Everyone wants to get the perfect holiday photos to share with family and friends – maybe even use for their holiday card. Olympus Visionary Tracie Maglosky and Trailblazer Laura Hicks are here to help you get the most out of your holiday photoshoot!



- Tracie Maglosky

Check out these strategies for ensuring that your toddler stays put long enough for you to get the keepsake photo you stood in line for.

Outsmart those smarties!
Don’t hand your child over to the strange-looking man in the red suit – back him or her in slowly. Often seeing the jolly old soul the first time terrifies our little elves, and backing them in gives you a couple seconds on Santa’s lap (just enough time for one or two shots without tears). I will warn you, though: This method only buys a very short window! Be sure that you’ve taken the time to frame your shot and prepare your settings prior to your turn. Having a camera that offers blazing fast autofocus is going to be key. I prefer the OM-D E-M1 Mark II for situations like these.

Bring reinforcements.
For children 18-36 months, “stranger danger” can wreak havoc on Santa pics. Nothing says “It’s OK” like the participation of a slightly older trusted sibling, cousin or friend. Going it alone is never easy (even for adults). Much of the tension can be eased with companionship.

Give them a job.
Giving Santa their list, telling Santa what they’d like for gifts…taking the attention away from sitting on his lap makes for genuine reactions and truly special memories. Using the Live View option in your OM-D  or PEN affords the ability to stay connected with a not-quite-sure little one so that your familiar face is not hidden behind the camera.

When shooting your photo, choose your ISO setting based on the amount of available light. Use a fast lens (the M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 is a great choice). Set your aperture to f2.0-2.8 and use a shutter speed between 1/125 and 1/160. You may need to use a higher shutter speed if your child is moving quickly!

Boy and Santa
Shot by Olympus Visionary Tracie Maglosky
Boy in Snow
Shot by Olympus Visionary Laura Hicks


- Laura Hicks

Capture the Joy of the Season
Seize the opportunity to take your family’s picture in the snow – especially if you’re shooting with a Tough camera or the OM-D E-M1 Mark II paired with the M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO lens. These weatherproof models can take the cold, wet weather better than you can! Don’t forget to grab a blanket for the kids to keep them warm. Pick one that complements their outfits and the scene.

Don’t have snow in your area?
No problem. Set up a lifestyle shoot in your living room. Place family members very close to each other reading a holiday tale or drinking hot chocolate. Make sure your tree is part of the background without being a primary focus of your picture. Shooting with a PEN or OM-D? Try using a fast prime lens like the M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8 or M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 for this session and use the widest aperture you can. You will be able to capture the glowing lights of the tree while keeping the background soft and inviting.


- Tracie Maglosky

“Hey you! Stand right there…say cheese!” I hear those words more times than I can count at holiday functions – and I dread them. Here are some techniques for looking your best in all of those holiday photos that will surely circulate on social media! If you have a compatible camera, this is an awesome time to break out your OI.Share app and share instantly!

Ladies – place yourselves at a 45-degree angle to the camera and push your back hip away from the camera (whatever is closest to the camera will be the largest)!

All of your bendable parts were made for the camera! A soft bend at your knees and elbows creates a flattering, graceful look. Remember to keep a bit of space between your upper arm and your body to avoid an unflattering squished arm.

Straighten yourself through your neck and shoulders and push your chin out toward the camera, then bring your chin down. This eliminates any potential double chin and opens your eyes to the camera.

Mother and Daughter
Shot by Olympus Visionary Tracie Maglosky with the OM-D E-M1
Boy in Snow
Shot by Olympus Visionary Laura Hicks


- Tracie Maglosky

For a group of subjects, close down your aperture to bring everyone into focus. Choosing f/3.5-5.6 is recommended. When focusing on a single subject, open your aperture up to f/1.8-2.0 to create a nice dreamy, blurred background. I love using the M.75mm F1.8 for single subject and small group portraits and would recommend the M.12-40mm F2.8 PRO for larger groups.

When posing a group of 3-5 subjects, it’s nice to create a connection between them. Have your subjects come in close to each other and you can easily create connections by simply having one subject place a hand on another subjects arm or around a waist. For smaller groups, creating a triangle offers a nice pose. It’s usually easiest to have one subject seated and build your triangle around your seated subject.