Sunday, November 26, 2017

Portraits with Christmas Lights


Of course, all of photography is based on light!

You need light to capture faces in portraits,
so that is what you will look for when you photograph
people with Christmas lights.

WHAT is going to light up their face?

I took my daughter Lindsay to this wonderful historic street in
a nearby town with white lights glittering over the road.

A business owner strung the lights and maintains them.
It's called Star Bridge and attracts photographers who want
to add that sparkle to portraits!


The best time for night photography with Christmas lights
is right after the sun sets and the sky is still a rich blue,
but it's dark enough to capture the lights.

Lindsay is always so kind to pose for me!  Thanks, sweetie!


I shot with my 50mm 1.4 lens
Aperture Priority
f2 gave me great bokeh from the background twinkle lights!
I used Auto ISO so I didn't have to keep checking it.
In Aperture Priority, the camera chose the shutter.

The star lights did give off a ton of light, but I positioned
Lindsay so a streetlight on the side of the road
illuminated her face.

I'm always asking myself...what is going to light up the face!
Look for a light source to do that.


As you can see in this photo taken by my photo pal Lucy,
I shot from a lower position to include the lights.






In this next photo, I used the streetlight again to
illuminate Lindsay,
and I added the pretty bokeh in the window using one
of the overlays from my Christmas Bokeh Collection I sell in my Etsy Shop.

These bokeh overlays are perfect for adding bokeh right where 
you want it the easy way!

That stack of presents is also an overlay that I sell in my Etsy Shop.

I have lots of fun Christmas Overlays in my shop to spruce up your holiday photos!


To photograph people with indoor Christmas lights...
once again, look for a light source to illuminate the face!

In this case, the light source is Lindsay's computer.

Don't just snap a photo...really look close for that light source!


I was sitting in my recliner watching a Christmas 
movie and noticed Lindsay lying on the floor with
 the light from her computer igniting her face.

I grabbed my camera and took these photos.


I really love to capture everyday life in creative ways with my camera.
The light on her face in this next photo was coming from a lamp I moved into position.
Look at those glittery lights in the background!


Try side lighting.  The light source in the next photo was our adjacent kitchen.


To photograph a child playing, with your Christmas tree in the background,
look for a light source and place your child, so that source
lights up their face.

In this case, I have a large sliding glass door that lights the part of the room
this child is facing.
That was my light source for the face.


By shooting a bit away from the tree, the lights will turn to
bokeh in the background.


You can also pose your child with a light source on their face.

These were all taken with the child facing a window. 

I LOVE the natural light from a window!

You can also try a lamp.




So take some time this holiday season to look for lighting
situations that will create some dazzling people photos with 
Christmas lights!

1 comment:

Pam said...

Some great tips there Jill, Im some times guilty of getting excited and snapping the picture a little premature. I love the pictures with the " light bridge" your daughter is beautiful and very sweet to pose for you.