pc1358-cheery-chevronTo many people Christmas invitations and Christmas cards are a great tradition. There are people who will like to see how their friends and family has grown and changed and also read what they have been targeting throughout the year. Learning how to take great photos to use in Christmas card is significant. In this article you’re going to learn the types of photos to use in Christmas cards and how to take them.

How to take Christmas card photos

Always plan ahead

Think about the photos you would like and plan ahead before you gather your family. You will never do the best shots on the fly. Decide on what you should wear, whether you will need props or not, and where you will take the shots and the type of poses you want to use. There are many free websites that you can use to search for great family photo ideas like Tickled Pink who has everything from no only christmas cards but also cheap baby shower invitations and cheap bridal shower invitations. If you have a lot of time Pinterest is also a good option, although you may be overwhelmed with ideas.

If you’re planning to get a photo, you have to think ahead. In addition, if you are planning to use your camera’s self timer, be certain that you know how to prop a camera up whenever you need to. If you’re planning to ask a friend or a family member to help you take the shots, inform them about your goal and also work with them to come up with the best photos.

Keep it simple

When taking the photos, you will be targeting the people as the main attraction and not the props, setting or the clothing. You should therefore look for simpler backgrounds that will not cause many distractions. An old brick, a cobblestone street, an open field with a great background, an empty beach, pretty fence or a clump of bushes or trees can be a good background. The layered solid colored clothing photographs are suitable for Christmas photo cards, although the clothes are very expensive.

Work beyond a green box

It may take you lots of time and practical experience to learn how to shoot great photos in manual mode. However, most cameras have some settings within the auto mode which can make better shots. For better family portraits, you should select the portrait setting on your camera. It will help to lower the camera aperture and offer you a little amount of blur, which is not too bad in the background. Ensure that you have turned off the flash.

If you would like to experiment with the manual settings, you may need to first try shooting in the aperture priority mode. You should set the aperture in the lowest setting possible and allow your camera to adjust to other settings.

Pay more attention to the lighting

This is the most important tip of getting the best quality photos. You should always take your family photos in the natural light not unless you’re an experienced professional photographer with the right professional lighting equipment. However, you should not use any natural light. You need bright indirect lighting.

You should take outdoor photographs away from direct sunlight in order to avoid shadows and bad photographs. Pay attention to the odd shadows and light streaks which can filter through buildings or trees. A single weird shadow or a light streak can easily ruin a picture that would otherwise be perfect. The best time for taking outdoor photos should be 1 hour after sunlight or an hour before sunset.

If you need indoor photos, you should take them in a natural place as possible and with the subject facing the window. Ensure that you avoid direct sunlight coming through the window. Further, you should never use a flash when taking indoor photos. Always turn it off since most cameras’ flashes can easily ruin an otherwise good looking photo. It may add red eyes, shadows and harsh lighting.

Remember rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is easy but only when you have learned it. You should always imagine every picture as divided by the lines into thirds vertically and horizontally to make 9 equal boxes. Your focus should not always be in the center box, but on one of those lines or in one joint. Pictures that are off the center are quite interesting and at the same time visually appealing than the centered ones.

Watch for mergers

Mergers are elements of the background positioned as if they are coming from the subjects head or body. Since mergers are easier to miss, always take a short glance to be certain there is nothing in the background which will make your photo to appear odd.

Be patient and employ a sense of humor

Putting pressure to your kids to pose sometimes like models and also smile at the same time will result in lots of frustrations, more than tears and really horrible shots. There are kids who will have problems looking direct at the camera and therefore having a point focus in place of a lens will help. Have something placed on of your head that will get the kids attention. Do something that will make your kids smile and capture immediately you notice a natural smile.

Crop and edit the photos

You will never edit or crop a bad photo that you have taken into a great photo. However, you can transform a great photo into a photo that you will love with help of editing.

Types of Christmas photos

• Shift and fake tilt photos

You can use tilt shift lenses to make this type of Christmas photos. The lenses’ moving elements enable photographers to extend the field depth across an object or the scene in order to make it appear sharp. With the lenses you can create a sharp portrait surrounded by copious amounts of blur or make a landscape look like a miniature model.

• Forced perspective photo

At a first glances this photos look like snapshots. However, the best form of forced perspective photos is well planned pictures that can be creatively rewarding. The pictures should be simple. Therefore, you have to clearly position the subject for them to appear as if they are interacting with another object in the background. This will form an optical illusion.

• Long exposure landscape photo

The long exposure landscape photos are now the modern classic. Generally, the exposure last somewhere between 30 seconds and 5 minutes and the result is moving objects interpreted as moving blurs and which can also vanish completely. To achieve this, you will need a strong neutral density filter.

• Digital infrared photo

Digital infrared photos can add ghostly appearance to photos taken on bright sunny days. Most of the digital cameras include infrared blocking filter for the standard photography and therefore you have to remove this to achieve the infrared photographs.

• Polar Panoramas

To make these photos you have to take series of photographs and then stitch them together with use of software. At the final process, you can also create a world image.