With Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to share with everyone how I’ve photographed our Christmas morning the past two years so other’s can give it a try! It’s super simple and you need very minimal as far as equipment goes. Your camera does all the work once you’ve set a few things up! I’d love for you to share this with family and friends so they too can be in their pictures!
My hope is that others can easily capture their Christmas morning just as it unfolded. An unwritten story to be looked back on year after year. I’m sharing how I do a little prep work (very easy prep work that anyone can do!) the night before so all I have to do is turn on my camera and let the camera do the work come Christmas morning! It’s seriously so easy…and you’ll be so happy that you put forth the little effort. Check out what you’ll need and how to set up your camera below!
What you’ll need:
- A camera with an interval timer
- An area (around your Christmas tree preferably!) where everyone can sit to be in the frame of the camera
- Light – now again this isn’t perfect photography here! Our living room has lots of windows but the sun doesn’t come around that side of the house until mid afternoon so I opened all the blinds and turned on a bunch of lamps for added light. Again, perfection isn’t the point here!
- Something to prop your camera on such as a table or if you want to get fancy, a tripod. You can find extremely affordable ones on Amazon for around $25 such as this one. I think a tripod makes it so much easier so you aren’t worried about your camera tipping over but again, whatever works best for you (just make sure it’s compatible with your camera if you do purchase one) https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-60-Inch-Lightweight-Tripod-Bag/dp/B005KP473Q/ref=sr_1_5?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1510155151&sr=1-5&keywords=camera+tripod&dpID=4146NGVrJzL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
I’m going to try and talk very basic for those that aren’t familiar with specific camera settings so if you’re comfortable with camera settings already, just skip over my basic instructions.
- Turn on the interval timer on your camera (if your camera doesn’t have one, you can always buy a cheap remote and then just click the remote every now and then) and set it to take a picture every 30 seconds or so. I set mine up to take photos for over an hour even though I knew I wouldn’t need that long.
- Set your camera’s f/stop to a number higher than 2.8 (if you’d like to read more about f/stop calculations, feel free to Google or check out an easy to read article like this. http://shuttermuse.com/what-is-aperture-in-photography/
- Place your camera on a tripod (or whatever else you’re using to prop it up) plenty of feet away. Because of the settings you’ll be using, you need a good amount of distance away from your subjects (you and your family). My camera is about 20 feet away on the other side of the room in the pictures below.
- Have someone stand in front of where you’ll be shooting your pictures. In my case, in front of our Christmas tree. I had my husband the night before stand in front of the tree and I toggled the focus point on my camera to him. Make sure your camera is on manual focus so it locks in to where you want your focus to be. Otherwise your camera will try to keep finding the focus for you and you’ll end up with a bunch of blurry photos.
- I like to check one photo after I get the interval timer going just to make sure everything is set up correctly focus-wise and then I jump in to enjoy Christmas morning with my family.
That’s it! It’s really easy and only takes a few steps to ensure that you will be included in your family’s Christmas morning memories.
Here’s a few photos from last year’s Christmas at our house…love the one of M the camera caught of her excitement from opening roller blades. 😍