Christmas Card Outtakes

Usually taking photos outside gets me good results when photographing the kids. They are happier outside, more relaxed, quicker to smile and the smiles are more genuine. On the photography side of things shooting outdoors is easier because you can get plenty of bouncing light even when standing in the shadows.  When you don’t have extra lighting equipment to help you with indoor shoots, shadows and inconsistent or harsh over head lighting are enemy number one.

All this is true except when it comes to photography in winter. Especially in MN when winter means lots of snow.

Today I tried something new though. I followed some tips I received from my bff Christine (who is a great photographer in Jamestown, ND- check out her blog here) about light metering and I also read a bunch of online tutorials to help me balance all the white in the snow.

Here is the thing about photographing my kiddos. They do not sit still, wait for you to say cheese and then look into the camera and give you a genuine smile. Well, Elise does the majority of the time, but the boys don’t. Patrick doesn’t like to look straight into a camera lens so his eyes are always looking in another direction and for Michael it is hard work to look at a camera, but he does his best and while he is focusing so hard on making his eyes meet my lens, his smile becomes forced and brows become furrowed.

I understand this about my kids, so when I take photos I rarely mess around with settings. I usually just set it on auto or av, frame the photo, bribe the kids for smiles and open eyes and shoot as many as I can while they are all looking. I don’t want to miss a chance for a good shot by messing with settings like aperture, iso, white balance and shutter speed. I just want the best photo I can get with them looking.

Today I risked not “getting the shot” and pushed myself to try and be a better photographer (even if I am just a glorified mommy photographer). The goal was to get photos that were not too underexposed (all white snow and dark faces) or the opposite which would be overexposed photos that were all too bright with the kids’ faces washed out. I also have been working on getting truer skin tones.

These are the results.

Far from perfect, but I am happy with them and proud that I switched my camera off of auto when taking photos for something as important as a Christmas Card.

We printed out Holiday Cards today and with the help of a Christmas Miracle, they will be in the mail by Monday.

more Christmas Card Outtakes here. 


2 thoughts on “Christmas Card Outtakes

  1. Tim

    That look from Patrick is because he pointed a sign with a snowmobile and a line through it, and asked “Does that mean no Snowmobiles?”. And impressed, I said, “Yes it does.”.

    Then right after that a snowmobile went zipping past us, and Patrick gave that look.

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