During 4th of July celebrations, people tend to get a bit overexcited, and will post extremely mediocre fireworks photos onto Facebook and Instagram.
I don’t mean to decry this behavior. As I said, people are a little amped, probably inebriated, and they want to capture the moment. But the end result is a completely unoriginal, boring photo that in reality is a disgrace to photography.
None of us have these mega Nikon 6xG24000 cameras that take professional photos. Instead, we use our Smartphones, and the idea of a Droid or an iPhone capturing a legitimate action-shot of airborne fireworks is nothing short of laughable.
And that’s why I dread social media on Independence Day. Luckily for me, it’s only one day a year, and then I don’t have to worry about it for another 365 days.
But then December comes. And while I never thought that there could be a more unimaginative photo scheme than fireworks, apparently I was wrong.
Because what I had not considered … is Christmas tree photos.
Now before all of my Catholic friends throw a tizzy — especially since I’ve been rather hard on their religion this past week — let me explain myself.
Christmas trees, for hundreds of years, have not changed. They are the same size. They have a star or an angel at the top. And they have various ornaments, lights and candy canes throughout. Sometimes at its base, people put a train, or will recreate the birth of Christ with miniature statuettes.
There. I just described every Christmas tree in the world. We all know what it looks like.
But that doesn’t stop people from showing us exactly what we already know. And that’s why, all of us, will be exposed to people posting photos of their own, personalized Christmas tree on Facebook and Instagram.
And I get it. It’s not just the photo that people are presenting to others. It’s the sense of accomplishment. They’ve likely spent hours decorating that tree, and want to share that moment with the world.
I’m just trying to keep it real here, though. If I’m just judging the picture itself, and not what it symbolizes, then what you have is a closeup picture a small tree that looks like a rainbow just threw up on it. And the blank wall behind it only makes it worse.
Can I make a suggestion? A landscape shot. Think about it.
Christmas trees are not only an emblem of a holiday, but of a home. What ornaments we use are not only the decision that goes into decorating the tree; but it’s placement. It’s juxtaposition within a room. So how about a shot to contextualize your tree within the space that it’s in? Let me see the couch. The TV. The carpet. Maybe a fireplace. Now that’s a photo worth glancing at for a half-second before I put my phone in my pocket and then pull it back out two minutes later so I can check Facebook again.
Christmas tress don’t have to change. Their traditional, enduring appearance is an iconic part of the holiday season, and what makes them so lovable. The photos however, have become an eyesore.
It’s only the first half of December, so there’s still time for people to salvage their Christmas tree photos.
Oh, and say no to vertical shots.
Just don’t do it.