Christmas gifts photo op

The last couple years I’ve had great success taking pictures of my girls with their Christmas presents, later in the day. I love how the gifts are a reflection of their interests and personalities, and it is always fun to see how they interact with their new besties.

These pictures were taken just before noon. We had already gone and come back from church, so hair was done and everyone was looking pretty good. We all changed back into pajamas (as is our normal routine – but today we had new Christmas p.j.’s to rock!)

I have a large north-facing window in our family room. I have the girls sit in the “sweet spot” where the light hits their faces just right, and where I can get some lights from the Christmas tree behind them in the frame.

I put baby in a chair, so she would be where I wanted her for 5 seconds. My camera is on manual, with the aperture wide open (f 1.8) and the speed set one notch over-exposed on the light meter in camera. I made sure all my settings were pretty before this little one was in front of me – because really, 5 seconds were all she gave me.

My 4-year old wanted to stay in her church clothes, with her hair wild and free. That was okay, too! This was a natural look of surprise when her globe opened up and all the people inside fell out. I had to click fast, people.

She had ideas about what she wanted in her picture, so I waited for a few minutes for her to set up her tableau. She wouldn’t look directly at the camera, but I love the expressions and true-to-life images I got with her.┬áChanging perspective (lay on your tummy, stand on a chair, squat low) will help you get better photos.

My 9-year old loves the camera, and will do absolutely anything I ask her. I told her to look at me from over her open book, and I love what this photo tells about her. She loves art, silliness and creative expression.

One of her favorite gifts was a replacement library card – so I suggested she give it a little kiss. We are hoping this one sticks around longer than the first. She needs that card for computer time at the library.

My husband designed this card as a gift to our girls – a trip to Great Wolf Lodge in January. My 12-year-old is over the moon about the trip, and the little gift card that came with it. With the aperture set low, I was able to focus on the card while everything else in the background is blurred.

I just came across this series that has some nice tips for taking your camera off of auto, and getting better photos. Good luck!

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One Response to Christmas gifts photo op

  1. Robin Preston says:

    love your ideas! Thanks so much for sharing!!

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