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“The best way out is always through.”

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Don't Forget to Photograph the Decorations

I grew up in a house where Christmas wasn't Christmas until my mother had turned the inside of the house into a living Hallmark card: there were decorations everywhere. There was no tabletop, no rocking chair, no lamp that escaped without at least one red bow or a red candle. Even the big wonderful tabby cat, Brandy, that I had back then had to wear the occasional red bow (and trust me, it took nerves of steel to try to get him to cooperate with such a scheme). Tragically, I seem to have inherited the affliction--I spend the weeks before Christmas puttering around the house putting together silly little still-life scenes and hanging bows on things. Pathetic, I know.

But one good thing that comes out of this mild obsession (other than that the house looks cheery and the cats have something new to play with) is that I have little still life subjects all around to photograph. I shot the photo here while sitting at my dining room table flipping through the junk mail. I looked up and saw that beautiful afternoon light coming through the blinds and illuminating the scene--so naturally I had to grab the camera and take a few shots. I ended up using the photo in my book Jeff Wignall's Digital Photography Crash Course: 2 Minute Tips for Better Photos (Lark Photography Book). Amazing to me that such innocent photographic moments end up in the pages of a book, but again, that's the fun thing about photography, you never know what will become of your photos. I'm also thinking of using this shot on some homemade cards this year.

So this year when you're putting up a tree or just hanging some greens on the front door, take time to photograph them--maybe next year you can use one of the photos on a Christmas card.

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