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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Tips for the perfect holiday photo



Father taking picture of family by Christmas tree

If you’re anything like me, when all of the good mothers of the world were taking their children’s holiday pictures and ordering their greeting cards, you were making Halloween costumes or watching extended Balloon Boy coverage.

Is it too late to capture the perfect holiday photo of your family? Not necessarily, according to local photographer Helen Malick. She’s got some great tips to help you get your perfect holiday photo.

When trying to photograph little ones, make sure they are rested and well fed. “For little toddlers, hold some mini goldfish or vitamin gummies in your hands that you can readily give to them without it showing up in the pictures.”

Wear comfortable clothing. Forget that itchy dress that you've been dying to put your daughter into or forcing your toddler into a shirt and tie that he can pull on. Don’t let their outfits become a distraction. When choosing clothing, think about making a really nice bed or decorating a room -- coordinating colors rather than matching exactly. The entire family does not have to dress the same. Think color scheme and complimentary colors like blue and tan.

Be quick with the click. Waiting around just gives time for toy fighting, juice box explosions and other distractions to happen.

To set your photograph apart from the rest, Helen says, “I love the use of uncommon backgrounds such as a colorful old barn door, dark colored garage door with a lot of texture, a brick wall, or making use of archways of a local church or old building to frame your shot. If you live on a golf course, make use of the sand dunes or holes. Try dipping all your feet into the hot tub or laying on your stomachs ...the light that bounces off of most pools are pretty nice and even. Perfect under-lighting.”

Also remember that backdrops do not always have to be behind you. Try looking up or down. For example, have the subjects sit on driveway pavers or find an old bridge and shooting down at the subjects.

And if you absolutely can’t get that perfect family shot? Try using a collage or individual pictures. For individual shots, try to use the same lighting and the same prop, such as having each person lean into a large tree with interesting grains and bark texture. Or tie all the pictures together with a common prop like the same scarf in different colors around the neck.

Finally, she adds, “Don't worry if not all the kids are smiling. You're capturing a moment in time. It's not normal for all of your kids to smile at the same time! Even if you have a young one that wants to just walk around in the outskirts of the image, you'll likely look back fondly at the fun times rather than the stress of taking that ‘perfect’ holiday picture.”

For more great tips and examples, visit Helen Malick's Web site , blog or Facebook page.

Tracey Henry, the Suburban Diva


[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 11:04am]


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