Ho, Ho, Ho! It's the Christmas Eve Foto Flash column and I hope everyone is having a great holiday.
A lot of picture taking has been going on lately with all the visiting relatives, Christmas programs and various activities going on. I'm betting more than one of you good little boys and girls will be getting a new camera under the tree. I'll give you a few words of advice on how to get the most out of your new toy.
First of all, read the manual. Yes, I know that will put you to sleep faster than a meal of Christmas turkey, but today's cameras have so many features you really need to read over the instructions or you might miss out on one of the goodies that comes with the camera. Fortunately most good cameras come with a CD with the instructions on it so you can read it on your computer, and some even have built-in help screens to help guide you right on the back of the camera.
Next, you need to protect your investment. If your camera has some kind of strap, be sure to use it. One good drop is all it takes to put an end to your holiday picture taking. Also, if you didn't get a case for your camera, you should go get one immediately. They don't have to be expensive and are cheap insurance against dirt and dings.
Last, make sure you take lots of pictures of the people around you. The best thing about photography is that it helps you remember the good times you've had and the people you love. Watch what is going on around you and be prepared to take pictures that tell stories. The look on someone's face as they open that special gift or the frustration on dad's face as he puts together a 10,000-piece toy are priceless.
Take pictures of the people around you whether you see them once a year or every day because they won't look the same next year.
Don't forget to let someone take some pictures of you. It won't break your camera and doesn't hurt a bit. Trust me, I'm a trained professional.
Thank you all very much for reading this column. I really appreciate all the nice comments I get from readers. I hope you all enjoy it, and I hope you all have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
(Brent Kepner is the owner and photographer at Foto 1 Pro Photo in Elkins. He is a Master Photographer, Certified Professional Photographer and past president of the Professional Photographers of West Virginia.)