Five Tips for Photographing Christmas on Film

Nothing says "Kodak Moment" like Christmas morning!  And I know you want to capture those special memories on film.  Here are a few tips to help you make the most of this special day.

1. Be prepared.  Christmas morning moves fast!  You don't want to miss the action because you're running around like a crazy woman searching for your gear.  Make sure you have everything you need;  film, camera (with fresh batteries) and light meter, set aside and ready to go.  I preload my camera(s) on Christmas Eve and set them out on the table next to Santa's milk and cookies along with my meter and extra film.  That way, come Christmas morning, I'm ready to go!

2. Choose your film wisely.  I don't know what happens at your house, but in mine, kids wake up super early on Christmas.  Like, super early.  Too early for good light.  And too early for strobe (my eyes need time to adjust before I can deal with bright light... hahaha)  So I shoot Ilford3200 in the morning and then move to slower films as the day goes on.

Sandra Coan, film photographer

3. Push for a little pop!  Christmas is full of color.  To really get those colors to pop, try pushing your film a stop.  Just remember that pushing does not add exposure.  So if you don't have enough light to get a good exposure, choose a different film stock or bust out the OCF.

Sandra Coan, film photographer

4. Meter.  Metering is so important when shooting film! So make sure you have your meter on hand for perfectly exposed photos!

5. Send your film to a good lab.  These are your memories people!  Don't trust your memories to bad processing.  As film shooters, our lab is our creative partner, so make sure you are using a good one!  I personally love Richard Photo Lab and, as luck would have it, they are having a killer sale at the moment!  Here's the link!

Most importantly, don't forget to put down your camera at some point and join in the fun!

Merry Christmas!

Sandra Coan, film photographer

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