Boy looking in wonder of his Christmas gift

No-Nonsense Tips For Better Holiday Photos

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No-Nonsense Tips For Better Holiday Photos

No-Nonsense Tips For Better Holiday Photos

Whether you are at your work’s holiday party or you are opening gifts Christmas morning, these tips will make your photos more real and engaging. Since you most likely won’t be hiring a professional photographer on Christmas morning, you will need to do the photography yourself.

  • Make sure your background is well lit or crank up your camera’s ISO Having a well-lit room is important because you will want to be able to capture your loved one’s opening their gifts on Christmas morning. If your Christmas tree is in an area with no natural light or the tree is blocking the windows, you will need to increase your camera’s ISO to 800 or 1600. I will always trade a little grain in my photos because of the ISO for being able to catch candid moments. Notice that the window blinds are wide open in the background allowing natural light to flow in.

Boy looking in wonder of his Christmas gift

  • It is better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission I find it is always better to take photographs as the special moments materialize than try to stage them later. This guideline applies to children opening up their presents, so you need to be on your while they are tearing up the gift wrap. If you try to pose children with the same amount of energy after they have opened the gifts this almost never works and their expressions are contrived and not natural. The same rules arise at the office holiday party. It is way better to catch those special moments as they happen. You never know what you may capture if you do it in a more stealthy manner.

The photo below is posed, while it is a great photo, you can do better.

 

Boy receiving gift posed

 

Below is a candid photo taken a few minutes before the posed photograph was taken. I believe that the candid photo has a more organic feel and the viewer will have a more emotional attachment to it.

Boy receiving gift candid

  • Avoid using your camera’s flash If your camera allows you to turn off its flash you are much better off doing that and turning up the ISO. You will be able to take photos more candidly as your subjects won’t be conscious of the fact that you are photographing them.
  • Off camera flash makes an excellent fill light All the photos I have shown have natural light but I also used an off-camera studio flash to act as a fill. The flash had a translucent umbrella mounted on it to spread the light throughout the room.
  •  Keep spare batteries on hand Nothing is worse than having your camera or camera phone die because you forgot to have fresh batteries available or you didn’t charge your phone the night before.
  • Use a wide angle lens I find that using a wide-angle lens makes all the difference in the world for better holiday photos. First, wide angle lenses have an inherent amount of depth of field. Second, since you have all this great depth of field you can keep your lens aperture relatively wide-open at f4 or f5.6

I hope you find these tips useful and I hope you have a great holiday season!

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