Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Photo Shoot

A Christmas card is a thing families do.  Families write about their past year, send updated photos of their kids, and inform friends and family about general goings-on.  But as a single person, I always feel like I have nothing to tell.

But this has been a big year for me.  There have been some very exciting goings-on and I feel the need to share - mostly because I just want another excuse to work in Illustrator (but that's a whole nother story).  But you can't have a Christmas card without a photo.

The light last Sunday was wonderful and warm, so I grabbed my tripod, threw on some mascara and a nice sweater, locked the dog in the room, and got started.  Just as I was getting started, Cam decided to pop in and take a picture with me.  Can you tell I've trained him well?  He looked at the camera the entire time. Charlie, on the other hand, not so much.

I set the camera to take 6 rapid-fire photos. Good thing I did, because in only one of those photos is Charlie looking at the camera. The only reason she even looked at the camera was because it was making a noise.  Thankfully, the timing was just right to snap a photo of all three of us looking at the camera.

After Cam had a turn, I tried getting one with just Charlie.  It didn't quite work because the camera wasn't focused on us - it was focused on the tree.  But, I did get some great pictures of Charlie and then Hannah later in the night.

This is what I love about my 50mm lens.  With an f/stop as big as 1.8, I can really get some great bokeh.  I love bokeh and since this is my first Christmas with this camera, I intend to take advantage of all the lights and sparkles.

Charlie is never a big fan of these photo shoots, but she always looks so dang cute anyway.  This is her I'm-sick-of-doing-this-where's-my-treat look.  I get this a lot during photo shoots.  But again, she looks so dang cute, so I don't see an end to these photo shoots any time soon ever.

Charlotte and I watched White Christmas for the first time (this year) and had some playtime with Hannah, who is just starting to smile.  We always wait to watch White Christmas together since it's the BEST Christmas movie ever.  It was also Hannah's first time watching her future favorite movie.  Even though she slept through most of it, I know she loved it.

Charlotte left me alone with her sleeping baby for five minutes - so I went a little crazy with the photos.  I had gotten her to sleep on my shoulder and I knew it would be the perfect time for photos.  She doesn't like to sleep laying flat on her back, so I knew I wouldn't have long.

While holding her on my shoulder, I pushed the ottoman in front of the tree, draped my scarf on top, and got the camera ready.  My f-stop was at 2.8 (smaller number = bigger opening/more light/shallow depth of field) - this gave me a great amount of light and some bokeh.

The aperture on my camera can go as big as 1.8, but when it gets that big when shooting people - I often don't get their entire face in focus.   For these photos, I set my aperture to 2.8.  Here's a tip I picked up somewhere along my internet travels: your aperture should match the number of people in the photo (that's a good place to start).

I got two beautiful photos of her sleeping and then she woke up.  When Hannah realized she was flat on her back, she started crying.

After a little soothing and some baby-talk, she calmed down and just chilled.  She gave me about 3 minutes of great shooting time and I couldn't have asked for more.  I love how these photos came out.

This one is my fav.  Her little nose and tiny body just kill me.

As a person who takes product photos for a living - there are many things I would change in this photo.

1. I would have taken it during the day.
2. I would have put her in an outfit that matched and fit her better.
3. I would have put her a little closer to the tree so you didn't see wood in the background.
4. I would have used my reflector to get more light on the side of her face that's in shadow.

But ya know what?  I love this baby and I love this photo.  Done and done.


  1. I love the "flip-book" affect of that photo where there's movement. We used to love getting those little books that would do that and now you can do it with a camera online. GREAT photos as always. Subject-matter great as always too!