Photographing the Holidays: A Tutorial

Photographing the Holidays: A Tutorial

As we dive into the holiday season, opportunities for photos of kids engaged in easily recognizable activities abound. But how to add variety and interest while photographing the holidays instead of creating images that can easily look the same year after year? Here are a few quick tips:


Cut Off the Heads

Frame your image so that the subject/s head/s are not included. Doing so causes the viewer to focus on something different than the subject’s face, which is generally very visually attractant in an image. This type of framing works especially well if there is a strong non-face point of interest to attract the viewer’s eye.

documentary photo of child in dragon costume by megan cieloha photo-by-megan-cieloha-2-3 photo of halloween candy in bucket by a pumpkin by megan cieloha

Include Environment

Including the scene that is surrounding the subject helps to create a sense of atmosphere and place. It also gives the viewer more information with which to construct a story about the image in their imagination. This helps the photographer give a more complete representation of an event while photographing the holidays.

documentary photo of children in halloween costumes by megan cieloha photo-by-megan-cieloha-3015 photo-by-megan-cieloha-2-2 photo-by-megan-cieloha-2-5

Focus on the Hands

Although faces hold the strongest visual attraction for a viewer of a photography, hands are definitely in the running for second place. Beyond their ability to attract a viewer’s eye, kids’ hands change so much over the years and documenting those changes is always worth it. While photographing the holidays you can include context with the hands, to help mark the passage of time.

photo-by-megan-cieloha-3034 child unwraps halloween candy while wearing a costume photo by megan cieloha photo-by-megan-cieloha-3006

Don’t Forget a Portrait or Two when Photographing the Holidays

As much as I like to push creativity and see a familiar scene from a new viewpoint, I still feel strongly that there is a place for traditional portraits. Give yourself permission to throw one or two into each set of holiday images!

portrait of child in a halloween costume by megan cieloha photo of children in halloween costumes by megan cieloha child dressed up as superman photo by megan cieloha photo-by-megan-cieloha-3025 photo-by-megan-cieloha-2 photo-by-megan-cieloha-2-6

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