It’s that time of the year—messages of season’s greetings fill up our boxes and feeds with photos of family portraits and everything red and green. Are you tired of the same ole’ holiday photos and looking for a new approach? If so, here are some useful tips on capturing joyful and festive images that stand apart from everyone else’s.

1. Use Christmas lights as a backdrop.

All you’ll need is a white sheet or wall, Christmas lights and any other add-ins that you deem of use, depending on how creative you want to get. For a studio setup, portrait photographer Lizvette Wreath recommends using painting canvases as reflectors, a big aperture such as f/1.8 and natural lighting. See her DIY photography project below that has gone viral on Pinterest:

5 Ways to Make Your Holiday Photos Stand Out(courtesy of Lizvette Wreath Photography)

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Future History - Topaz - JKFuture History (Royal Ontario Museum)

A term he coined as oramagraphy, International award-winning photographer John Kosmopoulos explains his aesthetic from pre-visualization to realized vision. 

“What you capture with your camera is photography. What you do before, during and after you take a photograph is a complimentary term I coined as “oramagraphy,” explains Toronto native John Kosmopoulos, who derived the word on a quest to personally challenge himself for expansion of vision as a photographer.

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Take a trip around the world to Menorca, Spain, an island located just West of the mainland, with these beautiful black and white photos by Miguel Estrella.

“This summer i spent a wonderful week in Menorca. It is a beautiful island with marvellous beaches, as impressive if not more than the iconic Caribbean ones. Yet instead of sharing pictures from the seaside i decided to focus on their beautiful Fiestas. In them, the horse is the protagonist. The riders, called “caixers”, wearing black and white, are the core of the celebration of the traditional “jaleo”, where these riders make their horses stand up on to legs, while the crowd holds them laying their hands on the horse’s chests. An amazing experience you can’t miss. The pictures attached come from Es Castell”

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Photo Curvature: Equirectangular Panoramas and other Exotic ProjectionsA distorted translation of what is seen by the human eye, dream-like, equirectangular visuals can be created with the help of digital technology. Photo curvature, or pixel bending, is a way of abstracting a panorama or any other picture so that the poles are either pulled in or stretched out across the canvas.

Photographer and videographer, Garret Veley, has shared his common workflow, including the equipment and software used to produce the equirectangular and other re-projections shown. But first, here are a few definitions and examples of the typical types of projections that can be developed.

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snakecharmerby Robyn Aber

I started with a photo I snapped of a ‘Snake Charmer’ street performer in Santa Monica, CA. The image is very busy and has challenging elements (that I didn’t notice at the time) like the coffee cup that he’d placed by his foot on the stool where he performed. Which meant if I wanted to work with him I’d have to reconstruct his foot, and I’m no plastic surgeon!

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