Happy Holidays and Merry-Photo Taking: Top 10 Holiday Photo Ideas

Zachary B., Photographer

Happy Holidays

  1. Send a card, but don’t forget the photo. Psychology Today claims that people don’t want the “mere” card anymore; they are really looking for photos of healthy happy people.  So did you already send that one with you having the flu?  Quick, send a recall to dispatch!  Nah, the point is just don’t forget the photo, that’s rule number one.


  1. Prep your equipment. Do you have a super cool camera?  Great, be sure to charge your batteries.  Using your cell phone for photos this holiday season?  Update your cell phone’s software, and you may find some new features similar to those found on a professional camera.  This should improve your photo quality and abilities significantly.


  1. Get rid of the artificial photo. Try some un-posed shots or elicit a natural reaction from your subjects.  Here is one to try:  set the camera on a tripod and, right before the flash shout, “Oh no, the dog ate the stuffing!” This usually works well for getting a funny reaction.


  1. Creativity counts. Do the ugly sweater photo, dress everyone in pajamas, or display your favorite sports team.  Check out com.


  1. Try using props in your photo.  Got a giant snowball?  No? Okay, no worries. Many shops are now selling little prop kits, like felt masks on a stick.  Some to try:  frosty the snowman or a bowtie with a pair of glasses.   I even found printable props like holiday ties on com.


  1. Consider giving a photo gift. Today, you can put a photo on almost anything from aprons to bags to puzzles to even a deck of cards.  Need a new cell phone case?  No problem, you can put a photo on that too and don’t forget to add a tagline or message under your photo.  I like “pigture perfect!” It works great as a tagline for a pet photo; of course you probably want your pet to be a pig.  Or try sending hints about that vacation you’ve been hoping for such as, “Can’t wait to see the Great-Wall of China,” on a photo mug.  See my photo attached, wink-wink.


  1. Photoshop your faces onto a funny background. Haven’t been to the Kremlin or to the Hollywood sign?  Who cares, all you need is a little photo editing software and you can be just about anywhere, minus the jetlag, and with smiles on everyone’s faces to boot!


  1. Help your subjects look their best. Don’t use flash indoors, unless absolutely necessary.  For the most complementary lighting, com recommends shooting indoors during the day or near a window.  Light that comes from most camera flashes and phone units, they assert, is often “harsh, flat, and cold.” So unless your goal was to make your subjects look like those flat snow angels, keep their form aglow with good lighting.


  1. Try using a holiday e-card site to create a photo-movie starring you! Many websites are now making it easy to create “movie cards” using your photos.    I personally like the card “Sled Race,” on com, it lets your friends and family see you duking it out on the slopes.  You can even create and send your own music video.


  1. Save some trees this holiday, and send your cards online. com claims that this holiday season 1.2 billion cards will be sent. That’s a lot of pulp that really doesn’t need to be shed.