Sunday, November 8, 2009

Get Out The Camera This Holiday Season!

Most people are quick to get the camera out for major holidays and birthdays and there are many good reasons why. These are the times of our lives! But there are many photos opportunities that we miss as we focus on the bigger events and, as a long-time scrapbooker, I have learned to focus on the little things that make these seasons bright.

Here are some November photo ops you won't want to miss:

* Fall decor. Take a picture of the nice displays you set around your house and outside -- the mantle, table, shelves, entry-way, doors, yard, and more.

* Foliage. Or the lack thereof. It's easy to grab the camera when colors are at peak, but remember what the landscape looked like when it was bare and before snow comes. You might even want to include your barren garden and fall berries. Also, don't forget the raking and jumping-in-the-leaves shots

* Arts & Crafts. You know you got 'em! Your kids are bringing home from school or creating (if they homeschool) fun pieces of art in honor of the fall season and holidays. Some you might keep, but many end up being tossed out. Memorialize them forever with a photo!

* Wildlife. Birds at the feeder, geese flying south, squirrels digging in the yard . . . you never know what you might see this time of year when everything appears to be falling asleep.

* The farmer's market. The harvest is in and it's fun to capture the scene!

* Election Day. If you are anything like our family, politics are a big part of November (and the rest of the year!) Campaigning, holding signs, passing out literature, meeting candidates, or just voting are all photo-worthy!

* Family portraits. If you haven't gotten your Christmas photo taken yet, now is the time! Gather the family outside -- the natural light is very nice this time of year. You might use colorful foliage as a backdrop or put on hats and mittens. Make it fun!

* Fall sports. Don't forget your little football player, cheerleader, or band member.

* Veteren's Day. Did you know that there are one a handfull of World War I veteren's left in the world? Our World War II veterens are going quickly, too. Don't forget the veteren in your family or photos of your family honoring this day.

* Baking. Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming fast. As you bake, document the process (you might even want include recipes in your albums.) Surely the sights and smells of fall cooking invoke some of the happiest, homiest memories.

* First snowfall. For many of us, that happens in November (if not October!) It might be a groan-worthy occasion for many, but for our kids it doesn't get much more exciting than this!

* Thanksgiving. A no-brainer, but do you remember to take close-up shots of the food? How about the kids setting the table and the beautiful results? Other things to think about -- the Thanksgiving bouquet, watching the parade, kids in Pilgrim costumes, the family sitting together at the table, and gathering together to watch football or play games. There are many traditions connected to this day and, in addition to the photos, you may want to have your family and guests write down their thanks for the previous year to accompanying them.

* Black Friday. This is a pretty big part of our seasonal traditions nowadays -- it's fun to look back and remember how crazy (and fun!) it can all be.

* Decorating for Christmas. For many, the weekend after Thanksgiving is when the tree and other Christmas decorations go up. You might want to consider taking individual shots of your favorite ornaments. Your family will always look back fondly on those photos.

Once the month is over, keep your photos organized and ready to print and display for years to come! They won't be worth much stuck in a memory card. My favorite means of sharing are scrapbooks and they can be paper or digital, but any kind of album will do as long as the photos and memories are available to share.

If you have more ideas for November photo-ops, please share in the comments section. Happy November!