Oh Man do I love Christmas! My favorite thing about Christmas is the feeling. There’s nothing like having family and friends around and it’ll come as no surprise that I like to document those moments so I can relive them year after year.
The question I get asked more than anything is “what camera should I buy”? I’ll let you in on a little secret- It’s not about the camera. So here is how I document my Holidays.
Tips on Capture Your Memories in Pictures:
- I always have extra batteries around so my camera is always ready to do. When I’m not using rechargeable batteries my preferred choice is Energizer Ultimate Lithium. They may be more expensive but I promise you they are worth it.
- Hand your camera over every now and then. You’ll be surprised what you’re kids will capture and how they capture it. They see things in a whole new light and you’ll be shocked at what they capture.
- Your spouse may not take photos the way you do but they can take a picture. It’s important that you are in your holiday photos as well.
- Don’t just focus on people. take pictures of the details as well.
- Everyone has that one person in their family that hates getting their picture taken and is always goofing in the picture. My response to them is “is that really how you want to be remembered or represented in our family album”. Nine times out of ten they will stop and let you capture a memorable photo.
- Last but not least- Don’t make people look at the camera all the time. My motto is capture the life that you live. By not interrupting the moment you will capture so much more feeling.
Advice on Saving Your Digital Pictures:
- I never delete a picture on my camera but after importing I delete lots. Photo files have gotten huge so keeping the pictures that aren’t any good is wasting valuable computer space.
- Most computers have a program that pops up when you are importing your pictures. There is a normally a field that allows you to tag or add keywords to your photo – use this feature. There is nothing worse that when you are looking for a certain picture and you are trying to scroll through thousands to locate it. By tagging or key-wording it it will take you seconds to locate what you’re looking for.
There you are aren’t you excited you got some great photos from the holidays. Oh the memories that you’ve captured!
Tips on Preserving Your Photos in an Album:
Well I don’t know about you but I hate sitting in front of a computer to look at photos. Remember when you’d sit and look through photo albums? Well there are lots of kids that have never seen a photo album. For me there is nothing like the feel of the pages in an album. If you have an heirloom album in your house go take it out – you’ll recognize the smell and feel instantly. Our kids need this too. When most people think of albums now they think of fancy scrapbooked albums although these are nice they aren’t necessary. The important part is getting your pictures in an album- period!
- I use Blacks to print my own pictures that I put in my albums. The colors are good the quality of their paper is archival quality so I know 25 years down the road the picture will still look good.
- I buy albums everywhere. Michaels a lot of times have great deals. I also really like the Creative Memories PicFolio Albums (you don’t need to be a scapbooker to use these).
- If you are more of a digital person then there are options to make albums where you just drag and drop a picture into a premade template and it’s that easy. You upload the album to the printing company and then voila in a couple weeks at the most you have an album sitting in your hands. Again Creative Memories has a great free program that you can download. If you are traveling a lot of times on the flight or drive you can have your album design and ready to upload by the time you get home.
- A lot of times I use the back page to add a recap of the holiday. It’s always fun to go back and read. If your kids are older you can ask them to write or type out their favorite memories as well and include those.
- These albums always sit out on a coffee table and you’ll be surprised at how often they get picked up.
Advice on Saving Your Digital Photos and Saving Back-Up Files:
The last step of my process is backing up my images. All to many times you hear about peoples computers crashing and they lose all their photo memories. But more importantly you lose so many photos of your children. My back up process consist of a few steps.
- I burn a cd of images when I import. If I only import a few i make a note on my computer to do it the next time. I never let it go more than 2 weeks.
- Then I back up on an external drive once a month. These crash as well so that’s the reason for the CD’s. The good news is that there are resourses to pull data off of external drive if they crash or are corrupted- it’s expensive though.
- My last step is uploading my favorite images to an online source. Some use Facebook some use Flickr. I use SmugMug. It let me upload large files and if something happens to my computer I have printable size files.
Photo Gift Ideas:
I’m not sure about you but my family loves getting photo gifts so here are a few of my favorite things to give. As an added note I’m very big on making things for gifts. To me I love it more when I know that it was made especially for me.
Calendar for distant family. I include everybody’s birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and special dates. On the last page I also include a list of everyones addresses and phone numbers
Picture postage stamps for the grandparents. With Picture Postage, you can turn your favorite photos into stamps that can be used as real postage. And it’s all done online.
Personalized stamps are a great idea when sending out wedding invitations or marking other important occasions. Hobbyists can add these unique mementoes to their collections, and others may want to express their personal style with a personalized stamp.
Family recipe book for the grown-up siblings. In the past I’ve also made a recipe book for my brothers and sister with favorite recipes from when we were growing up along with pictures from our childhood added in.
Memory photo collage for friends who have moved. If you have family that has moved a way from the area that they grew up in a collage of the street sign names are a nice gift or how about a canvas of something recognizable from that area.
Christmas album for December birthdays. I still think one of the best gifts that I gave was to my Mother-in-Law for her birthday which in on the 27th of December. We were there for Christmas and I had been taking pictures so on the 26th I uploaded all my pictures to Blacks website sent them along picked them up in an hour and by the time her birthday arrived on the 27th I had a Christmas album already done for her.
If there is one thing you take away from how I photograph my holidays please let it be the importance of printing and displaying your pictures. After all nobody wants their child to grow up to be a jpeg!
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays