The Christmas and Holiday season is here!!!! That means… picture time! Because so many people are taking pictures at their holiday parties, trying to capture this special time of year, I have decided include 5 tips to help you take better photographs to document your memories! Don’t worry, these tips are for using whatever camera you may have! 😉
1. “LET THERE BE LIGHT!” -When it comes to group photos or taking pictures of friends or family, lighting is everythinggggg! Most people now a days are taking their pictures on their cell phones. I don’t know about you, but I despise flash! Nothing is more disrupting of a moment or special time, when flashes are going off (and I heard they aren’t good for baby’s eyes). I know that iPhones don’t work as well in low light situations like my Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens, but you can still alter how you position yourself with the light and take some decent photos.
Hey, even I take pictures just on my cell phone most of the time because I do not always want to be lugging around my camera and then have to edit them later. Soooo my advice is, when you are indoors, position people so that they are facing the windows or lights. They do not have to be directly facing, but at least position them so at least one side of their face is tilted towards the light. To make things easier for people, sometimes you could just be the one to move to find the better light and angle.
2. CAPTURE MOMENTS, NOT POSES. Nothing is better than an authentic moment caught on camera. When people are unposed, fully engaged with one another, it’s like a moment stopped in time. Those are the best. So instead of always trying to pose everyone and make them have a fake smile, just snap away. It still shows that uncle Bob was there, but you also aren’t ruining a moment that people are having by telling them to stop and smile at the camera. Soooo, if its the little baby getting rocked to sleep or playing peek-a-boo, capture that. If you want the image to look better, you just adjust yourself to possibly help the lighting.
3. DON’T CENTER IT. When taking pictures, don’t always take a photo when the focal point of the image is in the center of the frame. Think of a picture frame in thirds, with two invisible vertical lines running down it… you want to position the focal point on either the left or right line. Like this image below; my daughter would be on the “right line.”
She is not fully centered, on the right side of the picture, but there still is some negative space between her and the right edge of the frame. Positioning a person or object of focus either this way or on the left side creates better images the majority of the time.
4. FOCUS. Sometimes the best images are when they are up close and you clearly see what you are shooting. I love close up shots of people or items. Capture the hand panted decorations that took Aunt Millie days to make. Get the details of the gingerbread cookies mom worked so hard on. Zoom in on baby Annie’s hands playing with her new toy or hugging her stuffed bear. Maybe get a picture of grandma and grandpa’s hands, as they are interwoven (funny name descriptions, I know lol).
But again, these images will come out best if using the first 3 tips I stated above. Details aren’t as important to some, but they definitely help create prettier picture album(s) and/or more esthetic social media post(s).
5. PUT THE CAMERA DOWN. You are probable thinking, whatttttt? I thought I was getting tips about picture taking. But hey, as much as I love my pictures and moments captured, enough is enough. Memories were meant to be MADE and imprinted on our hearts. I am a strong believer in spending quality time. To me, quality time is when people are PRESENT, engaged, and not distracted by technology.
What I tend to do is take the posed pictures in the beginning of the event, before everyone gets comfortable and relaxed. Then through out the evening, earlier on, I take the candid pictures and moments. So when you take the pictures, take a few to get the best one, but sort through and delete your extra pictures later.
After that, I put the phone away and just talk to everyone. The holidays usually bring people together that do not get to see each other often. It is important to really engage, play games, and spend time with the people we truly care about.
Well I hope this was helpful! I cannot wait to see the special memories you are going to capture. Please feel free to leave a comment below if you found this helpful or have any other questions!
P.S. I hope you enjoyed getting a little taste of some memories that were captured as my family and I put up our first real Christmas tree together!