In my opinion, Andy Williams was 100% right when he crooned that Christmas is the “most wonderful time of the year”. Every Christmas, when the trees are up, the mulled wine is on the stove and Christmas lights illuminate everything, I think back to my youth and remember how magical the Christmas period was.
All the consumerism aside, Christmas is a truly wonderful opportunity to spend time with family, and I think it’s a really important time for you to enjoy some quality moments with your loved ones. From that perspective, it’s a shame that it only happens once a year, and I think it’s really important to ensure that you commemorate that time.
There’s nothing quite like the visual experience that is Christmas, and when I see pictures of the house I grew up in, festooned with Christmas lights and tinsel; it helps me cast my mind back to those wonderful family times. Those photos elicit in me a wonderful sense of nostalgia, and for me, that’s the real value in photographs – the memories that they can encapsulate. With that in mind, I think it’s a really valuable activity to make sure that you have some photographs of your house this Christmas, and here’s my top five tips for taking Christmas photos that create glowing memories:
1) Take photos with Christmas lights as the background
If your camera is good enough to do so, you can create a really great photographic effect by taking a picture of something in the foreground, with slightly out of focus Christmas lights in the background. For me, the slightly blurred lights (known in photography as “bokeh”) create a really nice, warm image and help to show the warmth that we all enjoy at Christmas time.
2) Children’s faces
I said Christmas is all about family, and that is totally true; but what I didn’t say is that the younger your family is, the more crucial Christmas is to them. If you can cast your mind back to when you were a child, Christmas was the event of the year, and there was nothing as exciting as opening your present on Christmas morning. Why not capture the moment when your child opens their present on the 25th? As long as it’s what they want, you’re guaranteed a look of absolute joy!
3) Don’t forget to capture the table!
I do this every single year! You’ve spent an hour, painstakingly setting up a gorgeous Christmas lunch table, with crackers, wine glasses, your finest china and a ludicrous amount of food – your dining table will probably not look this good again for another year! Make sure you remember to take a photo of it before everyone digs in and your hard work is eradicated.
4) Don’t just think internal
It might be that you take lots of photos at Christmas time, but generally restrict yourself to shots of people or of decorations inside. I’ve always found that some of the most evocative Christmas pictures are ones that are taken from outside looking in. For example, if your children are leaving a mince pie by the Christmas tree for Santa, why not take a picture from the window looking in; capturing the beautiful tree and your adorable children? Taking photos from outside have the effect of contrasting the cold outside with the warm inviting indoors, and that’s a Christmas feeling that is too good to forget.
5) Candles make indoor photos look great
Having tealights or candles in your shot often serve to help instill that Christmassy feeling into your photograph. As a child, I remember being fascinated by all the different lights that you see at Christmas, and lighting a few candles in your home will no doubt help add more cosiness and warmth to the shot.
About the photographer: Sue is a professional portrait photographer based in Harlow, Essex and she specialise’s in baby and child portraiture. Being a parent, she understand’s just how special your child is to you and her aim is to produce a collection of images that are natural and meaningful to your family. No two moments are ever the same and she wants to perfectly capture those early precious memories and the natural character of your child.