While every setup is different when it comes to where the natural light is compared to your Christmas tree, there are a few tricks that can help you get a picture that slightly rivals ones from years past. You know the ones — the baby is all BRIGHT! and WELL LIT! in front of an almost black-looking tree. I’ve been playing around a lot with different set ups and lighting techniques over the past month and while I haven’t yet gotten *the* tree photo that I have in my mind, I’ve figured out a few things that work and a few that don’t work so well at all. I figure the tree will be there for at least 23 more days so that’s 23 more days to practice and get the perfect photo.
Keep reading to find out a few tricks for improving your in-front-of-the-tree shots with whatever camera you happen to have available.
I’m lucky to have a window on one side of my tree. In the past I had to get pretty creative with reflective, shiny surfaces (think silver cookie sheets and white poster board) to get decent light shining in a baby’s face. I thankfully have a small arsenal of reflectors and off-camera lighting but a well-lit window is still my light of choice.
The first two photos were taken with a $150 Kodak point-and-shoot camera while the rest were taken with my Canon 40D and a 50mm 1.4 lens. To anyone with a DSLR a 50mm is one of the best multifunctional lenses you can get. A 1.8 can be bought for under $100 and is really fun to have around. (You have to move your body around with a 50mm, it doesn’t zoom in or out like other lenses which can be strange for some people to get used to.) Short of a maid, nothing will make a messy house look better than a shallow depth of field. *ahem*
Play around with different settings, different angles and find out what works best in your house. Once you know you can plop a happy baby down any time during the day, practice until you get exactly what you’re looking for.
Now to actually print them out and put them in picture frames before NEXT Christmas.
Many thanks to Canon for sponsoring this post and for providing me with a brand new shiny PIXMA printer to play with.