When photographing the holidays at home, some of the best moments are for making memories are found in the preparation.
Look to photograph hands at work making cookies and everyone decorating the tree. It’s these intimate and thoughtful photographs that are more meaningful than the picture of the finished cookies or the fully decorated tree.
Since so many holiday activities seem to take place when it’s dark outside, it’s helpful to have a fast lens (one with a low maximum ƒ-number that you can open very wide to let a lot of light in). Beware, though, that shooting inside, especially in low light, means that your shutter speed will have to slow way down to properly expose your image. Hold your camera steady or place it on a solid surface and make sure your subject is relatively stationary. Most people will experience some camera shake (blurry pictures) at any shutter speed below 1/60 second. Another way to combat this is to crank your camera’s ISO very high and accept a noisier image.
To get that fun festive effect where your lights are all out of focus in the background (known as bokeh), place your children a few feet in front of the lights and open your aperture as far as you can (i.e., ƒ/2.8). Make sure you’re focused on your child and be careful to hold the camera steady or use a tripod.
Real Life Family Photography is Amy Drucker’s guide to going beyond the birthday snapshot and learning how to take inspired and unposed family photographs that capture the ages and stages of family life. Real Life Family Photography puts an end to awkward family photos, encouraging you to take inspiration from the every day details, while offering tips on fundamental techniques such as exposure, composition, lighting and focus. There’s even advice on how to photograph babies and pets, giving you the knowledge and freedom you need to take unique, frame-worthy pictures.