When I think back to Christmas as a child there are many memories that flood my mind. However, the trips to the tree farm are my favorite. My mom always made sure that our house smelled of that freshly cut Christmas tree scent, Douglas Fir to be exact. The one thing I don’t have though is family photos to remember those trips by.
Being a photographer photos are precious to me. Having a family of my own was what got me into wanting to learn how to take better family photos in the first place. I’m not going to lie, bringing a camera along isn’t always the easiest but it is always worth it.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of capturing your family this Christmas season not just at the tree farm.
Be Open to Change
Life can throw you curve balls. Weather can change, a child might be in a bad mood or plans need to be adjusted. Don’t let that discourage you from having a good time capturing these special moments. Focus on why you are there in the first place, to be together.
Use Leading Lines
This one is a great tool when you are at a tree farm. Leading lines draw the focus to the subjects. It is naturally pleasing to the eye. Trees are usually planted in rows which makes a perfect setting. As you are looking, hang back a little (if you are the one with the camera) and try and capture your kids scouting the perfect tree. Or ask your (insta) husband to snap one for you.
Plan for Golden Hour
Golden hour is a photography term when the sun gives off that perfect glow. This happens about an hour before sunset and the first hour after sunrise. Lighting can turn a normal photo into an amazing one. Unfortunately, this year we didn’t make it there quite at that time but it wasn’t the end of the world. Like I said earlier, be open to change.
Take Advantage of Christmas Lights
You know those blurry lights in the background that make photos look amazing? That is called bokeh and the lower your f-stop (1.4) the better those will look.
Use a Tripod
Christmas means the hours of daylight are few. You will be shooting in low light situations often. Having a lens that lets you get your lens wide open helps but that isn’t always the case and even when you do a tripod can still help.
I recently picked up a GREAT used tripod from one of my local thrift stores.
Black and White Edits
I’ve been having a lot of fun with black and white photos recently. Low light means high ISO and a great way to make that into a creative photo is converting it to black and white.
Capture Ordinary Moments
In a social media-saturated world we can get caught up in getting the perfect shot. When you have small children and even with older you can be waiting for a long time and miss out on the beauty in the everyday. Don’t miss those opportunities! Goofy smiles, get it. Not perfect posing or lines or composure, get it. Sometimes those photos end up being the most cherished anyway, don’t they?
Now here comes the fun part! Are you ready to put all of this into practice? Being able to take better family photos over the years has been such a blessing. But you can’t learn if you don’t apply. I want you to apply and feel confident in your photo taking. How do you enter?
- Submit a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org between December 7th, 2017 through December 31st, 2017
- Use some of the tips that I have provided. Leading lines, Christmas lights, everyday ordinary moments, black and white edit.
1st PRIZE: Fujifilm Instax mini 9 in color white with one pack of film.
2nd PRIZE: $30 Gift Card to London Drugs
3rd PRIZE: $10 Gift Card to Starbucks Canada
The more people that enter this year the bigger the prizes I can have next year! So make sure to enter and tell your friends to enter!
- You do not need to be a professional photographer to enter
- The photo MUST have been taken by you in some way. Using a tripod, timer or an Insa-husband is acceptable.
- No nudity
- The photos will be judged on clarity and the tips I provided.
- The last submission will be accepted at 11:59pm on December 31st, 2017.
- You can submit up to 2 photos
- Open to Canadian Residents only (sorry!)
- By submitting a photo you are giving me permission to post on my social media outlets for the public. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and my blog.
- Winner will be announced on January 15th, 2018. Winner must claim the prize by email confirmation within 48 hours.
- This contest is in no way sponsored by any social media outlet or Fujifilm.
I CANNOT WAIT to see what comes in my inbox! Good luck everyone and capture those moments!