Thursday, December 20, 2012

How to Pose Your Perfect Family Pictures

Well,  the Christmas season is in full swing with gatherings galore.  Company parties, quiet dinners with special friends, and — best of all — the love and warmth of family home for the holidays,  bring us close to folks near and dear. Recording these times for posterity is an important part of the festive season.

Truth be told I probably drive my kids nuts at Christmas, snapping pictures of each and every moment of the day. The camera is always in hand as the spontaneous opening of that perfect gift, the interaction among siblings, the smiles of beautiful grandchildren, are flashes of time meant to be captured. 

But a tradition that began a few years ago has become a must for me too. Each year, my adult children and their 'new' families are posed before the tree for their annual portraits— like it or not. 

Generally, I've been pleased with the final results; after all, I  obviously can't imagine more photogenic subjects. However,  this year I've been wondering if there may be some tips that will perhaps help perfect the practice.  So, here are some sites I found explaining how to pose picture-perfect family portraits:

DPS Posing Guide for Photographing Groups of People

Improve Photography Posing Tips for Group Portraits

photofocus How to Pose Groups

Ultimate Photo Tips Family Portrait Poses

The Portrait Photographer

Photography Concentrate Stress-Free Posing: Family

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Photos of Children With Grandparents

I always miss them, but never more so than at this time of year.

Memories of Christmases with my grandparents are among the most treasured for me.  The pictures in my mind's portfolio are as vivid all these many years since as they were then. 

With two sets of grandparents, the celebrations alternated each year, but were remarkably the same at each house. They were busy gatherings with cousins, aunts and uncles, tables laden with all the delicious home-cooked food my German grandmothers could prepare. Always the ones in charge of the kitchen, they tossed gentle commands to the adults and affectionate asides to their boisterous grandkids as we ran from room to room and just generally got in the way.

My grandfathers, quiet, gentle men,  had the best laps in the world and could often find space on them for more than one child. From there my cousins and I listened to stories and poems, wide-eyed and settled, at least for a moment or so.

I have been without my grandparents far longer than I was fortunate to have them in my life. But, I still see their smiles, still feel their hugs, still hear their endearments. So, at this special time of year, it seemed appropriate to acknowledge that special bond between a child and their grandparents with these wonderful photos:

iCLIPART.com Photos of Children and Grandparents

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Some Winter Sports Photos

I love my morning walk to work. The fresh air, and occasionally sunshine, help to clear the mind in preparation for the day. Even a damp drizzle or winter's bluster can't alter the fact that I find getting myself moving outdoors is invigorating.

Sadly, besides some uphill climbs on a treadmill during breaks, this is about the only exercise I get. While I've never been a sporty girl and would rather lift books than weights, I do know the benefits of regular exercise.  The real problem, however, seems to be time.  I'm not a morning person so rising any earlier to exert myself simply isn't happening. And by the time I get home, prepare supper, clean up and digest, I am done with the day. I want nothing more than to curl up in my jammies to read or watch a mind-numbing TV show.

Throw snow and cold into the equation and a brisk walk to work is about all the outdoor time I need.  It's a different story though for the hardy winter-sports enthusiasts in these photo  collections:

iCLIPART.com Winter Sports Photos

Acclaim Images Winter Sports Photos

ClickArt Online Winter Sports Collection

Winter Sports Photos

Monday, December 17, 2012

How to Photograph Your Christmas Tree

It happens every year. My early prep work for the next day is complete and the quiet of Christmas Eve wraps itself around me. Snuggled in a comfy chair, soft seasonal music sighing through the speakers, I take in the atmosphere and enjoy that one last look at the tree in its full splendour, gifts piled high beneath, twinkling lights casting a warm glow throughout the room. I must, I say late into the hours, take a picture.

Grabbing my trusty camera I set up, keeping in mind the interesting photographic conditions in place. My mind's eye knows the type of picture I want, each and every year. And each and every year the results fail to live up to expectations. Lighting the room certainly doesn't give the effect I'm going for, but plunging the room into darkness, in the hopes of capturing the lovely luminescence,  often gives me a faintly outlined tree with blurry specks of yellow.

So this year, in the hope of finally capturing the same gentle ambience photographically that I see when not looking through the camera lens,  I decided to do a little research. Here are some helpful tips I found:

Elizabether Halford Photograph How to Photograph Your Chrismtas Tree

How to Photograph Your Christmas Tree Video Tutorial 

NY Institute of Photography Take Great Photos of Holiday Lights

Strobist How to Photograph Christmas Lights