For fabulous holiday portraits get your children and guests to interact with their surroundings. Hand a child an ornament or ask him to hang a Christmas stocking. It’s not always necessary to pose your subjects. Giving them something to do helps relax them and you get wonderful expressions this way.
Hand an adult a champagne glass and ask him to lead a toast. Ask someone to help you hang the mistletoe. Take his picture while he’s hanging it and then when someone corners him under it for a kiss.
Consider creating a photo essay. Photograph the tree going up, your shopping trip to the mall, your child putting out cookies for Santa, your child sleeping, your child waking up on Christmas (if you can get up that early), etc. Create a story album using one of the many software packages designed for this purpose. I have used Epson’s package that comes with a bound volume designed by Epson, but a search online using the terms “photo album software” reveals a lot of other options. There are also online companies such as Shutterfly that will do the printing for you.
If you are especially creative and use your images to make collages and scrapbooks, the holiday times are perfect for capturing still-life’s that enhance your creations. Photograph the champagne and glasses, mantel decorations, ornaments, and flowers without human subjects. Use portions of these images to enhance your personal stationary or anything you create. Sometimes a portion of a great picture has a lot of potential for creativity. Study your images and consider cropping appropriately.
Include your holiday lights in your pictures. Candles and Christmas lights add an extra glow and provide a special atmosphere for portraits. Consider taking outdoor portraits outdoors in the evening and use your outdoor holiday lights as a back drop. As with all photos, light is one of your most important factors. We are lucky during the holiday season to have the opportunity to make use of dramatic lighting situations. Pay attention to the light and consider what situations would work best with a flash for even lighting and what would be better with natural light. Natural light can help you best capture the glow of the holidays. Play with both natural light and flash to learn what will work best.