Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas | Michiana Birth Photographer
It's arrived - the first calm, nothing planned day after Christmas! As much as I love Christmas, I really look forward to this day. It's the day when I can take a deep breath. The day I can catch up on daily life. Christmas week can be a little nuts for us. We have about eight Christmas gatherings to attend every year. We still have two left to go to in 2014 :) !
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with the people you love! I hope you were able to get some great shots that you can look back on later & enjoy the memories!
Being a birth photographer, I have to consciously decide to get my camera out for these moments. My poor family! I take pictures all the time, so when I'm not working, I just want to not work. But I have to remind myself what it will mean to my family later in life. I have to choose to capture the big and small moments which in the end will add up to a whole lot of life.
Be present, but get the shots that mean something to you.
It's important to get out from behind the camera and be present in what's happening. But I find I remember more and can better savor events when I have pictures to look back on. What I suggest is to keep your camera near you, but don't be behind the glass the whole time. Experience tells me that if you leave with 500 images (yes, that's easy for me to do), you may feel like you weren't quite there the whole time. If you walk away with only 15 really great images, I think that's wonderful and tells me you probably enjoyed yourself while capturing the moments that were most important to you.
Big picture, mid picture, close up (tell the whole story)
Remember to tell the whole story. When you look at my work, you might notice that I like details. I like to get up close. I like to see things and focus on things that you might not take the time to study otherwise. I have to constantly remind myself to remember the big picture, too. When you're at your family gathering or party, step back and take a picture of the whole room, so that you can get a good picture of the party all together. Then go in a bit. Maybe focus on your two cousins sitting on the couch, laughing about a story from when they were little. Finally, don't forget those detail shots :), like your little baby's small fingers as she unwraps her Christmas presents. In the end, you'll feel like the whole story has been told.
Take them aside and grab a portrait
My niece and nephew live in New Hampshire, about sixteen hours away from me. One Christmas, amidst all the busyness and Christmas chaos, I took them aside so that I could just get one nice picture to put on my wall. It took maybe five minutes. It turned out to be one of my sister's and my parent's favorite pictures of the kids. This year, I did the same thing. We had Christmas morning at the Varsity Club in Mishawaka (basically a hotel) in one of their big rooms. I took them aside to the window for maybe 5 minutes, again, to get an updated picture. When I look back at these images, I remember THEM just as they were that Christmas. Getting a portrait of a loved one doesn't have to be a big production.
Look for the moments that make you remember "that is exactly what she looked like when she'd laugh at those jokes"
Everyone wants to look great in the pictures you take of them. But sometimes, great is over rated. I have a picture on my Facebook page right now that's a selfie of me, my brother & sister-in-law at Christmas in 2013. They live in Israel now and can't come home for the holidays. I picked this picture to post as my FB picture because I miss them and because I love this picture of us. Even though it's blurry. And you can't see my brother's whole face. And I look tired. But it's become a favorite, because it's me with them :). One of my favorites this year is of my aunt and my sister. Neither of them look like they walked out of glamour shots, but I really like this picture, because of the story behind it. My sister kept trying to photo bomb my pictures and it got us all laughing. This is the only one where she kind of succeeded. Sometimes a picture doesn't turn out exactly like you planned, but don't throw it away just yet. It might become a favorite of yours, too :)
Don't forget to get in the shots!
If you're always behind the camera - your family is missing out. One day, your kids will look back at all of the beautiful pictures you've taken and will have to SEARCH to find just one or two of you. Don't do this to them :) Let someone else take a few. And if someone else breaks out their camera phone - don't shy away :) Your kids will love seeing you, just how you are, in pictures years from now.
Christmas is over for many of you this year (like I said, we still have two more get togethers...!), but New Year's is coming up!! It's a great time to put these things into practice :) ! I hope you had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year!!
Life. It's meant to be remembered.
Andrea is a "Bellies, Births and Babies" Photographer, specializing in birth photography, in the Michiana area, on the border of Michigan and Indiana.
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Andrea photographs "Bellies, Births & Babies", specializing in birth photography in the Michiana area, on the border of Michigan and Indiana. Join her as she recounts the stories of babies and their families in our area.
Learn more about her sessions and birth coverage at HartsteinPhotography.com
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