Steve Sherman, December 20 2018

Holiday Time Is Portrait Time

With the holidays in full swing, everyone’s busy with shopping, cooking and traveling to celebrate the season with friends and family. It’s easy to get caught up in all the craziness this time of year…and to not even think about the opportunity you have to capture a special moment with the people you care about most.

1.   Plan ahead to get the photographs you want.

They’ll be plenty of opportunities to capture some amazing and memorable photographs. But the mistake a lot of people make is that they don’t plan ahead and so wind up taking smart phone photos that are okay, but not great; that don’t include everyone in the shot because they weren’t with you at some particular activity; or are a little dull because people didn’t wear the right clothes, get their hair done, etc. Instead, think ahead about the people who will be with you for the holiday’s, where you’ll be, and then notify them in advance to please bring their brightest smile because you’re planning to take some special photos.  Then, check to be sure the battery is charged on your best camera, ensure your equipment is working, and decide where you want everyone to gather to take the best pictures. To get the best results, think about hiring a portrait photographer to take professional photos of you, your friends and family.

2.   Think about the props to inspire the smiles.

Nothing makes kids smile bigger than when you give them a treat. Give them a homemade chocolate chip cookie and they won’t just grimace when you say “cheese”, they’ll smile with their whole body and their eyes will sparkle.  And think about the unintended consequences.  Mom and Dad and the grandparents too will have the same reaction when they see the kids light up. No kids?  What about taking a photo around a piano; and singing a song to some music playing in the background.  You won’t hear the music on the photograph of course, but you will see the joy on everyone’s face singing together. Again, planning ahead gives you an opportunity to come with some really creative and fun ideas.

3.   Think about the lighting.

This doesn’t require a lot of pre-planning, but if you’re looking to create images with warmer tones, consider turning off some of the lights where you’re shooting, lighting some candles to cast a warm glow on the people in the shot, and/or burning some logs in the fireplace in the background. If you’re going to a venue other than your home and you’ll be outdoors, consider where the sun will be and what time of day you need to take the picture with the sun behind you to get the best images.  If you’re planning on taking a night shot, you’ll need to consider whether there’s enough natural light, perimeter building lights and/or whether you need to use a flash. Again, whether you’re celebrating at home or out and about, it might be worth engaging a professional photographer to create the most beautiful memories.

4.   Photographs Make Great Gifts

Holiday photographs are something you can share with everyone, whether they were there to celebrate with you or not. Don’t just email or text the images around. Instead, select a number of the best images and order some prints you can frame and send to your friends and family. Use the opportunity to include a personal note about how this year’s holiday was so special because “they” were there to share it with you; and for those who didn’t attend…how much more special it would have been if they had been there (maybe next year?). Planning ahead is key to getting great images. But in the end, the photographs will enhance your shared experience and make those moments more memorable.

Steve Sherman is one of the area’s most trusted, affordable and respected professional photographers. That’s why so many entertainment industry leaders, corporate clients, service professionals, and demanding private clients choose Steve Sherman.

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Steve Sherman

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