December 12, 2012

Chalkboard Christmas Wish List Photo Idea (Christmas Photo Tips)

Christmas is the perfect opportunity to pull out your camera to try out some new creative photo ideas. This is such a magical time of year, as your home is probably brimming with countless backdrops for beautiful Christmas photos! Today I’m sharing a meaningful photo idea for capturing part of the joy of the season as it lives in the heart of your children. By photographing each child in front of the Christmas tree holding a sign telling the item that tops their Christmas list, these photos will undoubtedly be cherished for many years to come.

Last year, I shared an idea for creating Christmas ornaments showcasing a child’s photo on one side, and their Christmas wish list on the other. As we placed those Photo Christmas List Ornaments on our tree this year, I knew I wanted to do something similar again in 2012.

Reading through each of my kids’ Christmas lists last week, I was struck by how much sweeter those words seem because they are written in their own distinctive handwriting. It was then that I decided to take each of my children’s photos sitting in front of the tree, using a chalkboard showcasing their number one gift request of Santa, written on their own, using their own spelling. (Or, in the case of my youngest, dictated by her to me to write down.) I just adore how these photos turned out!

I am planning to make an ornament using each of these photos to hang on our tree. Wouldn’t it be neat to do this with each child each year to demonstrate how they (and their handwriting and gift requests) change throughout the years?

Taking these photos gave me the opportunity to take one of my early Christmas gifts–a new 50mm lens–out for a spin. The beauty of Christmas twinkle lights is only enhanced by the lovely blurred background created with a lens like this one, which has a very shallow depth of field. Essentially, that just means that you are able to focus on a main subject, while everything else is the background is given a nice, velvety blur. That blur is called bokeh.

The full details for how these photos were taken:

  • Camera: Canon Rebel T2i
  • Lens: Canon 50mm F/1.8
  • ISO: 1600
  • Aperture Value: Between 2.0 and 2.2
  • Ambiance: Indirect light, mainly from the tree, and a table lamp moved near the subject.
  • Distance from subject to background: Between 5-6 feet
The key to getting a good bokeh effect in photos like these is to move the subject a few feet away from the tree itself. The greater the distance between the subject and the tree, the stronger the blur effect will be. My kids were each about 6 feet from the tree in these photos.

I hope I’ve inspired you to try taking some creative photos to capture the joy of the holiday season this year!

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5 Responses to Chalkboard Christmas Wish List Photo Idea (Christmas Photo Tips)

  1. Beverly {Flamingo Toes} December 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    These are so sweet Amy! What a fun way to look back on what they liked and how they grew. LOVE it!

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid December 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

      Thank you, Bev!

  2. Claudia December 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    So these pictures are just for you to keep? Or do they get sent to the grandparents or other people so they can buy the gift?

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid December 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

      For me, this is really more of a keepsake idea for posterity rather than a practical list idea, but I suppose you could send them off to grandparents. I love looking back each year on the special requests each child had on their list, so this is a creative way for documenting that. I actually create a new ornament each year for each child with their photo on the front and their wish list on the back, so I’ll be using these photos for that project this year. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Leigh Ann December 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    These are really cute! I’ll have to do this next year. We’re planning on doing something like this for thank you cards this year.

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