The holidays are here in full swing!
The shopping is done, the weather is blustery, and the anticipation is high for the end of the year. With all the excitement, there are sure to be plenty of moments you’ll want to capture. And we’re excited to share a few of our favorite tips to help you to authentically preserve those memories for you and your family! (Many of these are the things we are consistently reminding ourselves of when photographing families and events.)
Keep the Camera Close
Memories happen quickly, and you’re going to want immediate access to a camera when the moment strikes. It’s been said that the best camera is the one you have with you, and this is never more true than when documenting family memories. So whether you are using a DSLR or the camera on your phone, make sure it’s always with you, accessible, and ready to capture the action.
Anticipate the Moments
Who doesn’t remember running downstairs on Christmas morning to open presents, or kissing someone on New Year’s Eve? For us, they are some of the most exciting moments of our childhood, and recalling these things in your own life can help you to anticipate events. When you know something is about to happen (trust your gut, you’ll know), get into a position where you can observe the action. Bonus if you can find a creative angle for observation.
Hold Your Frame
The moments you want to capture don’t always unfold right away, or exactly when you think they will. Sometimes, waiting that extra few seconds in an emotional moment will allow for a truly amazing image you didn’t even know would be there.
Get Down on Their Level
As we get older (and taller), we often forget that the world is built for adults. Kids see the world in a unique way and when you start viewing the world from this unique perspective, it’s amazing to see the new photographic opportunities that may emerge.
Getting on the level with your kids and seeing the world from three feet can offer a whole new perspective and honesty to your images. And getting down even lower can also make your child appear larger in images, and show them to be hero of the story you’re telling about that moment.
Give Your Child a Camera
A child’s vantage point is the only unique about their perspective. How fun would it be to see what catches their attention during the holidays? Spark their interest in photography, whatever age they’re at, and let them show you their world.
Many kids already have some familiarity with smart phones and cameras, so put your phone in a tough case and let them play with it for a bit. Alternatively, a “ruggedized” camera like the Fujifilm Finepix XP series or the Olympus Tough TG series point and shoots are an excellent way to let them play and make images worry-free.
Don’t Forget the Adults!
Though it can be easy to focus on the excitement kids feel during the holidays, don’t forget about the adults in your family! The amazing smile grandma has can often be seen just over the shoulder of an excited child.
[Bonus] Print Your Images
Happening upon photographs of your family during years past, and for many, even the experience of enjoying personal photo albums and prints on the wall, are becoming less and less familiar. Gone are the days of film cameras where you had to drop off your rolls for processing and were only able to see what you captured via the physical prints you got back (the best of which often went straight into albums or frames). Instead, amazing images that hold the very memories of your family languish on phones and hard drives amongst the graveyard of spreadsheets and text documents that often end up on an island of misfit files.
If you’re the DIY type, handheld compact photo printers like the Fujifilm Instax or the Polaroid ZIP make a fun gift (for yourself or others), and allow you to make instant prints of images right from your smartphone. Or you can skip the phone to printer step and go old school with a Fujifilm Instax Camera that works a lot like a Polaroid Camera. In either case, there’s something special about watching an image magically appear on that little white rectangle. Talk about nostalgia!
And now onto you. Do you have any tips or tricks you’ve learned photographing your family during the holidays? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!