5 Christmas morning photo tips
There can be some pressure when it comes to taking the perfect holiday photos. Not only do we want to remember, display and share these holiday photos with our friends, but these moments only happen once. We only get one chance to capture those excited faces, jumping bodies and ripped wrapping paper flying through the air – no pressure… My husband is a professional photographer, the kind who is published monthly in magazines, so I asked him for his best tips to parents looking to capture holiday moments. Here are his tips + a few ideas of my own.
- set camera settings the morning before. The day before Christmas, at the approximate time in the morning Christmas will begin in your home the next day, set up the scene and your camera settings. Figure out where the best lighting is and designate that spot the “unwrapping spot”. This will probably be near a window, but make sure it isn’t one where the early sun is blazing in too strong. If you are using manual settings on your camera (and I hope you are!!!!) go ahead and have a child sit in the “unwrapping spot” and dial your camera in to get the right exposure. Snap a photo to make sure it is perfect and then don’t touch that camera again until the next morning, aka show time! If you must use the camera that night, just make sure to right your settings down so you can quickly adjust them back afterwards.
- set your auto-focus to continuous mode (AF-C). Christmas morning is chaotic and there is no slowing down the kids, and why would you want to? Let the kids go wild and enjoy their morning but still get the shot by setting your auto-focus to continuous mode. Continuous mode will hold the focus you choose even while the subject is moving, as long as you keep holding the shutter button down. So, say you focus on your child’s eyes, the camera in this mode, will follow your child’s eyes making sure you get that in-focus shot continuously.
- set your shutter to continuous mode (C). When something big is about to happen, say your child is opening their BIG gift or something special from Grandma, set your shutter to continuous mode. As long as you keep the shutter release button down, your camera will continuously snap shots, ensuring at least one is tack sharp, eyes are open and you captured the perfect expression.
- dress to impress the kids. Don’t let the kiddos go to bed in their dingy pajamas because that is what they will be wearing in the morning. A fun tradition we always do is have the kids open a present on Christmas Eve with their new holiday pajamas. Matching or complementary pajamas are encouraged for the best looking photos. Also, make sure the kids get their nighttime bath before bed so they are nice and fresh. Don’t worry about bedhead – that only adds to the cuteness!
- pamper yourself in the days leading up to Christmas. One of the worst things mom can do is jump out of the photos. You will regret this later in life when you find yourself absent from the family photos. It is easy to forget yourself in the chaos of the holidays, leading to a “look what the cat dragged in” appearance come Christmas morning. The week before the big day, manicure your nails, exfoliate and moisturize your skin, apply a few DIY facial masks and whiten your teeth. Be camera ready for this important day of family photos!
It is hard not to smile during the holidays so make yours bright and white! I have been using Crest Whitestrips for a really long time, like 10 years off and on. I’ve used other systems along the way, of course, since I product test often, but always find my way back to Crest Whitestrips. They just work so well and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?!
This season, Crest Whitestrips has a limited-time offer: Buy one box of Crest 3D White Whitestrips 1-Hour Express Teeth Whitening Kit online at Walmart and get another for FREE! Amazing deal, I know. So have you tried Crest Whitestrips before? They are super convenient and easy to use – just apply and go on with your day. 3D 1-Hour Whitestrips whiten faster than before, which I appreciate as a busy, working mom. One hour to remove years of stains with enamel-safe ingredients? Sign me up.