Let the countdown begin, Christmas is almost here! Below are five simple tips that will help you photograph your holiday memories with pizzazz! All your co-workers, friends, and family will be in awe over your stunning photos with a side of (slight) envy! You don’t need a fancy expensive camera to capture brag worthy photos, these five simple tips can be applied to cellphones, compact cameras, and DSLR’s.
Ready? Let’s go!
1. Capture the candid moments. There is nothing better than capturing the genuine moments as they truly unfold. These are the photos that really stand out and stand the test of time. The smile and bright eyes on a toddler’s face as he opens his first present under the tree or a grandparent’s reaction as they sit by the toasty fire with a cup of coffee in their hand watching their grandbaby’s pure joy and excitement on Christmas day… these are the moments that truly matter, these are the moments that tell the story. This is all great in theory, but honestly these are the hardest photos to capture as expressions change quickly. So be ready! You must predict moments before they come. Have that camera up, aimed and ready to shoot!
2. Compose your photo creatively. To compose a creative photo one must go to drastic lengths to get “the shot”. For example; climb a tree and photograph your family from a birds eye view, or stand on your head to get a unique prospective. Neh, just kidding! There are actually a few very simple tricks that will take your composition from “lady with a camera” to “dang girl!” First, do not continually put your subject in the center of the frame, switch it up. To add more interest to your photo put the subject to one side or the other, you could even incorporate another element that helps tell the story. Second, as non-other than Wiz Khalifa said himself “get on my level”. Especially with children and animals, get down on their level, portraits are best captured around eye level. Or even get below their level and photograph them at an ant like view! Lastly think about the in camera crop. Zoom in and fill the frame with your subject, this will surely create a captivating photo.
3. Don’t flash them! Turn off that flash. As flash can be a necessity in some situations, in most it ruins the ambiance and creates a flat image. Plus it often results in vampire like eyes, known as red eye. When photographing inside without flash be sure to stand in-between your subject and a window, this way you are not pointing your camera towards the window confusing your camera’s light meter.
4. Camera self-timer. Every year with my extended family we take a massive group family photo… and I mean massive, we are a Catholic family! Anyhow, everybody dreads getting bunched up together for this as Uncle Bob fumbles around trying to find how to set up the timer. My point of this story is to first be a part of the photographs, don’t just capture everyone else, you are a part of the moment too! And secondly make sure your camera is ready to go ahead of time. Charged batteries... check, cleared SD card… check, now how do I turn that timer on? All cameras self-timers are located in different places but pretty much have a universal symbol. If you cannot find it or don’t know how to turn it on Google or YouTube your camera model followed by “self-timer”. I am sure there are plenty of videos and guides to walk you through step by step how to work your self-timer. Plus by learning this in advance you won’t look like a fool while trying to figure it out when everyone is bunched together, hot, and staring at you! You’re welcome! :)
Photo credit: Robin Stechschulte
5. Now what? The holidays have come and past just like that. While you are still off from work this is the perfect time to think of a fun creative way to display and preserve your memories. So, get them off your SD card and show off your amazing photos! There are a bazillion different ways to display your photos and in today’s world it is easier than ever! No, I don’t mean just uploading them to Facebook, be unique my friend! What about an album that displays all your photos like a story in the sequence they happened. You could even add some text or a funny quote your child said. What about a slideshow with some incorporated video clips, or a handmade scrapbook with some objects from your special day (Baby Johnny’s glove, Christmas tree needles, or wrapping paper) this brings the story to a whole new level! What about your empty wall space? You cannot beat a good ole’ print! Think about different ways to display them; canvas, black and white, or matted with a statement frame! For more inspiration on how to display your photos visit my Pinterest. Click Here to view Pinterest.
By thinking of ways to display the photos in advance this will help you photograph with purpose and create a photographs with pizzazz!
Now don’t forget to hand that camera off or set it down and jump in on all the fun!
Happy Holidays. May it be Merry and bright!
P.S. Do you know someone who may find the five easy tips helpful? Go ahead and spread the season joy and share this with them!
Leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!
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- What tip did you find most helpful?
- Do you have any holiday traditions?
- What's your favorite way to display your photos?
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