I’m obsessed with making the prettiest photos I know how, each that I hope would be destined to be printed large and featured in a living room. But that’s not the purpose and the end destination for most photos. I rarely feature people in my photos, and I’m not proud of this. As an introverted engineer, photographing people doesn’t come natural to me. I do enjoy photographing family and friends that I dearly love, but I’d prefer to photograph inanimate objects and non-human subjects. But, there’s no landscape, or photo of the city I live, or a photo of a bird that I will love and appreciate more than those of my family.
Last year Apple featured a commercial on TV that told the story of a withdrawn teen, or so it appears, who spends the holidays making a movie of his family’s Christmas without their knowing. This ad inspired my wife to do the same for my family last year. She made the movie compilation on her phone, put together with movie clips and photos, but when set to music it was transformed into living memories and loved by my family. Simply put, the photos we all cherish most are of the family and friends we hold dear.
I’d encourage each of you then who enjoy photography to record the story of your family’s holidays. Make photos of people, that goes without saying. But remember to tell a story. Photograph the food being prepared, the table being set, the gifts under the tree, the decorations and especially the lights. Then make sure to capture the action. Get down to the kid’s eye level, get in their faces with a wider angle lens. You'll love the results you get with this combination. These photos don’t all need to be processed to perfection, just try to keep a consistent theme throughout. Then put these photos together with some movie clips and set it to music. It will melt the hearts of your family. There are a myriad of ways to make these slideshow type movies on many different devices, and do it well and easily. This may be the best gift a photographer can give their family. Photos and videos of ones you love set to meaningful music is simply a recipe for magic. Lastly, don’t park behind the camera all Christmas, make sure you are captured by the camera too. Your family wants to see you in the movie, they don’t just want to see the photos you make! This is a special season, use your interest in photography to make beautiful and lasting memories, with your own artistic twist on it.