Monday, December 23, 2013

Photography helping preserve Holiday traditions

This is the time of year we celebrate with family and friends. It is a tradition and photography can help everyone enjoy them more for the years to come, but for that to happen someone will have to take some photos.

I have been enjoying my wife's family tradition of Forget Me Not cookies.


My sister makes rainbow cookies every year as well as a few other special cookies. As you can see you can easily photograph many of these family traditions, add the family recipes and then maybe create a book of the family memories and traditions for everyone in the family to get a copy.

Most of my friends have a party mix of some kind made with Chex cereal.  Well in our family we call it Scrabble. This is what my Nana "B" called it. She was my grandmother. Maybe it is they ate a lot of it when they played scrabble.

Here are a few tips that will improve these holiday photos for you this year.

First be sure and remove all the photos from your camera's memory card and put them in a safe place. I would have at least one more memory card. There are a few reasons for you having a second memory card. Of course if you fill up one you want a second, but believe it or not these things can fail and having a second card with you is important to capture those fleeting moments with family.

Our family tradition the past six years has been to go to the Fellowship of Christian Athlete breakfast at the Chick-fil-A Bowl each year. Here is my daughter and her friend with Dan Cathy.
Second, charge your multiple camera batteries. For the same reason you need a second memory card you need a second camera battery.

Third keep that camera with you all the time through the holidays. Take lots of photos.

Fourth use available light as much as you can. Do you best to custom white balance your photos.  I carry the ExpoDisc and get custom white balance every chance I can to get the best possible color in every situation.  I wrote about using this over presets in the camera in an earlier blog [click here]

Fifth buy a tripod and actually use it. This is most likely the one thing that will improve people's photos the most over anything else. The reason is camera shake is the number one reason for poor photos. There is motion in the image making the subject look soft and out of focus. They are not so much out of focus as the camera is moving while the camera is taking the photo. I wrote on how I use a tripod to photograph the ornaments on the tree [click here] in an earlier blog post.

Sixth think about everything you are doing this holiday before you do anything. Take a moment and reminisce about the years gone by. What are the traditions that you look forward to each year.  Take a moment and write out an outline.  I wrote an earlier blog to help you with this if you need some tips. [click here]

Be prepared this Christmas to document some of the family traditions you have and help capture not only the visuals but the reasons these are traditions in writing. put together a photo book after the holidays and share this with your family and friends.  Maybe include some of those family recipes with photos of the cooks as they are making them.

Here is a great place to make that book for about $30 or more if you have a lot to include. Check out Blurb.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.