Courtney from A Little Glass Box shares her favorite tips for taking holiday photos.
I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes the idea of a holiday photo can be a bit overwhelming. The idea of trying to get everyone dressed up and having a positive attitude throughout the process seems daunting to this mama. So for the past few years I have decided to shoot my own photos with a more casual feel in order to alleviate some of the self-induced pressure. Here are a few tips I have learned along the way to creating a fun and family-friendly holiday photo.
1. Don’t stress too much on the dress. I always try to dress in coordinating colors and keeping patterns to a minimum, but leave the formal attire at home. I like to use bright and cheerful colors for holiday photos (like red) so it pops against a more neutral background.
2. Try and use a prop. I have also found that using some type of prop is fun and makes the photos more interesting. This can be as simple as the glow of a strand of Christmas lights twinkling in the background, using a beautiful wintry scarf as a whimsical focal point, or using a special holiday sign for the kiddos to hold.
3. Location. Location. Location. One of the most important tips is investing time in finding or creating the perfect Location for the backdrop of your photo. I find shooting outside to be the most successful (in terms of beautiful color/lighting). (Be sure to shoot out of the sunlight and in a place where people are not squinting in the photo). I like to photograph outdoor shots because it helps to tell the story of where we are living and what we are surrounding ourselves with, during this time frame of our life. It can be as basic as a fence, a favorite tree, a beautiful statue or fountain in your town, or even the beautiful brick siding of a building. Everything has potential to create a beautiful backdrop for a family photo. *If scenery is lacking, try hanging some type of wrapping paper or fabric in the background to create a fun backdrop.
4. Texture is everything. The texture in the background of a photo is very important. I like to use the rough exterior of rocks, trees, or even a wooden barn to create depth and texture in the photo. It can really help make an image pop. It can be especially beautiful with a black and white image.
5. Don’t underestimate the power of creativity. Refrain from simply looking at the camera in the photo. Be creative. Use a chair and stand on it, kneel down, or step to the side to take the photograph. Use all sorts of interesting angles to create a more interesting photo. I like to take pictures of my family looking off into the horizon, or down at their shoes and really capture what they do in these moments of vulnerability, instead of just staring at the camera and smiling.
Allowing yourself to think outside of the box and get creative with your family not only will help to produce a wonderful picture but it may just give you some wonderful memories while making the photo as well. At the end of the day you know your family best. So why not be the one to capture the beauty of your family behind the lens? I wish you and your loved ones a very happy holiday season filled with lots of amazing pictures.