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Friday, December 19, 2014

A Christmas Tradition

Summarizing today's post: Christmas traditions, using photography to amplify your happiness, & photo tips using off-camera lighting.

photography, christmas
35mm, ISO 400, f/4.2, 1/30th, off-camera strobe added
Christmas time is here again, ready or not! So hard to believe another year has gone by and now Christmas is right on our door step. It's this coming Thursday, you realize?

The best part about this time of year is getting together with family. While its nice to give and receive gifts, that's not what it's all about. [You and I say that all the time, but do we really mean it? Think about that for a moment. How much effort do you put into gift-buying just because you know everyone else is doing the same.] 

No, the reason for the season is very simple: To reflect on God's perfect gift--Jesus--to this world, and to fellowship with our loved ones. That's it. Everything else comes second.

I'm not quite sure how the tradition of giving gifts to one another started. It is certainly a fun, fulfilling family event. And believe it or not, it can be done without "breaking the bank" and without the credit card bill hangover in January. 

photography, Christmas
36mm, ISO 400, f/4.2, 1/30th, off-camera strobe added
Remember, it's all about good quality familytime.

With that in mind, I wanted to share with you one of our long-time Christmas traditions. Every family seems to have their own.

Ever since I can remember, my mom and dad would snap pictures of me and my 2 brothers as we opened our Christmas gifts. They would always have the camera handy as we tore into all the glorious packages.

And the tradition has carried on. Of course I had to jump on board too when I got my first camera long ago, but I never have been dedicated like them. Every single year, mom's camera comes out when we sit down to open gifts to one another. I jump in from time to time and get a few shots with my camera when she actually sets her's down for a moment.

Pictured above is Mom and Dad after they opened one of our gifts to them last year. Then next is my sweet wife as she opens a skillet that she asked for (look at those smiles, will you?).

photography, Christmas
20mm, ISO 400, f/4, 1/30th, off-camera strobe added
Here's one of Dad opening a watch he asked for. I love capturing that happy look on his face.

One thing to notice. He's actually not looking at me (as Pinky was not as well) as I snap the photo. Why? Because he's looking at Mom, of course, as she's taking her own barrage of pictures. Ha, I love it.

Priceless stuff right there :)

Here's a photo tip for you this coming week as you bring out your camera. If you have the ability, point your flash straight up at the ceiling (if you have nice white ceiling above you) instead of directly at your subject. It will soften the light a bit. Better yet (as detailed here) move your strobe off-camera for nice 3 dimensional, real-life look. 

As we part this week, I leave you with an outright snapshot made with my cellphone. (Hey, sometimes you have to take the photo with what you have available!) 

photography, Christmas
snapshot of Dad and Gavin with HTC EVO
Here's a nice photo of Gavin as he tries on his hulk costume his grandma and grandaddy gave him. He was so excited..sweet boy. Happiness amplified with photography? I think so...I'm smiling right now.

Remember...Christmas is about Jesus, about being with family, and about cherishing the time we have with them. Remember your camera this week for goodness sake.

Have a wonderful Friday and a Merry Christmas.

Thanks for reading!


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