It’s that time of year again - when your precious little one is dressed up as an angel, a shepherd (or perhaps even an adorable sheep) and is performing in his or her school’s nativity play. These are the moments that go by quickly and soon your child will be fully grown, so you want to capture photos of them sweetly singing with their classmates as they reenact the story of baby Jesus. Years from now, you can look back on these cherished Christmas memories. However, getting good photos of a nativity play can be difficult. The lighting in a school auditorium or hall can be poor, there may be other parents sitting in front of you and the young actors on stage might be fidgeting a lot. There are a lot of challenges when it comes to capturing the moment well. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Check with the school first just to make sure that photography is allowed. Some schools ban photos at children’s performances, so you may need to simply take a photo of your own child in their costume on their own.
Always make sure that your camera is fully charged and that there is enough space on your memory card. The play won’t halt for you to change batteries, so be prepared or risk missing out on the perfect photo opportunity.
Get to the school as early as possible so that you can get a seat in the front row and have the best possible vantage point for taking photos without the heads of other parents in the shot.
Make sure that you are not blocking anyone else’s view with your camera - their little ones are up there on the stage too!
You could also consider standing in the aisle, as long as you are not in the way of anyone else.
If you are making a video, try to sit close to the speakers so that the sound will be coming through loud and clear.
Low light and a shaky hand can lead to blurry photos. If you have room, set up a tripod so that the photos will be clear and not blurry.
If you have a zoom lens for your camera, try using it. You will be able to get in closer and capture the expressions on the faces of the children in the play.
Turn off your flash. Not only will it annoy others in the audience, but it won’t work well to illuminate the children on stage. Instead, set the camera on “flash off” mode, which will cause the camera to turn the ISO higher so that it can take in more light.
With these tips you will be able to take better photos of your little ones in their nativity play, so that you can capture these priceless moments forever. However, don’t worry if your photos aren’t perfect - they will still embody the spirit and the memory and will be treasured for many years.