This week media photographer and PhotoBox guest blogger Maria Slough returns with some suggestions on what to photograph this festive season and opens up her personal photo album to share some of her favourite Christmas photos taken with her compact camera and smartphone. Over to you Maria…
Christmas comes but once a year, and while the festive season holds a different meaning for everyone, it offers us all an abundance of opportunity for photos. Below are some suggestions on what to photograph throughout the Christmas celebrations.
Are you dreaming of a ‘White Christmas’? When the snow falls grab your camera or smartphone and venture out into the icy silence – or if you’re not comfortable in the snow, open your window and photograph what you see. Snow makes even the most simple vista look amazing.
To add a sparkle effect to your photograph, use the flash on your camera and capture the snow as it’s falling. This will highlight the snowflakes nearest to your camera and create an ‘in camera special effect’.
Snowfall creates a natural monochrome. To add great contrast and shadow to your picture try photographing something that is already black and white like the dog below, then add a black and white filter. The white markings on his black fur make him stand out against the snow and add an extra dynamic to the photo.
Pre Christmas Travel
Perhaps you have been travelling in the lead up to Christmas? The numerous Christmas markets across the UK and Europe make for fantastic photo opportunities. Look out for the abundance of fairy lights against the sky, the kaleidoscope of colour and the texture against the simple wood of the market chalets.
Alternatively, look for the less obvious Christmas themed photographs on your travels. The two doves peeking out of the cross-shaped window add an extra festive element to the photograph.
For many of us, the giving and receiving of presents is one of the most anticipated things about Christmas – and there are many ways to photograph this. Start by taking a photograph of all the wrapped presents under the tree. Make part of the tree a main feature of the picture and avoid using flash. The diffused lights from the tree will give your picture a festive atmosphere. Then be ready to get people’s reactions as they open their gift. Take multiple shots to make sure you capture the perfect facial expression.
Christmas is a great time for family portraits as for some it can be one of the few times a year that the whole family gathers together. Take five minutes to organise a family portrait – seat the family elders in the centre of the shot and place everyone else around them. Candid shots are also in abundance at Christmas. Is there a member of your family that likes to snooze after lunch? Or perhaps you can capture some party games during the day.
Look out for photo opportunities of the children in the family captivated by their new toys, which will make great stock photos for creating gifts for next year.
Make sure that you don’t forget to take pictures of your pets during the holiday. Capture these photographs after all the excitement has subsided, to get the perfect pet shot, try using burst mode on your camera or smartphone. It will give you the best chance of a great photo.
Is it your baby’s first Christmas? A Christmas hat or booties help make the perfect ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ photograph. Remember to take pictures of them with all the family members for the family album or Photobook.
Play with perspective and get creative with your Christmas photos. Take a photograph from inside the house and capture some stunning shots of family and friends who are unaware. As night-time arrives, experiment with photographing the reflections of Christmas lights in the outside shot.
If you are happy to brave the cold, then take a short walk away from your house and photograph the festivities from the outside looking in – this will create a wintery beautiful scene. These shots will make the perfect Christmas card for next year.
This year I chose ‘The Snow Queen’ for my Christmas card shoot and created them at PhotoBox. You can add your own message inside. So to all PhotoBoxers out there I wish you a very Happy Christmas filled with an abundance of great pictures. See you in 2014!
All images by: Maria Slough, all rights reserved © Maria Slough Photography