I have a confession, we’ve always had colored lights on our tree for the past 10 years. This year I decided to make the switch to white lights. Why you ask? So I could take photos like this of my boys with our tree:
I had tried it in the past with the colored lights but it doesn’t really work well. I had a few questions on my Facebook page asking how to achieve this look and I promise you, you do not have to be a pro to do it.
1. You need a camera that you can operate on manual settings, a digital SLR is best.
2. Wait until it’s dark outside and turn off all the lights in the house.
3. Dress your kids in adorable, matching Christmas jammies.
4. Bribe your children with chocolate and cookies to stand very still and hold hands in front of the tree. It looks better if they are facing the tree gazing in Christmas wonder.
5. Set your ISO high, mine was at ISO1600, next time I’d crank it even higher, this is what my SOOC (straight out of the camera shot looked like, had I upped the ISO a bit, it would have let even more light in. I was able to fix it in Photoshop to brighten things up a bit though. Just crank that ISO as high as possible.
The SOOC shot:
6. I was using my 24-70 2.8L zoom lens so that I could get all of our massive 12 foot tree in the frame so I set my F stop as wide as it went which is 2.8, pick the lowest number your lens goes.
7. Here’s the trick to get the lights to glow, you want a slow shutter speed, mine was at 1/15. I had the camera balanced on a bar stool to minimize camera shake but a tripod would have been handy if I wasn’t too lazy to drag it out.
That’s it! Just ask your kids to be still and shoot away. I played with mine a little in photoshop but not much.