The 12 Days of Photo tips are brought to you by KnK's very own Robin Gibbons.
Taking the family photo.
The dreaded family photo in front of the tree or fireplace is usually taken before Christmas. Its for the family Christmas card. If you are determined to take this your self with a timer that is just fine. Try using some of these tips to make it easier on you and on your family. Try a different location. Go outside in the snow or yard and take a photo in your snow clothes. Bright colored coats and cute hats can really bring a photo to life. Be sure to change your settings for outside light and some digital cameras can actually plan for a snowy day. Check your manual to see if your camera has this capability. If you don’t already have one, purchase a tripod. You can find fairly inexpensive ones at discount stores such as Wal-mart. I have never been so happy with a photography purchase in my life. I have used just about everything imaginable, including the hoods of cars, trying to get a group photo with my timer. A tripod will eliminate the need to stack books, boxes or people. Try a different angle. If you have all of your family sitting on the hearth do not put your camera up higher than your subject. Try putting your camera just a few feet off the ground or level with your eyes. This will give your picture a less awkward feel. Use props. Its hard to get kids to cooperate. Give little ones a fun oversized sucker in Christmas colors. Let them suck on them during the picture. I have also seen people use large plastic ornament balls to keep the kids happy.
TURN OFF THE FLASH!
That tip will be on every tip I will EVER write. Flash is your enemy. Honest. If you are going to take a picture in low light and want to use your flash try to diffuse it somehow. I have even used paper cups over my flash just to spread the light out. Turn on all the lights in the room and use those. Take your picture during the day. If your subjects have shadows under there eyes use a white sheet at their feet to reflect light back up to their faces. And remember, sometimes it takes 100 shots to get 1 good one. Don’t be discouraged, sometimes the most wonderful pictures are the ones you least expect.