Guest post from Kyle of Shultz Photo School
It’s the end of November already and the holidays are here! The excitement is building, and so is your to-do list. One of the things on the list: Christmas Cards!
Don’t just use any ole snapshot this year. Here are a few tips to get a pro-quality pic for cards or gifts, but without the pro quality cost.
Step 1: Light it well.
Set up shop just inside your front door OR just inside an open garage door. Place your subject inside the door a mere 1-2 feet. You’ll be left with soft, even front light. It’s easy to work with and very forgiving.
One warning: do NOT take the pic in direct sunlight. Shoot at a time of day to where your kiddo is in the shade of the doorway. This will keep the light soft and even.
Step 2: Cover up any distractions with a backdrop.
To save loads of money, find a bed sheet, or better yet, your favorite blanket or quilt. Textures and colors can work great — don’t be afraid of them! This year, I used a quilt I bought for my wife last Christmas.
Drape the quilt or sheet over a shower curtain rod, a paint roller extension pole, or even a long broom handle. Use clamps or some duct tape to keep it from sliding off.
Get it all situated and hoist it up in the air. It should be light enough to make a great volunteer project for the hubby (just have him hold it up). Or simply prop it up between two high backed bar stools, etc. I cheated by using my backdrop stand, but I’ve boot-legged it many times.
Place the backdrop just a few feet behind where the subject. This way it’ll still get some light on it. The further back you place it, the less bright it will be. Here’s a sneak peek of my setup inside my front door:
Step 3: Add a bench, a chair, or just stand… and snap away.
The garage is a great place for the whole family as it’s wider. I just found a bench from inside and brought it out for the kids to sit on:
Simple enough. Here are a few results:
Kyle Shultz teaches parents about photography at Shultz Photo School. He says all 3 of his kids look like his beautiful wife. If you’re interested in more helpful photography ideas, be sure to register for the FREE $17 DIY Studio mini-course over at Shultz Photo School.