Friday, December 14, 2007

Capturing Great Holiday Moments

When it comes to the holidays, a little preparation can make ye more merry; after all, who can feel festive when you’re bouncing like a basketball from one task to the next?

December can send even the calmest person straight for the spiked punch.

This anxiety often extends to holiday photography. Most of us don’t think about pictures until we’ve got everyone gathered at the table. This year, make sure you’re ready to capture great shots by doing a few things ahead of time:

• Learn How To Use the Timer on Your Camera: Don’t be left out of the holiday shots again this year. Pick up the manual (and if you can’t find it, go online and download instructions) and get familiar with how to set the delay timer on your camera. Practice on yourself a few times until you get a shot you like.

• Invest in a Tripod: This is a great time to ask Santa for a tripod—and feel free to get it well before December 25th! It doesn’t need to be large or fancy; in fact, there are even mini tripods for compact cameras today that are designed to work in almost any situation. It’s a great excuse to spend some time in your local camera store, and you might even get a few Christmas gifts crossed off your list.

• Get Close: To capture those family interactions, your child’s excitement and your Uncle Albert’s infectious laugh, zoom in to create a more personal shot. Eliminate the background clutter and frame the shot a bit tighter than normal. You’ll create some beautiful pictures that are more personal than the traditional head-on photographs.

Hand it Over: Yes, I’m telling you to let a youngster borrow your digital camera to take a few photos. Establish clear rules (must use wrist strap, no arguing over the camera, etc) and let her take a few photos. In our family, we’ve gotten some of our favorite photos this way.

• Print This: If at all possible, run to a nearby photo retailer or drug store and print some copies for loved ones before they travel back home. You can also burn a copy onto CD for them, but there’s something more fun about having printed pictures in your hands this time of year. You can also order pictures online and pick them up from you local store—just call for details.

Now you’ve crossed another to-do off your list—no sending holiday photos in January when you’re trying to get your post-Christmas groove back.

May this holiday season be filled with family, laughter, and love, and may your photographs reflect these times just as you remember them.