Tips: Getting Great Holiday Photos

Posted in Learn, Photography

 Be Ready

o    Remember to take your camera!
o    Always have two sets of batteries charged
o    Take the charger!
o    Keep media cleared
o    Take a tripod so you can be in the picture
o    Read the manual and practice ahead!
o    Let everyone know that’s your job so they don’t expect you to cook too!
Compose Creatively
o    Off center your main subject
o    Move in close
o    Make sure you know what your picture is about
o    Go macro and get the smaller things
Flash
o    Use it outdoors
o    Turn it off indoors if possible
o    Bounce external flash off the ceiling
o    8 – 10 feet on digital, 15 feet on film cameras
Snow scenes
o    Open up the exposure 1 or 2 stops
OR
o    Use a preset ‘Snow’ setting
Photographing Holiday Lights
o     Best before it actually gets dark – twilight
o     After dark, you get good lights, or good surrounding exposure – not both
o     In daylight – lights don’t show up at all
o     Include as much sky as possible
o     Set white balance for tungsten
o     Try to find a reflective surface for interest
o     Use a tripod
o     Shoot every minute or so
o     Turn off the camera and enjoy the view!
People
o    Get shots of individuals doing something festive
o    Avoid busy distracting backgrounds
o    Get expressions and activities
o    Ask them to raise their chins and turn slightly to the side for the most flattering angles
Capture Preparations
o    Food prep
o    Putting up decorations
o    Wrapping gifts
o    Kids getting dressed in holiday outfits
o    Setting the table
o    Get ‘After’ shots too
Gift opening shots
o    Use burst mode – takes several shots in a row while holding the shutter button down
o    Remember to shoot the giver too
Group Shot Challenges
o    People looking different directions
o    Blinking
o    Someone missing
o    Different moods
o    Group too far away or not all fitting into the shot
Group Shot Solutions
o    Scope out location ahead
Good light
No distractions in the background
Avoid window or mirror behind them
o    Plan ahead for what groupings you want
o    Take group shots early in the event
o    Take several shots
o    Take the shot from several angles – try up high
o    Try turning off the flash, turning on the lights
o    Try getting the same shot year after year
o    Taller folks in the back
o    Heads together
o    Event focal person or people in the middle
o    Remind subjects ‘If you can see the camera, it can see you’
o    Smile! A smiling, relaxed photographer helps get smiling, relaxed subjects
Too fun
o    Load pictures from past years onto a DVD and show on the TV
o    Hook your camera up to the TV and show this years shots
o    Let others have fun with disposable cameras
o    Set up the camera on a tripod in a Do It Yourself photo booth
After the shoot
o    Save in two places
o    Organize by year, then by event
o    Pick your favorites and edit them
o    Share them as prints, via email or on the web