Sending Christmas cards is something that has now been done for around two centuries. It is an opportunity to be thoughtful and personal at the same time. Today, most Christmas cards are personalized, which means you get to choose the picture or even take it yourself. This raises the question of how to take excellent Christmas card photos. Below are some key tips you could use.
Tips to Take Great Christmas Card Photos
- How about a candid photo? This is a great way to really show the uniqueness of your family, which is so much more fun than posed photographs. It tells a story, which is really what sending a card is all about. It may be daring and non-traditional, but it will ensure your card stands out.
- Go for natural light rather than flash. This creates far truer colors. Of course, if it is so dark in the area where you want to take your picture, then you should use flash, but the best images are those taken outside in daytime, or indoors with sufficient light. Very few artificially created lighting can compete with natural lighting, and even the best artists have a challenge taking realistic photos under fake lighting. The power of the sun is just so immense, that flash is just not good enough. Whenever you have to choose between the two, always go natural.
- Make sure people are ready and comfortable. This is important whether the picture is posed or traditional. If people feel like they have to do something, they will look stiff and forced as well. Hence, try to get everybody relaxed and comfortable. That’s why the phrase, “act natural” is so common around photography. Natural things are more believable, authentic, and tell a far richer story than stuff that isn’t Photos that are authentic are the pictures that are worth a thousand words. Photos that are fake and look staged, are only worth one word; boring. Do also feel free to take hundreds of pictures. You should be using a digital camera anyway, which means you can take as many pictures as you want.
- Take your picture outside for a really unusual and authentic effect. Using the natural elements tells a story of where you are and what you are doing. The elements are important, particularly around Christmas time. Moreover, you’ll get considerably more options for setting and background; you’ll have more options for telling dissimilar stories with your Christmas photos.
- Make the picture stand out by placing the focus on your subjects, rather than on the background. Of course, you’ll have to first identify your subject. Try to change the subject with each photo, and if you are up to the challenge, make the subjects add to each other. I mean, let them tell a story; the first photo starts the story, and then the next one continues the story, all the way to the last one that ends the story. The theme may be Christmas, but no one said that you can’t spice things up by introducing another theme around Christmas. This means playing with the settings of your camera a bit, which may take a little bit of time. As a rule of thumb, place it on high quality, AF area, single point shoot, no flash, highest shutter speed. Again, you’re using a digital camera, so simply try your settings out.
- Be creative. This picture has to stand out not just from the many standard Christmas cards that people send, but also from the many personalized cards. Since it is getting more common for people to do this, you are likely to have some competition. There are no rules for creativity, so just see what works for you.
As you can see, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to take a fantastic family photograph for your yearly Christmas card. Make sure you know how to set your automatic timer so you can get in the shot as well and that everybody is ready to take part in the photo shoot for a while, as you will have to try a few different settings and setups. Make it something fun, or even a family tradition building up to the Christmas period.