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Photographing Christmas Morning

It’s been passed down from generation to generation in my family – Christmas is a big deal.  We have our family traditions when it comes to recipes and gift giving, but for me it’s all about that Santa moment when the kids see their Santa presents for the first time.  At our house gifts to each other are wrapped and already under the tree, but Santa leaves all his gifts unwrapped so that is what they see when they first come into the living room.

Yes, Santa probably leaves too many presents, but kids are only little for so long.  Eventually they’ll want things like clothes or money and where is the fun in that?  So, I want to make sure I am ready with my camera so I can capture all the fun.

It can be hard to capture chaos; though, and that is what it’s like at my house.  Here is my strategy.

  1. Try and find the best perspective.  Most of the time for me this is on the floor.  Since the kids are moving from place to place I have to move as well, but for the most part I’ll sit on the floor close to the Christmas tree.
  2. Use a fast shutter speed.  This way you can make sure you capture all the action.
  3. Be ready with your flash.  People are moving around from place to place which means your lighting can change.  In my house it can change pretty drastically.
  4. Don’t expect that every shot you take is going to be an award winning shot, but that doesn’t matter.  Just capture the memories.  When you look back on your pictures years later, you really won’t care if your exposure wasn’t perfect or the angle wasn’t quite right.

Here are some of my favorites I’ve taken over the years.

As you can see, some of these are better than others.  Some I think have a great perspective or I like the way the exposure turned out, but others I like because my daughter is missing her front tooth and she was really into Shopkins or my son is sitting in a box.  Some I edited in black and white to calm the chaos and draw the viewers eye to the subject or just because I couldn’t stand the yellow paint in my living room.  Just take pictures Christmas morning.  You’ll be glad that you did.

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