The kids are dressed up in their Christmas outfits. They’re not screaming and crying…yet. Quick, take a picture! But where? How?
When it comes to taking a great “portrait-type” pic of your kid…you know, one where you can just really see clearly the details of their face and outfit, there’s nothing more important than lighting it well.
But don’t think you need to own any fancy equipment. Nope. Just open your front door!
Yep, so long as you brave the cold and take the pic with them in the doorway (facing out during daylight hours), this is the perfect spot to create a Christmas portrait.
There’s reasons for this that we don’t have time to get into today. But suffice to say that the light will be soft, even, and beautiful.
Want to take it to the next level? Then have a simple backdrop ready. The rest of this post is taken from a guest post I wrote for Money Saving Mom last year:
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:
“But that’s too much work!”
I hear you sis. Or bro. No problem. Just skip the backdrop. Just know in the meantime that if you follow the first part about light, and shoot wide open, the background will be blurred anyway.
What’s it mean to shoot “wide open.” Oh boy…that’s a whole “nother” lesson.