How to take perfect festive photos
Getting your timing right
Firstly, as mentioned above, choosing le bon moment to take a photo is key to photographic success, and especially when there are lots of people involved.
If you get under the feet of the flustered family chef(s) during the pre-prandial preparations, you’re highly unlikely to capture your nearest and dearest at their beautiful best and more likely to be told who your ancestors are (well within hearing of a few of the said ancestors in the sitting-room next door…).
One way to avoid such kitchen meltdowns is to warn your intended subject well in advance that you’d like to take a cooking action shot and ask them to call you through when they’ve reached a propitious juncture in proceedings. That way you won’t interrupt them at the point when their third attempt at lump-free gravy has just been binned.
Mix it up
Secondly, it’s wise to go for a mix of posed and natural shots at family gatherings. Posed photos involving large groups of people can require patience and time, both of which tend to be in short supply at such events.
For the natural shots, move quietly round the house, trying to blend into the background scenery and snap people while they are engrossed in a conversation or even sitting alone – though possibly not when they’ve got a mouth full of Aunt Flossie’s trifle (but then again, think of the comedic potential…).
If you are attempting a large group shot, organise the adults into position first and leave it until the last moment possible to place the youngsters, as they’re almost certain to be full of beans (for which read Smarties) on such occasions. Expecting them to sit still for any period of time is simply not realistic and likely to lead to tears before bedtime.
Let there be light (of the right type)
Before you start your festive photography crusade, work out which settings and angles are going to provide the best light and position yourself accordingly. If necessary, draw the curtains behind your subjects and either dim or put off any overhead lighting, if possible, to optimise the quality of your photos.
And talking of lights, try to ensure that there are no standard lamp poles growing out of your family’s heads in the finished result. The same applies outside with trees: a quick scrutiny of the background to your photo can ensure you don’t kick yourself later at an opportunity wasted.
Portraits: the perfect Christmas present
Of course, the sure-fire way to avoid tension on the big day – and to capture your happy family at their fabulous best before the tantrums among the turkey and the tinsel commence – is to book a professional family portrait in late November or early to mid-December. That way you can relax completely on the day, secure in the knowledge that you already have a gorgeous family photo.
Better still, top-quality photos also make an ideal gift for friends and family. And don’t forget that you can commission portraits of your faithful four-legged friends, which also make perfect presents. Alternatively, you could purchase a voucher for a family portrait or a pet portrait (£85) for the recipients to use themselves. Either way, your gift will last a lifetime.
Vouchers for Christmas click here
And to ensure that your pets get into the festive spirit during the sitting, I even have a supply of Christmas hats for them to borrow.
Give me a call now on 07933 510243 or email me to make your photos a reality this Christmas.