Three ways to make your Christmas cards shine with natural lighting
Christmas cards are the perfect way to wish your friends and relatives a Happy New Year. They portray your family in the happiest of moments, showing all who see them just how jolly the whole household is as the holidays draw near. In many cases, these Christmas cards will remain on refrigerators and in frames for years to come- so you’ll want to knock it out of the park!
But simply gathering your family together and telling them to say “cheese” does not guarantee a great photo. There’s a lot more that goes into it than that. For starters, you’ll need to make sure that everybody is easily visible in the photograph, and that begins with ensuring that there is proper lighting. This can be done in a number of ways when you’re taking pictures indoors- but if you want to take a more natural approach, there are plenty of ways to use nature to your advantage and ensure that you have the perfect lighting to capture those perfect smiles.
Here are three ways we at Tumbleston Photography recommend using the sun’s natural lighting to your advantage for your Christmas cards.
Take advantage of the golden hour of photography
As we previously mentioned, the golden hour is one of the most magical times of the day. This is when the sun has just risen, and when it is about to set. At this time of day, the sun is low enough that its rays don’t appear to be too close to a pure white hue, but rather more of a golden orange color. The warm glow the sun’s rays provide at this time of day makes for a perfect natural setting for a family photo. Just make sure you don’t have the subjects of the photograph facing the sun, as this could lead to them squinting and not appearing to be very comfortable in the photo.
Use the snow, for those that have it!
If you live in a cold region of the country that experiences a good amount of snow, or if you simply like to travel to such places, then you happen to have stumbled onto an excellent opportunity for top-quality lighting. The color white naturally reflects light (as opposed to absorbing it the way the color black does) and so the sun’s rays tend to bounce off of snow-covered terrain and provide you with excellent lighting. Plus, nothing says Christmas like a snowy backdrop in a family photo!
Stand on top of a hill, or a chair depending on where you live
By having the subjects of a photograph stand alone atop a small incline, say, on a hill in an open meadow, they won’t be competing with any other type of matter for attention in the photograph. This makes them the focal point of the picture, which in turn also allows the sun’s natural rays to focus exclusively on them- at least, as far as those who the Christmas card gets sent to can tell. This way, the light will literally and figuratively be shining down on them- and conversely, nothing else will seem as though the light is shining on them.