often.
  • Switch off your flash if you can and (remember we talked about last time) capture the ambience of the day.  I believe it is better to switch on lights and bump up the ISO than blast the whole room with light and red eyes :(
  • Kids on the floor - get down with the action
  • This isn't about capturing a masterpiece (although you may well do, of course!) this is about taking pictures of your family and life the way you and they live it at Christmas time.

Practice, practice, practice

Have your camera ready at all times now and then.  Take as many images as you can.  Remember it's digital!  

Deleting images

Important note:  My advice is never delete from your card whilst shooting.
2 reasons:

  1. It can corrupt your card 
  2. What you think isn't a good image, once you get it on your computer it can look completely different and you may well like it!
  3. It's always much better, once you have uploaded all images to your computer or hard drive, to delete the whole lot and format your card in camera. 

Mobile phone user tips

  1. Try not to zoom in as you will lose quality.  Get in close or crop the image after the shot.
  2. Close ups of family.  Get them to hold an iPad or their phone close, keep out of the frame if you need to, but it will light up their face in the dark a treat.  You can create lovely images using this trick.  My grandchildren often have their iPads in their hands so I grab the pics when I can :)
  3. Get creative with selfies and Christmas tree decs too :)
Basically, be prepared, camera or phone, and go have some fun.  Remember it's not what you use, it's how you use it.
Oh and don't be the one who takes all the photos, get in the photos too.  Camera or Phone - set it on timer and get in the photo :)
We weren't as nimble as the youngsters so Malcolm set up the camera and my granddaughter pressed the button and made a mad dash back to the group.  A very special moment for me.

Get to know your camera  

All memories are important.... as I said before it doesn't matter if it's not perfect or a masterpiece ..... just be sure it's sharp and recognisable ...... so get to know your camera, what it can do and what you can do with it!

This post has caused me to go through my instagram page where most of my images are taken with my phone.
Wow, if you don't have an Instagram account, I advise you to get one.  Some instagram tips here for you.  

There's no need to go public, you can keep it private.  

So many memories and snipits of life there to look back on and takes only minutes.  Can't believe how my grandchildren have grown up in so little time.

'Photography takes a moment of time and holds it still forever' and that's why I love it.  I hope you will too.

Have a great week.
Jan x