When my editor sent me this topic, I have to admit that I asked myself if there really were that many ways to photograph the holidays and holiday related events. It was quite a challenge to come up with some reasonable candidates, so here we go.
1. 360 Degree Family Gatherings
360 cameras are easy to use and most deliver great results with no fuss, no muss. Put one on a stand or hang it from a ceiling (you can rotate the footage later) and use your smartphone to wirelessly start and stop recordings as family and friends stop by to visit or shoot your holiday supper. 360 is good fun and with typically included software are easy to edit and playback.
2. Live Sledding
Whether sledding means a toboggan or a snowmobile, capture the real experience by attaching a motion camera like a Go Pro to your vehicle. The ultra-wide lens produces a great look, and auto exposure makes getting great video easy. The cameras have waterproof cases available and are very resilient to shock if you happen to land separate from the sled after a jump. Be safe of course and make some fun videos.
3. Ornament and Light Macros
Ornaments and Holiday lights are often beautiful in and of themselves. Why not use your macro lens or close up arrangement to capture details of these things, to share online or to use on a Holiday card.
4. Going for the Bokeh
Lots of photographers love the look of out of focus highlights. This is a great time to get your camera out with your nifty fifty prime lens and get close to the tree lights. Have many in the frame and focus on the closest one. Use a large aperture like f/1.8 to get really shallow depth of field and make the out of focus lights turn into glowing colourful balls.
5. Shopping Frenzy
The Boxing Day sales are always crazy. Why not put your GoPro or your smartphone on a stick and take it with you on your Boxing Day deal hunt. Some stores have early door-crasher sales where folks start lining up really early. Getting videos of these enthusiastic folks while you stand in line with them can be really fun.
6. Holiday Storefronts
Many stores put a lot of effort into their storefront and window displays. Why not take your camera along and make some images of the hard work?
7. Family Photo Booth
Get yourself a piece of muslin background cloth and hang it in a corner. Set your camera on a tripod with your flash set to bounce off the ceiling into the background. Now when friends and family come by over the holidays, you just place them in your private photo booth and make an image or two. The set becomes a great album or even small prints as mementos for everyone who comes by.
8. Time Lapse Unwrapping
If you have small children, the unwrapping of presents is a huge deal. Try putting your camera on your tripod and use the time lapse mode, or a separate timer to have the camera take a shot on regular intervals. You can combine all the shots into a fun video or slideshow that documents how the unwrapping went, and it will become an irreplaceable memory.
9. Neighbourhood Watch
A lot of us have been out driving in our neighbourhoods and seen some folks who really get into the spirit of outdoor decorating. Why not make this a holiday thing to do and head out in your neighbourhood with your camera and perhaps your tripod and make photos of the differently decorated houses and such? These images become great fill shots or B roll for holiday video and really help you set the tone for your holiday project.
10. Before and After
My mom came from a big family and I remember those family visits. We would all arrive, and everyone would be in great cheer and everything would look fantastic. Then as the day progressed, people would loosen up, the holiday garments would loosen, ribbon and bows and wrapping paper would be lying about. As the dinner would come out of the kitchen everyone looked excited and of course the table was gorgeous but in relatively short order, the turkey was skeletal, the plates were empty, and the people were tired and full. Getting both before and after shots really make a memory.
11. Making a Christmas List
There’s something fun about making a list for Christmas, or for whatever holiday you celebrate. If there are kids who are at least able to print, set up your camera to make a video of the list writing process. You can be off screen and talking to the child and asking questions about the list, what’s on it and why it’s important. This is moment in time content that will never be repeated. All of our cameras today do excellent video, and you need no special gear to make this work.
12. Your Town
Most villages, towns and cities do something to recognize the holidays. Perhaps they decorate, or put up a tree, or have caroling events. Go outside in the evening to your area centre and make images or videos of what’s going on.
13. Holiday Holiday
Some folks like to go away for the holidays, so if you do, take your camera to make your own holiday memories.
14. Wish List
This one could sort of be considered cheating, but it really isn’t? How else can your loved ones know what you REALLY want and DESERVE for the holidays? Use your Henry’s online wish list to make it easy for them to shop for you? Now that’s a GREAT holiday image!
If you have questions about this subject, please leave a comment down below.
Until next time, peace