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  • Writer's pictureJessica Sharp

Festive Photos in Fleet! Countdown to Christmas with My Handy Guide

It’s official, bonfire night is over, and the Christmas countdown can begin! I’ve been feeling festive in my studio for a while now due to my Christmas mini sessions but as the nights are drawing in and the gorgeous fairy lights are being strung up around Fleet, there’s an extra Christmassy jingle in my step!

After last year, we all want to make memories and enjoy extra special time with our loved ones. What better way to celebrate this season than with a countdown calendar of local festive events in Fleet?

Check out my Christmas countdown – a festive guide to some of our local events and my top tips for capturing some fab photos at the same time!

It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

1. Ollies Trees at Tweseldown Pub – 19th November 2021 Onwards

Is there anything merrier than getting the family together to pick your Christmas tree? It’s such a fun date for the calendar and hits everyone right in the festive feels!

You know how I’m always saying how important it is to dress for the occasion - especially if you’re wanting to capture extra special photos. So, add a little extra pop to your snaps by making sure you’ve dressed festively. With green being the dominant colour in the background, make sure you’re wearing something to compliment – red is a great colour to contrast green and is perfectly festive too. Have fun with Santa hats or other festive or winter attire.

Capture some shots of your little one peeking around the trees or helping to carry the tree to the car. Close ups of smiling faces are essential too. Hands up who’s excited!!!

Check out Ollies Facebook page here

2. Fleet Christmas Festival – Wednesday 24th November 2-9pm

A stocking full of fun for all the family to enjoy, Fleet Christmas Festival is back! We all really missed this event last year and this year’s line up promises to add some more seasonal sparkle to our countdown. Grab your family and head up to the high street to sample the street food, festive markets and maybe even a cheeky mulled wine for the adults!

There are oodles of smashing photo opportunities you’ll want to snap.

The switching on of the Christmas lights is one on everyone’s to-do list! Get ready to take photos in front of Fleet’s gorgeous Christmas tree lights by switching your phone to portrait mode - to get that dreamy bokeh effect. Bokeh that turns twinkling lights into warm, fuzzy, blurry orbs! It’s the perfect on-trend Christmas shot!

Portrait mode is also fab to capture clear crisp photos of your family whilst allowing the hustle and bustle of the background to be gently blurred. This is great if you’re wanting to snap natural images of your family sampling the stalls and walking along the festive Fleet high street.

Check out the Fleet Christmas Festival line-up here

3. Friends of Oakley Park Christmas Carols with Santa - Friday 3rd December 6pm

A magical opportunity to enjoy beautiful carols whilst also meeting the big man himself! This is an occasion you’ll want to capture! It’s free (they welcome donations) and your little one(s) even get a small chocolate gift.

My top tip here is not to use the flash on your phone – eek! Yes, it will be dark but flash isn’t always the best solution. Flash often results in the person coming out too bright and the background being too dark.

To capture that wonderfully festive glow of twinkling lights and little excited faces if you have a newer model smartphone you can thankfully switch to night mode to avoid grainy blurred images. For those of us with older phones, look for other natural light sources to illuminate your photos – think lamplights, or any spotlights used at the event to illuminate the pathways or seating areas and remember to hold your phone as still as possible to avoid camera shake.

Another tip is to avoid using the zoom. If you want to zoom in – do it with your feet and get close to your subject. It helps reduce pixelated grainy images especially when it’s so dark.

Click here to register via Facebook for the event

4. Breakfast with Santa - The Station Inn and Oatsheaf Pub (Various Dates Starting from 4th December)

Enjoy a lovely breakfast or brunch with the big man himself! This breakfast will certainly snap crackle and pop with excitement so make sure you’ve got your camera ready!

Light is always the top priority for taking smashing shots and that can be rather dependant on where you’re sitting. If you get the option, ask to be seated near a window to take advantage of that lovely natural light and avoid the use of the flash.

Capturing the festive breakfast is key so look for ways to take photos at interesting and different angles across the table. Don’t forget to capture the seasonal story and excitement. Take zoomed in shots of little hands holding festive drinks, faces before they tuck in and avoid face squishing chewing

shots! Match your outfit to the occasion (my top tip!) so make sure you’re all dressed festively!

Check out availability and dates here:

5. Fleet Lions Santa and Fleet Rotary Santa

We really are so lucky to have the wonderful Fleet Lions and Fleet Rotary Club that work together to bring Santa to our streets each year! It’s so magical to hear the squeals of delight from children as Santa appears on his sleigh waving to you from your very own front window!

The key with this photo opportunity is to be prepared! Keep your eyes peeled for the Santa tracker (street rota) that lets you know which streets are going to be covered and when – that way you won’t be dragging the kids out of the bath sopping wet to do an impromptu hello with the jolly fellow!

Like all photography taken in low-light / dusk, it is a tricky balance. As I’ve mentioned, if you’ve got the night mode option that’s a great start. Other tricks are to use other light sources – so turn your porch light or front room light on to help shed some light - or take advantage of a nearby lamppost light to take your shot under.

Whatever you do, use burst mode then you’ve more chance of capturing a good shot in all the excitement!

Routes haven’t been published YET but keep your eyes on these places:

Fleet Lions – keep an eye on their Facebook page

This Christmas season capture some magical moments with those you love! (Whilst also supporting our wonderful local businesses and our fabulous Fleet high street!)

However you plan to countdown the sleeps until Christmas, I hope you get time to enjoy the moments that make this season so special!

Love Jess xx

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