I love Christmas. Let's just get that out there now. When you've got children it's just such a magical time of year. And what better way to capture that magic than with a magical Christmas book photo. Here's how I did it.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO CREATE YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS BOOK PHOTO
You'll need a DLSR for this, or at least a really good compact camera that will let you adjust the settings. You'll also need a few books, some tin foil, a set of battery operated fairy lights, a Christmas book, a child or children and of course, a beautifully lit Christmas tree. She's reading The Christmas Snowflake which is one of those personalised books by Wonderbly. It's a lovely Christmassy story if you need any inspiration!
SETTING UP THE ROOM
Whilst it would be lovely to have a room so enormous that the area around the tree was already free from any distracting objects, this just wasn't the case for me. In order to take this Christmas book photo, I had to move an arm chair, a rug and the coffee tables from on top of the rug before I even began. You'll also need to lie on the floor so make sure there is enough room for that too. Turn off any lights, except for the Christmas tree.
Best to do all this before you bring the kids in I find!
DLSR CAMERA SETTINGS
Now for the camera settings. I used a 50mm prime lens for this. Switch the camera to Manual and set the ISO to 1000, the shutter speed to 1/30 and the aperture to f/2.2. Depending on how bright your tree lights are you might want to adjust the ISO accordingly. Go higher to let more light in if your photo is too dark.
GETTING READY FOR THE CHRISTMAS BOOK PHOTO
I grabbed a few books to use as a low level tripod and popped my daughter in front of the Christmas tree in a suitably festive outfit, cross legged, with an open book in her lap. I sat her about a metre in front of the tree.
Now for the foil. Make a dish type shape out of it, coil up your battery operated lights inside, and place it inside the open book being sure to keep it out of sight.
Lying on the floor, with my camera balanced on the books I composed the Christmas book photo. With such a low shutter speed it is worth using a shutter remote if you have one, or setting the timer so that you don't cause any shake in the camera when you push the button. Or you'll end up with a blurry shot.
Straight out of the camera, the photo was perfectly good as it was. However I love to have a little tinker in Lightroom. You can see the before and after below.
I hope this helps you capture your own bit of Christmas magic. You might also be interested in a few tips for photographing your kids in front of the Christmas tree, or some general Christmas Photography tips.
If you'd like to book a family photography session in Surrey, Sussex or Kent, please do get in touch. I'd love to hear from you.