Many years ago my family replaced “cheese” with fuzzy pickles. How this came about I can’t exactly remember. I do remember being at family reunions back in the 1980’s and great aunts giggling as they posed for photos. Everyone thought fuzzy pickles was the funniest thing to say right before the camera took their picture.
Recently I sorted through a large box of old family photos. Most of the photos I had not looked at in over ten years. It didn’t take me long to realize why I never looked at these photos. I had hundreds of pictures featuring family members opening gifts. Unfortunately in most they were looking down at the gift. What good is a photo if you can’t see the persons face? These photos have no meaning, into the trash they went.
Another photo failure I noticed was clutter. During the holidays we walk around and snap pictures of everyone at our family parties. Aunt Sally, who is visiting from out of state, is holding her two year old nephew for the first time at the dinner table. Unfortunately later when you see the photo there is dirty dishes and used crumpled napkins sharing the moment.
I also had stacks of photos featuring toddlers that were not so good. Yes toddlers move and make capturing their image a challenge but that wasn’t so much the problem with my photos. Many of these photos were shot downward, a tall adult pointing the camera down at the child.
Other issues that ruined my family photos were bad lighting and red eyes. In the past indoor lighting tended to cause photos to have a yellow tinge. Today we can correct that issue by using bright white light bulbs. Add a few inexpensive floor lamps in dark corners of rooms. With the added lighting you can turn the flash off on your camera.
Here are a few tips that will improve your holiday photos.
- Take a minute and remove any clutter on tables or in the background.
- Take pictures of faces, ask people to look straight at the camera.
- When taking photos of kids and pets, get down on their level. Look into their faces. Don’t shoot downward.
- Think about the lighting inside the rooms were your family will be gathering. Do you need more lamps? Use bright white bulbs.
- If you have fairly good lighting, turn your cameras flash off.
- If you decide to use the flash on your camera turn the red eye setting to the “on” position.
Lastly, have prints made of your holiday memories. Don’t let them sit on a memory card or hard drive. Here are links to two of my favorite photo labs
Not every photo you take will be good, so take lots of photos. This will increase your odds of capturing moments in pictures that will be treasured for years to come.
by Jill Eudaly