Sunday, 20 December 2015

12 days of Christmas photography tips. Day eight, tip eight: The Festive Photo

The Festive Photo (pets and kids).

You might like to think of today's blog as a continuation of the traditional family portrait becuase I couldn't finish  that without touching a little on pets at Christmas!

I know that pets are extremely important to many of us in our day to day lives and for people who don't have kids like myself it is my dog who is likely to make it onto a personalised Christmas card or Facebook Christmas post this year.

So how do we include these furry friends in the Christmas fun........well with a bit of imagination, patience and a couple of biscuits.

From very early on my Henry realised that on special occasions such as Christmas he would be called upon to wear something silly and show off a few of his moves in exchange for a yummy treat and easy life...

This is Henry, not yet a year old here, in our first Christmas card. This image was troublesome for a few reasons and took a lot of editing so we won't focus on it but the process I followed was: I put the hat on Henry, had the treat in my hand which he was watching the whole time and then I gently moved back asking him to 'stay' which he did. I grabbed my camera and took the pic. 

(the light was behind Henry so this meant I had to lighten the photo up after to be able to see his face ok which isn't ideal)

The following year these two images were our Christmas offering: 


I took these knowing I was going to add some text to the image so if you know you want to make your photo into a card you need to think about the frame of the shot and where you might place the text after - unless you include the text in the shot as you go like this image 

Props wise the image (above left) involved silly antlers which we got a local pet shop.
The other image involves Christmas lights. 

I adore Christmas lights and I use them in lots of ways we can't forget they are attached to an electricity supply so if in doubt you can actually get these kinds of light that are powered by battery. With Henry dog I felt I could trust him enough to not to run off and even of he had I could have grabbed him quickly to stop the lights being pulled. Just remember animals and kids can be unpredictable. 

If you like the lights idea but are concerned about wrapping them around your pet or child why not try this:

We mocked this up very quickly with my parent's dog this morning:

Mia dog was sitting like a good girl and I placed the Christmas lights on a foot rest and positioned it in front of her. By making sure  the lights were very close to the camera and that she was the thing in focus it ensured the lights blurred well. If using an  smart phone or tablet make sure you touch the screen on the animal's fave to ensure it is the main point in sharp focus in shot.

With the two images above of Henry, I look at these now and think, why did I have the main light on? If I'd turned all the harsh lighting down and instead lit the scene gently with lamp light it would have meant the xmas lights would have blurred better and be shown off to their maximum -  similar the photo above. 

The key to taking fab photos of you pets at Christmas is making sure you get as much of 'Christmas' in the frame as you can like this pic of Hen. Here we have the tree, pressies and Xmas lights at his feet all in shot.

 It is the same principle if you are trying to compose a Christmas card type photo using your Children.

Try to fit as much 'Christmas' in the frame and you can't go wrong with Christmas lights for impact

Here Martha kindly posed for a photo to show us how beautiful Christmas lights can make a beautiful Christmassy photo - look at the colours on Martha's face and the light catching in her eyes in both these photos.

Thankfully there are some amazingly creative Christmas photo ideas out there so you don't have to rely on any of the ideas i've show you here with Henry!

I look forward to trying some of these myself this Christmas! :D

If you try any of these tips do send me your photos I'd love to see them and if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.

However, if you are in that, 'OMG, I totally want a great family photo' place but are overwhelmed by doing it yourself then never fear, help is here! Click here to contact me so you can check this off your list. Easy Peasey

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