Santa comes to our house a little early every year. Which I would imagine makes his job a little easier because that way he get all the 2 parent families done 1st and cuts his workload way down.
I just wanted to make a quick post on shooting your family during the holidays, so that you can enjoy them and get awesome photos without frustration.
1. Learn the functions of your camera. This is not as hard as it sounds. Just play with all the different settings and practice. Shoot you pets. People don't understand, but your pets are actually more difficult to shoot than your kids because at least you kids will sometimes work with you, and you can bribe them.
2. Make sure when you shoot to include holiday items ie: tree, wreath, the ridiculous sweaters that your aunt knitted you last Christmas. It adds context.
3. Try to shoot children, and animals from their level. We often see people shooting them from above, and it is to average looking.
4. Be in the moment. This goes back to the 1st tip because in order to be in the moment you have to be comfortable with the tool that you are using. Snapshots always look fake and posed when you have to take 50 to get one right. Also, you end up missing Christmas because you were shooting, or video recording and forgot to actually be present in the moment.
5. Anticipate. If you are ready, and set when little Bobby opens up his Red Rider BB gun you won't miss the look on his face when he tears open the wrapping paper.
6. You don't always have to include faces. Sometimes a hand on the family dogs head, or junior's foot kicking dad's egg nog will make a compelling addition to your holiday album.
7. This is the most important and the one that I see a lot of people fail at. Get the photos off your memory card and on to some other device ie: computer, CD, external HD, stone tablet, anything so that they are not just sitting there on your camera so that next summer when your at Sea World and you drop your camera into the Shark tank you don't lose your holiday photos. Also on that same topic, after you load them onto your computer make sure you make a copy somewhere else because it's not a matter of "if" your hard drive will fail it's "when".
I hope that these tips help your holiday photography. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask in the comments section or drop me an email.