Check out our tips from some of Singapore’s top family photographers on how to take fantastic holiday photos, mama!
Whether you want to commemorate your baby’s first Christmas, or are determined to send a family Christmas card to friends and relatives around the world, taking your own holiday photos can be tough, mamas! Fortunately we’ve rounded up tips from some of our favourite Sassy Mama photographers to help you make some perfect memories.
Whether indoors or out, shooting babies or teenagers, their expert advice has got you covered!
Emily & Kate, Littleones Photography
- For a classic Christmas photo, all you need is a Santa hat and a crisp white sheet
Grab a Santa hat from Spotlight, put the white sheet over your bed, and get the kids to lie down on their tummies. Take the photo kneeling down at the end of the bed so you create a nice tight crop of the kids’ heads and hats. Or get them to sit right in front of the Christmas tree. Make sure you’ve got some presents and decorations around the bottom to make the photo more interesting.
- For little babies, the naked bum shot with a Santa hat on is always a fun one!
Sit the baby with their back to you and give them something small to find between their legs, as this distracts them long enough for you to get into position with the camera ready. Then call them or make a funny noise so they turn their heads to look at you – be ready to press the shutter to get that perfect shot!
- Wooden letters make a great prop for a Christmas card
Spell out JOY, NOEL, MERRY etc. and ask the kids to hold them up towards the camera.
For older children you can wrap them up in fairy lights (don’t turn them on until you are ready to take the photo – as they will get hot!), turn off all other lights, and use the fairy lights to create a whimsical and magical feel.
- Get ‘appy
If you are feeling super creative, turn an image black & white but bring back the red colour of the hats for a nice pop effect. A great one to try is Color Blast! HD.
- Think about time of day
In Singapore, if you photograph during daytime the sun is right above you, which results in squinting eyes and harsh shadows on the subjects’ faces. The best time to photograph is either early morning around sunrise, or late afternoon about an hour before sunset. Put the subjects between you and the sun to get a beautiful backlight in your images!
- What to wear?
The way you are dressed for a portrait should reflect who you are. Think about what colours you like; look around your home and consider, what colours dominate? Don’t automatically go for red and green just because it’s the holidays — if you love bright colours that’s what you should choose, if you are more of an earth tones person, go for that. Also try to coordinate within the family without being overly matchy-matchy.
- Be creative
If you have more time on your hands and would like to be a bit more creative, add some cute props that are age appropriate. Reindeer ears, Santa hats, festive wreaths – have fun with it.
According to Chase Jarvis, “The best camera is the one that’s with you”. So I thought I’d provide some handy tips for taking holiday photos with an iPhone or smartphone!
Smartphones are absolutely great in daylight, but in the dark (or with flash) they are not. If you can’t be outside, try to strategically place the kids close to a window or bright area if you want to capture them opening their gifts. Smartphones are fabulous for being a little discreet and capturing those candid moments undetected.
- Zoom with your feet
Wherever possible, get reasonably close up. Whilst zooming is possible, smartphone images decrease in quality the more you zoom.
- Try different angles / Get creative
Being so small, your phone is perfect for taking images from all sorts of places. For instance, try placing the phone on or near the floor and snapping images at your crawling baby’s eye level.
- A few favourite smartphone apps to try:
- Focus on the spirit of being together
A large part of the holidays is about spending time together as a family, however large or small, and the most meaningful photos capture this! So why not try something different from the traditional posed family portrait for your holiday cards? Take a few shots of your family picking out the Christmas tree, putting up the decorations, baking holiday goodies or wrapping presents. These not only make wonderful memories – they inject a dose of fun and festivity into your holiday greetings.
- Use holiday decorations in public spaces as your backdrop
Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to capture your family enjoying the holiday decorations and events outside your home. Younger kids in particular still have a sense of wonder at the festive displays and multiple Santa Clauses all over town, and you will want to capture this for posterity before the teenage years take over!
There you have it mamas. Point, shoot, click… classic!