How the Kids Caught Santa! (8 pics)


He made us fall in love with his beautiful daughters. He showed us just how creative and cool a father could be. And now, I’m honored to call Jason Lee not just one of my favorite photographers, but a friend. Even before I wrote the post, A Father Who Creatively Captures His Kids, I was a fan of Jason’s hilarious and witty work. You became a fan too, making that post the #1 most visited one not just this year but since the Met was started over 2 1/2 years ago.

Jason and I have been corresponding by email since I first interviewed him, brainstorming on a follow-up post. More than anything, we wanted to show people how they could make their own creative photos. As we’re now just a day away from Christmas, he sent us this exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at his newest creation called Caught in the Act. Here’s a step-by-step look at what it took to get that shot from idea to execution.


As you remember, my original idea was to have one of them being a reindeer, and the other was Santa. Santa would be up in the air. As I was thinking on how to do it, I came up with another idea. This was my rough draft. (Yeah, I can’t draw very well.)


After I figured out what I wanted to achieve, I thought about how I wanted to light it. Being it was still in the afternoon and there was too much light, I really wanted to give the feel of night time. Gridded light was a must. After figuring out light, then I looked for composition. I already knew I was going to use the fireplace, but I couldn’t shoot at the angle I wanted. I settled for a simple head on shot of the fireplace. This is what it looked like with ambient light.


I then started setting up the lighting. I put a small flash in the fireplace with a few warming gels.


Then I added my main lights, which was two gridded beauty dishes.


Here are a few pull back shots.


My camera angle.


There are two lights for the main, I wanted to light myself separately, independent of the girls.


Final result.

Thanks so much for the behind-the-scenes look, Jason. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful daughters.

Jason Lee



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