Capturing your memories during holidays.

What is photographing the holidays?

There are many holidays around the end of the year that present us with multiple opportunities to photograph family, events, friends and celebrations. Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, Kwanza and several others that mean holiday traditions, food, lights and decorations.

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Why is it important to photograph the holidays?

Taking the time to pick up our cameras and capture not only the memories for years to come but it’s also important to record those traditions to pass on to future generations. This year, in particular, was unique and you’ll cherish having images that represent just how different celebrations and traditions were this holiday season.

How to photograph the holidays?

First of all, think about what the holidays mean to you, personally. What are the family traditions you celebrate. Are there decorations that have been in your family for many years? Maybe your holidays are quiet and as simple as a fire in the fireplace with a nice cup of tea. What is it about your holidays that you would like to remember through photographs that you can share with your family in years to come?

Notice the holiday spirit all around. In your own home, neighborhood and nearby towns. Wander around where you live or take a drive to see the decorations in other cities. Look at what’s around as if you were visiting from another country. What is done where you live but not anywhere else? What are the unique and interesting events that your community hosts that would make for some great images?

capturing life's simple pleasures

Be deliberate about choosing what you’ll be photographing. Consider how you can capture the scene or object in a unique and interesting way.

Think about the visual balance challenge we did when photographing food. How can you arrange the items and also photograph so that there are no distractions or perhaps holiday light bokeh in the background?

Take the time to change your perspective and take several different shots from different angles. Shoot from a bird’s-eye view or a bug’s eye view.

Also, be aware of what gear you need to create the image you have in your mind. Are you shooting the lights at night and need a tripod? What lens works best for what you’re doing? Be sure to choose one main point of interest so that your viewer has a clear idea of what your image is conveying and what it is about.

If you need inspiration check out this holiday Pinterest Board.

Give the gift of photography.

Personalized gifts are always treasured. Photography is no different. If you have images of friends and family that you know they’d appreciate having, print them out and frame them. Then, give them as gifts. Spread the holiday spirit.

Photo BootCamp Magazine

In this issue of BootCamp magazine, let’s take a look at what memories our members have cherished during their holidays through their images.

Be sure to check out how you can join BootCamp at the end of the magazine!

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Alternatively, if you have a slower connection you can view this magazine Here on ISSUU.

Below is a small sample of what’s in this magazine.

capturing life's simple pleasures

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Inside BootCamp Magazine

Featured Artist

Let’s take a look at this month’s magazine. Here is our featured artist of the month, Ron du Bois, from Great Britain.

Taken in Lapland close to noon on New year’s eve a couple of years ago, the day before his 70th birthday. It was a special day and a special family gathering. This was as sunny as it would get. The Sami people would not see the sun for another three weeks and couldn’t wait!


Comment: Glenys Ruth Prins“What a great landscape shot that gives you a feeling for the season and the sky gave me a feeling of hope for the future with the road leading into it. Well done.”

Cover Image

This month’s cover image was taken by Sheree Ebanks from the Cayman Islands.

Sheree originally came from Wisconsin where there was a lot of snow for Christmas and the holidays. She moved to Cayman when she was 7 and has never experienced another Christmas in the cold! When Sheree moved out on her own some 40+ years ago, she began collecting pieces for a “snow scene”. She is very traditional and loves these small wintery people and scenes.

Sheree spent quite a few hours photographing her scene. She has never tried to do an artistic photo shoot of this before. Usually, they are all just snapshots. She did get about two decent images she was happy with and decided on this close up. The background bokeh is her large Christmas tree and a garland on the top of one of her cabinets. Sheree used a wide-open aperture at f/2.8 on a tripod and used flashlights (torches) to help light up the sign and foreground. She was after the soft feeling and the bokeh in the background. 

Comment: Sara O’Brien“Sheree, I don’t blame you for getting out of the frozen tundra that is Wisconsin and Minnesota! My mom is from Wisconsin and my dad Minnesota. This is a beautiful image. I love the softness and the bokeh. I am a bit envious as I have not had the room to collect these miniatures. The composition is spot on as well. Well done.”

capturing life's simple pleasures

Active Members

Let’s take a look at the holiday memories our BootCamp members have shared with us this month.

Starting with Jim Gagne from the United States. Here’s a portrait he took a couple of years ago right during the Christmas holidays. It’s one of his favorite images. Hope you enjoy it.

capturing life's simple pleasures

Comment: Holly Featherston“I love that the foreground and background are out of focus. It draws you right in to that adorable face.”

Next, we have Laima Ratajczak from Australia. In town this year the local council has installed a Christmas lights trail and each evening they have carolling, fire twirling and lots of other festive activities. For this image, she was looking up into the sky at this Christmas bauble which was approximately 15 feet high. Taken with her Canon 80D and 50mm lens. She did a small amount of editing in Lightroom to darken the sky.

Comment: Peter Brody“Laima, this ornament is dazzling !! Your composition, contrast, and clarity are perfect.”

capturing life's simple pleasures

Next, we have Valerie Worthen from the United States. She thought she would share what Christmas time looks like in her part of the world. She actually loves the snow but she must admit it can be challenging and hang around way too long. 


Comment: Kerrie Clarke“Picture postcard perfect! Beautifully composed, I love those snow-laden conifers backed by the deciduous trees. The way they fade away into the snow adds a lot of depth to your image. The warmth of the dwelling contrasting with the cold blue tones is inviting me inside. Really nice work, Valerie!”

And next, we have Denis O’Byrne from Ireland. From a wet cold and blustery Ireland. A very sparse Christmas by standards. Christmas will be enjoyed for all the right reasons and Denis took this opportunity to wish you and your families a very peaceful season wherever you are in the world. 2021 is a new beginning full of hope and joy for all. He hopes this image of festive lights brings joy and hope at this time.

Comment: Valerie Worthen“Love it! Such great detail. Beautiful words to go along with it. May you and yours have a wonderful season as well.”

capturing life's simple pleasures

And last but not the least, we have Holly Featherston from the United States. She was trying to capture the warmth of decorating the tree, especially this year, by just using the light of the tree.

capturing life's simple pleasures

Comment: James Herrick“Love it! The combination of just the tree lights and the pose of the man gives us the feeling of the season – peace! Nice to have an uplifting image while we make do in this year.”

These are just some of the images created and shared by the members which show us how, through photographing our holidays, we can cherish some great memories.

Share your own images by joining Photo BootCamp Academy. You can count on the community to help and guide you along the way. If you are not yet a member of this awesome family now is the best time to become one.

Check out the complete BootCamp Magazine and see for yourself!


  • There are many photo opportunities around the holidays. Festivities, celebrations, friends, family, food and lights.
  • Capturing the future memories and keeping records of our traditions is an important way to pass these things down for generations.
  • Photograph what the holidays mean, how they feel to you. 
  • Be deliberate about what is in your frame. 
  • Give photography as a gift. 

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Please leave me a comment below – I’d love to know what you think. Brent

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