The holidays offer plenty of photo opportunities for all. Even if you aren’t an experienced photographer, you can capture beautiful Christmas and Hanukkah memories by following these eight simple tips and techniques.
Take Better Family Portraits and Group Photos
- Take a lot of these photos to increase your odds of capturing the perfect one. Usually someone blinks or sneers or moves at the wrong time – making the final photo look awkward. Most people hate getting their picture taken in group or forced settings so the onus will be on you to make this a fun experience for all. If everyone is relaxed and happy, chances are, they will look their best.
Capture Spontaneous Moments
- Within a split second, a scene can change – a toddler can go from joyful one moment to a crying mess the next. So make sure you are prepared to capture the best stolen and magic moments. Do be sure that your camera is on hand and that your battery is fully charged. And don’t be afraid to be appropriately assertive with your photo-taking endeavors: shoot quickly and often.
Know When to Use Flash
- The best rule of thumb for using flash for holiday photos is this: don’t use it for indoor photos but do use it for outdoor photos. Indoors, the light from flash units can produce harsh, cold light, making your subjects look older and mottled in photos. If you are shooting indoors during the day, ask your subjects to stand near a window or a door with natural light streaming through. If you are shooting indoors at night, make sure you have as much light as possible – turn on available lights and lamps. This will help avoid unflattering photos and reduce other problems like red-eye.
- Using flash outside can result in breathtaking photos. The bright day flash can bring a stunning illumination while filling in the shadows and harsh contrasts.
- Holiday photo opportunities bring new ways to capture the reflections of Christmas lights and candles. Look for interesting splashes of color, shadows and other graphic elements. You will be surprised at where you can find beauty when you least expect it.
Make the Lights Really Shine
- When taking photos of Christmas lights, if you intentionally blur them, you can end up by taking a fabulous looking photo. Simply set your camera to a slower shutter speed – like 2-4 seconds – then move the camera while taking the picture.
Invest in Photo Editing Software
- Photo editing software is now easier to use than ever – you don’t have to be a professional or the technical wizard to use it. By investing in the right software, like PhotoDirector you can brush to perfection, eliminate red eyes and stray hairs, crop unwanted subjects – the possibilities are endless. Don't have PhotoDirector yet, you can download a 30-day free trial version.
Make it a Gift
- Holiday photos make beautiful, sentimental gifts that are often cherished for a lifetime. Why not pick out some beautiful frames, get some quality inkjet paper if you shoot digital and get ready to give some of the best gifts of the holiday season.