Holiday family photos

Tony and Lori in front of the Christmas treeWhen I was growing up, we always took holiday family photos. As the family surrounded the Christmas tree and celebrated the holiday, a camera was always near. That’s not the case so much anymore, and I don’t really know why.

I treasure those old Christmas photos. You know the feeling you get when you pull out decades-old photo albums and see photos of long ago memories. It is a great feeling, and one that I don’t think should be abandoned.

Unfortunately, my family has abandoned that in many ways. Maybe it’s because we are no longer kids. Maybe because we are busy or just don’t think it’s important anymore. That’s sad.

As families gather for Christmas next week, it is a perfect time to get out the camera and take some of those family photos that will be treasured now and years from now. Here’s some suggestions for getting great photos of the family at Christmastime.

Get everyone in front of the tree, and stagger heights of the people in the photo. It’s always more interesting if some are standing, some are sitting, some are kneeling or sitting on the floor. Try to create some imaginary triangles between heads. Don’t stack one person’s head right over another person’s head. Move someone over to avoid this no-no. Consider some interaction between people in the photo, whether it be linking arms, hand holding or draping hands over shoulders.

Watch your lighting. You’ll likely need a flash or strobe to light the scene.

I suggest photographing a variety of groups. Go ahead and get the entire big group, but break it up and photograph some smaller groups as well.

So remember, when the family gathers for the Christmas holiday, don’t forget the family photos. It will give you a moment that you will remember well into the future.