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Holiday

2017 Photographer’s Gift Guide

2017 Photographer’s Gift Guide

Hey, guess what? It’s the holidays again. That’s right, it’s time to gather around the fire, sing songs, drink hot cocoa and stress about what you’re going to buy for everyone. Wait, who am I kidding, no one gathers around the fire and sings songs anymore, because we’re all too busy stressing out about what we’re going to buy for everyone.

It doesn’t have to be that way! At least not if your friends and family are all photographers like you. And if they’re not, well, I’m sorry. You can still use this list as your own personal wish list, which will at least stop your mom from texting you every five minutes wanting to know what she should buy you for Christmas. Anyway, here’s my annual gift list, from the inexpensive to the sort-of expensive. Happy holidays!
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More Family Christmas Photo Ideas

More Family Christmas Photo Ideas

I had so much fun coming up with ideas for family Christmas portraits that I decided to do a follow-up article just in case you wanted ideas for the next, you know, 10 years or so. Christmas portraits are a tradition for many families, but some families kind of find themselves a little stuck, taking the same basic photo year after year. And while it is true that kids grow and every photo does look a little bit different as the years pass, why not treat your family and friends to something really unique this year? Instead of just lining up the kids in front of the Christmas tree in their Christmas finery, do something surprising. Keep reading for some ideas.
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Ideas For Great Family Christmas Portraits

Ideas For Great Family Christmas Portraits

If you’re like many family photographers, shooting Christmas portraits is the bane of your existence. It’s the post-Halloween horror that haunts your nightmares. Nothing is quite so impossible as rounding all the kids up, expecting them to put on their Christmas finery, stand within a few inches of each other, and, (god forbid) smile. Not just a “say cheese!” smile, but the sort of genuine smile that will actually charm the friends and family who see the picture on the front of your Christmas card.

If that sounds like an exaggeration, it’s because you’ve never tried to shoot a family Christmas photo and you’ve never had this experience for yourself. Shooting a family Christmas portrait is probably one of the most challenging things that you’ll do all year, unless for some reason you are lucky enough to have the sort of family that only exists in a 1950s television sitcom.
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What to Photograph on Halloween

What to Photograph on Halloween

Are you suffering from the Halloween doldrums? Does the thought of taking yet another series of photographs of your kids trick-or-treating, visiting the same pumpkin patch, and putting up the same old Halloween decorations make you want to crawl back into bed and stay there until Thanksgiving? If so, you are clearly in need of some inspiration. Check out my Halloween shot list for some fun and unique photo ideas.
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How to Photograph your Kids Carving Pumpkins

How to Photograph your Kids Carving Pumpkins

“Ew! That is so disgusting.” Don’t you wish you could capture the moans and groans of your kids as they stuff their hands into those pumpkin guts? OK, you can technically do that if you put your camera in video mode, but the day has not yet arrived when you can easily put video clips in your scrapbook. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t capture a sense of the fun, excitement, and yes, grossness of pumpkin carving with a still camera, too. Keep reading for some tips on how to get some great photographs of your kids carving their pumpkins.

Halloween is not just about trick-or-treating and dressing up in costumes, the jack-o’-lantern carving is a big part of the festivities and rituals leading up to the big event. It’s not enough to just have a photograph of the finished product – you absolutely must also have some photographs of your kids creating their masterpieces. But it can be tricky to get good photos of this activity because it tends to happen in low light and in cluttered conditions.
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Photographing other cultures

Photographing other cultures

We live in a global society. There is no longer a single culture in the community where we live — influences from other cultures are everywhere, from China Towns to mosques to Native American community centers to cultural festivals. If you are lucky enough to be well-traveled, you have encountered many cultures outside of your own. But how effectively were you able to capture them with your camera? Capturing people of other cultures and the symbols of those cultures is challenging and requires great sensitivity. Keep reading for some tips.
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How to photograph theme parks

How to photograph theme parks

Ah, the family vacation. If you have small children, you’ve long ago left behind the idea of a romantic holiday in Paris, visiting The Louvre or backpacking in the high country. Your holiday destinations no longer include wine trains, fancy restaurants, and nightlife. These days your vacations are all about the kids.

Of course, I think it’s pretty safe to say that all but the snobbiest of parents love Disneyland. Even if you don’t much like the crowds and the long lines, you have to love the looks on your kids’ faces when they get to meet Elsa, Captain Jack, or The Mouse himself in person. But theme parks can be hazardous, too, both for your sanity and for your camera. What are some of the best (and safest) ways to capture those theme park adventures? Keep reading to find out.
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How To Take Memorable Christmas Day Photos

How To Take Memorable Christmas Day Photos

I know I’m always saying to avoid chaos in your photos, and let’s face it, what could be more chaotic than Christmas morning? But fear not, you can get great Christmas day images that are unencumbered by mountains of empty toy packaging, Grandma’s oh-so-cheesy collection of porcelain elves that seems to be in every single background and the strange, hovering presence of that extra guy your sister decided to bring along this year (who the heck is that guy anyway?) So how do you separate the beauty and charm of Christmas from the chaos of the festivities? Here are a few tips.
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Tips for great Halloween photography

Tips for great Halloween photography

What do ghosts, goblins, and little princesses have in common? They come out after dark. You know, when it’s hard to get good pictures of them.

Halloween presents a lot of problems for photographers, because by the time all the action starts to happen that magic hour we love so much has already come and gone. But if you’re like every other camera-lugging mom, dad or hobbyist in search of a great shot, you don’t want to pass up a great night like Halloween just because the light isn’t right. There are still plenty of things you can do to get some great Halloween shots, and here’s a list to get you started.
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7 New Years Resolutions For Your Digital Photography

7 New Years Resolutions For Your Digital Photography

I can’t believe it’s already the end of the year. There are a lot of things I’ve wanted to do this year, but I never got around to them. Now I’ve got a whole list of resolutions for next year. It’s not some guilt trip, just a reminder that we can all strive to do a little more and make ourselves better at what we love. Here are some new year’s resolutions to help you improve your photography.
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How To Send Photos Back Home When On Holiday

How To Send Photos Back Home When On Holiday

We don’t go on vacation to spend more time with computers. We go to get away from them. Naturally, there’s a problem when you want to share the pictures you’ve taken on vacation with your family. With no computer in sight, how do you email them to your loved ones? Is there an easy way around this, or are we supposed to wait until we get back to share them?
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Make This Your Best Christmas Ever!

Make This Your Best Christmas Ever!

The holidays are getting closer and closer. This year, give your friends and family something they’ll really cherish and be the first one to deliver images they can be proud of. With just a little more effort, you can create holiday photos that will make your friends wish you were a part of their family. Here’s how to do it!
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