Hey everyone and Happy Holidays! This time of the year is filled with joy and happiness and we should show that in our photo's. This is the time of the year when my photo's change from Landscape/Travel to Portraits/Detail photographs. This seems to be the time of the year that I take most of my portraits and I try to put as much effort into them as I do my Landscapes the rest of the year. Photographing Family members (especially ones that do not live close by) is one of my priorities. I actually enjoy taking portraits although it can be a bit of a pain with all of the things you need to think of when taking portraits from lighting , settings on your camera, posing of the subject and doing it quickly so not to loose the interest of your subject. Especially children.
Using external light sources for your portraits gives your family portraits that professional look. We are professionals after all (even if we're not getting paid) LOL I have a couple of mobile studios that I can take and set up at someones house or a venue to take portraits. One of them is a studio light set up with 3 studio lights, soft boxes, umbrellas and all of the accessories that you would need. The other one is one that is based with speed lights that is lighter and more mobile than the other but power of the speed lights can be a concern if your lighting up a large area or a crowd of people. To be honest I don't pull out the studio lights out often but when I do its nice to have that kind of power. My speed light setup consist of light stands, umbrella's, Soft boxes, beauty dish, reflectors and backdrop and its lightweight and a small family of 3 or 4 I have no problem shooting. You don't need a big set up just a speed light or two will do and I accumulated mine over time. No matter what type of system you use you need to be proficient at it and be able to produce photographs fairly quickly. People don't want to stand around why your fumbling around with lights.
Another thing I take photo's of during the holidays is holiday events. There are Tree lighting's, Christmas parades, all kinds of Christmas stuff from carolers to decorations and Christmas lights. For a few years I have been taking a Christmas related photo every day as a small project. You can really find all kinds of things to photograph during this time of year. This time of year is special to me also as "Help Portrait" is the first Saturday of December every year and takes and gives portraits to the less fortunate and is a way that photographers can give back. It is a world wide organization that takes tens of thousands of portraits that day. Please use this link: http://help-portrait.com/
The Holidays are a great opportunity to take lots of great photo's don't miss out get out and shoot!