Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let It Go #NikonMOMents

In my fourth collaborative post with Nikon as a Nikon Mom Brand Ambassador, this is the post where I reveal the tired moms secret weapon to taking great Christmas pictures of your kids. On Christmas morning, when you’re barely awake yourself.

Now, I love Christmas. Our family loves Christmas. Christmas however put me on the naughty list. Because this year for Christmas, I got a lump of coal in my stocking otherwise known as bronchitis. Then it gave me several extra presents in the form of a sore throat, sinus cold and an ear infection as the gift topper.

But like many mom’s out there, we will do anything to make sure our kids have a great Christmas. Raise your hands if you know exactly what I mean. Snowstorms, sold out toys and colds be damned, I would find a way. Even if I could not taste the turkey or mashed potatoes I made. Even when they knocked on our door Christmas morning, where I could barely crack my eyes open not even having to look at the alarm clock to know it was way too early to get up. At the very least I would step up and make sure the camera battery was charged for that sport I like to call “Manual Paper Shredding” otherwise known as the lightening speed your children open their gifts at. All so in 20 years we would have our Christmas memories to look back upon fondly.

This year however they were would be no panic over getting blurry or poor lit shots. No way. Because this year, despite my cold, I gave my Nikon D3300 camera a present. Well actually I gave it to him a long time ago but he usually comes out in the worst lighting conditions. Such as the impossible to shoot any photos in –  7 am – it’s still really dark outside – Canadian winter. Otherwise known as our living room. Where this lack of lighting will cause every parents nightmare – the dreaded blurry Christmas present opening photo.

You know what I’m talking about. You take a series of photos of your kids unwrapping everything and when you go back to look at them all, all you see are wisps of blurred wrapping paper, their hair, their hands and no really great captured memories. Then you get angry.

Not anymore. My beloved Nikon SB-600 Speedlight Flash and D3300 SLR saved this tired and very under the weather mom’s Christmas morning.

Let’s back up a bit to the night before where our kids always open their one present – usually their Christmas jammies.

L & C Christmas 2014 (6)

To the very super eager next morning, where the stocking digging excitement began.

L & C Christmas 2014 (7)

L & C Christmas 2014 (9)

L & C Christmas 2014 (8)

Want to see what my photos looked without my Speedlight Flash?

Wisps of blur. So many.

L & C Christmas 2014 (3)

L & C Christmas 2014 (2)

Now I am normally a huge proponent of shooting in natural light and there are many ways you can get the perfect shot using a tripod, getting your kids to sit still and so on. But again, the lightning conditions in our living room are terrible. Terrible. If it’s just me taking home decor shots or DIY projects, no problem. I can change the camera settings and stabilize the camera. But with the kids I practically have to sing “Let It Go” to allow myself to not panic over what my photos will look like because of the lighting issues. Let us remember the sick mom behind camera.

Well the Speedlight flash helps your already super D3300 SLR turn those photos into better photos in these poorly lit conditions. While the regular flash does help, what the additional Speedlight flashes do (as there are several models you can choose from) is let you to bounce light off of another source (in this case our ceiling) and offer a subtler light for your subject. A traditional flash tends to be harsher whereas this will give you a more ‘real life’ effect that you get when you shoot in natural light without blatantly screaming “I used a flash!”

For example this shot below was midway through unwrapping.

No blur.

No lost moments.

Especially with super impatient 4 year olds.

L &C Christmas 2014 (2)

L & C Christmas 2014 (10)

So much Frozen stuff. So. Much.

L & C Christmas 2014 (4)

Her favourite character from Star Wars is Darth Vader because he’s scary.

I don’t know what this means for our future but ok…

L &C Christmas 2014 (1)

And there was even a quiet moment of peace where they opened a present for both of them. A Christmas miracle!

L & C Christmas 2014 (1)

But it wouldn’t be a tradition in our household until we got the loving sibling angst Christmas portrait of the two of them.

Case in point.

Christmas from several years ago.

northstory - christmas memories (13)

And she still remembers…

L & C Christmas 2014 (5)

You know when you don’t use your flash? For the pretty tree shots at night.

Christmas Tree

Christmas tree at night

Wrapped Christmas presents

Christmas presents

Christmas - northstory - NikonMOMents

And if you’d like to see more of our Christmas moments, projects and decor from this year, every one of these photos below was taken and shot with the D3300.

Seriously. I love this camera! It makes sure that you never miss a great moment.

northstory - Christmas

From Left to Right, starting at top left:

Noel, Candy, Cards

Bottle wrap, Wreath, Cinnamon

Twig Stars, Pom Pom ornament, Sugar trees

Jar, Cookies, Star decor

Elf on the shelf however…that, that I do not miss. At all.

Elf on the Shelf

Disclosure: I am part of the Mom Central Canada Nikon MOMents team and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.


  • Reply
    January 8, 2015 at 9:33 am

    The difference in the lighting is remarkable!
    Hope you’re finally feeling better.

  • Reply
    Heather Lynne
    January 8, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Awesome post! I loved it! 🙂 And your tree is gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Tammy @inRdream
    January 8, 2015 at 11:07 am

    I love how you finished, LOL I don’t miss ours either 🙂 Your pictures are amazing. I really am struggling with indoor pictures and yes all my Christmas pictures didn’t turn out as good as yours did. I will be looking into the Speedlight I think it is time I gift my Nikon something too!

  • Reply
    Caroline Fernandez (@ParentClub)
    January 8, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Really clear pictures – that flash makes all the difference!

  • Reply
    Virginia Fynes
    January 9, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Great post, awesome crisp clear images!

  • Reply
    Maya Fitz
    January 15, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Oh wow. The speedflash makes all the difference. Thanks for the tip! Looks like a “peaceful” Christmas 🙂

  • Reply
    January 18, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    I am soooo putting the Speedflash on my Christmas list THIS year…what incredible lighting! Oh, and your kids are GORGEOUS.

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