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Sunday, December 22, 2013

How to photograph your kids better in front of the Christmas tree | Wilmington NC Family Photographer

I can't even believe it.. Christmas is only a few days away! Last Monday I talked about how to photograph your Christmas tree. Check out that post here. Today I want to take those rules and apply them to portraits. I will show you how to photograph your kids better in front of the Christmas tree. There are several ways you can do it. I am going to show you two ways… The first way is how many professional photographers would recommend…

The set of photos below were actually taken during the day. I am lucky enough to have so much light in my living room…. we have four windows! I closed the blinds and curtains to all the windows except for one. Then I sat Olivia in front of the window with the tree behind her. The window is off camera to the left. I turned on the Christmas tree lights and made sure the flash on my camera was turned off. I opened my aperture almost as wide as it could go…. it was at f1.8, my iso was jacked all the way up! lol! And then I adjusted my shutter speed accordingly. Because there was so much light coming in the window my shutter speed was still pretty fast. It was 500th of a second. Then I clicked away. I gave Olivia a decorative "HoHoHo" sign to catch her attention and make sure she wouldn't wiggle around. :) So to recap:

1. Turn off your flash
2. Place your child in front of a window
3. Turn your camera to a low aperture

If you are not lucky enough to have a window in your living room or in a convenient spot you could always move the tree… but really... what a pain! lol! Or you could photograph at night. The photos below were taken at night… All the some of the same rules apply

1. Turn off your flash
2. Turn your camera to a low aperture

This time your shutter speed will be much slower. I would recommend turning your aperture to the lowest setting, jacking your ISO as high as it will go and turn down your shutter speed as low as you can go with out getting motion blur. For me that is 160th of a second. It might be a little higher for you until you get the hang of it. The only way to tell is practice! You can even turn on some over head lights to help the lighting situation. It probably won't be much of a difference but Christmas lights are a lot brighter then you would think. :) And viola, photos in front of the tree! My husband even took the second photo below! Thats how easy it is! Wish I could've taken credit for that one. Its one of my favorites! Again, I gave her a plastic ornament to grab her attention for a little while. 

Leave a comment below letting me know which lighting situation you like better. And post your photos of your kids in front of the christmas tree on my Facebook page here. Visit my website for more children photography at

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