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2012 Wrap Up & Holiday Photography Tips!

Although 2012 has not been as productive photographically as previous years. I have been laying low in the midst of other things going on. I have been focusing on growing PixelGrin into a self sustainable career change for me. This year has certainly been quite interesting – a lot of unexpected happenings, but alas I look toward the light of 2013!

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On December 1st this months issue of F-Stop Magazine  went live. It was one of my 2012 goals to get published in this web publication, VICTORY IS MINE! Just in the nick of time too! Three of my landscape photos can be viewed until the end of January.  After the 1st of February, you can view the Group Exhibition in the Archives section of their website! My photos are the left most three on the second row in the image above. Go check them out!

In the past 2 months or so I debuted 2 brand new sets of my Polaroid style Ceramic Drink Coasters! They are both with images from Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac from rainy season this year! A stunning black and white set as well as a vintage neutral creamy set which is gorgeously post-processed. It’s too late for holiday shipping, but it is just the beginning of brand new sets to come in 2013 – just needed to share these sooner than later.

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To see all of my Coaster Sets & Prints available, clickity clickity click! 

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About two weeks ago, My Key Deer set was featured by a really nice girl named Kim who lives in the UK. Her blog, A Blackbird’s Epiphany,features all sorts of tutorials, printables, recipes and such! She contacted me as to use permission to feature my work as one of her favorite things on her blog. Of course I had no objections.. It’s a pretty fun place to spend some time too! Check it out Here.

So… That was pretty much what happened recently, nearing the end of 2012. Now, about those Holiday Photography Tips!

1. White Balance.  I’ve talked before about how important setting the correct white balance is when taking photos. Holidays and family photos are no exception! When photographing christmas lights outside it is best to use the Tungsten white balance mode to get the proper lighting for white lights, you can use Cloudy or Daylight setting for a warmer glow of the lights. When photographing inside I suggest using a custom white balance, check your camera’s manual for setting that up. You could end up with muddy, dark photos, and yellow family portraits and that’s just yucky.

2. Go for the Details, use that Marco mode! There are so many small things that one might over look with all of the excitement of tearing open beautifully wrapped gifts, or drooling over mom’s homemade holiday ham, but fear not! Turn on that macro mode and start looking around the room with a child’s eye. Get in close to the glitter on those tree ornaments, the reflection in  the shiny bows, or the froth atop your eggnog.

3. Set up a DIY ‘Photo Booth’. This is an great idea for those of you with large families that may only come around for the holidays. Dedicate a small area in your space with a wrapping paper backdrop and a chair! If you’re feeling funky and your family enjoys the fun, place a box of props next to the the Photobooth station! Santa hats and beards, reindeer antlers, an empty wrapped box, silly eye glasses, be creative!

4. I’m dreaming of a Time-lapse Christmas. If you have a remote shutter release, break it out. If not, use those Christmas gift cards to get one! They have tons of uses throughout the year. Set your camera up in an area that is safe from being knocked over but overlooking an interesting place like around the tree, or the dinner table. Have the camera take snap shots every few minutes! Think of all of the great memories you will capture while no one is thinking about the camera! 🙂 Oh the fun!!

5. Christmas Lights.  Read this blog post by Strobist, to learn some great tips for photographing Christmas Lights! No point, in saying what’s already been written, right?

6. Opening Gifts. Set your camera to Burst or Continuous Mode while your family are opening presents. This will ensure that you get that first look of awe or the frowns of WTF! Don’t worry about having people pose, shoot on demand and without worry. Your results might amaze you. Don’t forget to shoot the reactions of those who GIVE the gift as well.

7. Fill your Frame. In the back of your head at all time, you should be trying to fill the frame. It’s not a rule to follow 100% of the time, but there is no point in shooting your family from the porch when they are out in the street having a snowball fights. Get in on the action and fill the frame with fun. It makes for a more interesting shot, as well as a fonder memory. If you don’t want to get too close, bust out your telephoto.

8. Explore Your Neighborhood.  Don’t just stay inside this season. Invite your family and friends for an after or pre-dinner walk to catch up on things and see what the neighbors have done. Every year people work hard to put up decorations for your enjoyment. Why not take a second to wish them a Happy Holiday and fill yourself with inspiration.


About PixelGrin

Photography. Punk Rock. Art. Travel.


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Hi Hello I'm Jennifer Jackson. ...and the world is my oyster...



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