With creative tweaks, holiday photos last far beyond social media
Published: December 6, 2011
Technology enables us to snap a photo of that fine family dinner and post it to Facebook or other social media in minutes. While you celebrate, however, don’t overlook the opportunity for content that can give you a variety of images that that are evergreen in more ways than one.
Kay B. Day
My family has become accustomed to the ever-present click of my digital camera and my video recorder. The holidays aren’t just about celebrations—they present a chance to capture winter landscapes, intricately presented food dishes, heirloom china, developing weather and countless other images depending on your particular circumstances.
Groups of individuals engaged in conversation make good visuals for numerous articles, whether you’re writing about flu season or creating a special event. If some subjects are shy, simply have them turn to an angle that obscures their face. Think Americana—groups of regular people doing the things we do when we come together. Such an image is a great file photo for many purposes.
If you write about topics like cooking or do reviews of culinary items
or books, you can have a field day. I’ve even shot photos of a place
setting of pretty china with someone’s nicely manicured hand arranging
the cutlery just so.
I actually shot this image from the car as we traveled north in I-95. By the time the car was even with the plane, I was ready to shoot. I plan to try again to frame it better.
Do you gather around a fireplace?
Shoot the fire blazing and depending on how you crop the photo, you have
an image that will serve you well for physical science topics like
global warming or energy. Capture the fireplace in toto and you have a
great image for a personal essay about anything domestic.
you live or visit an area where there’s abundant wildlife, you have a
golden opportunity. I maintain a photo file titled "animals" and I can’t
tell you how many times I’ve used those images, whether I’m writing
about the environment or gardening. A snake in the grass works perfectly
for articles about financial scams or fraud.
offers you all sorts of circumstances you can capitalize on. Images of
suitcases, airports, stops along the way if you’re traveling by car—all
of those can be used in content about diverse topics. I once shot an
image of a very dirty restroom for an article about travel laws in
different states. For instance, in Florida, the law requires tissue
paper to be available at all times. The media had a field day when that
regulation passed. The photo I shot showed a bathroom no one would
really want to use with abundant supplies of tissue in the background.
I travel by car, I always keep my camera ready for impromptu shots if
someone else is driving. I’ve captured photos of tailgating trucks for
articles about highway safety and images of litter for environmental
Bear in mind you can crop a small
portion of any image—a snippet of evergreen from a Christmas tree, a
single candle from a table or a single flower from a vase. Think
of an image this way: A complete image isn’t an end product. The image
is a starting point for all manner of images within the composed frame.
there’s a holiday or you’re just in the middle of an average Monday,
your world is full of photo opportunities and the same can be said of
opportunities for articles. You just have to put your mind in creative
mode and let the rest come naturally.
Florida journalist Kay B. Day has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. The author of two books, she has written for The Christian Science Monitor, United Press International, The Florida Times-Union and Sky News. To learn more about Kay Day, see kayday.com. To read Kay's other Web Savvy columns about writing for the Web, click here.||