The holiday season has everyone pulling out their cameras to snap pictures and preserve great memories for years to come. Although not every photo has to be a perfect shot, it can be upsetting when you look back through holiday photos and wonder why some are out of focus, blurry or so poorly composed. It doesn’t matter if you’re using your camera phone or DSLR, it’s possible to improve your holiday photos with some simple techniques that can also expand your knowledge about photography.
Change your angle
While you may spend much of the holidays in conversation with your adult family members and friends, it’s important to remember that children can bring some of the best magic and moments to the season. When photographing children, you should get down on eye level with them to improve the composition of your pictures. Towering above kids taking pictures doesn’t capture the depth and fun of the moments but when you put yourself on their level, as it gives a far more interesting, memorable and personal perspective of the world for both you and your pictures.
Avoid flash by adjusting ISO settings
Avoid using Automatic mode on your camera if you can because it may trigger the flash whenever there’s insufficient light. Disabling the flash can result in blurry photos though so the best way to take pics in low light conditions without flash is by putting the camera in Program mode and adjusting the ISO setting. The higher the ISO setting, the less light your camera will need to take a photo in low-light settings. Even though higher ISO settings make create slightly grainy or noisy pictures, today’s cameras do a good enough job for pictures that you’re going to share online or print at sizes such as 4×6 or smaller. Practice using different ISO settings before your start taking holiday photos so you understand your camera’s capabilities. With a little trial and error, adjusting the ISO can create better holiday photos without blinding your friends or family or dealing with red-eye correction in later photo editing.
Capture candid moments
Posing for pictures if fine for family holiday photos for cards or frames, but it’s not always the best plan for photography among family and friends at gatherings. To capture more natural, genuine moments, take photographs of people socializing, opening presents, preparing meals, etc. and do so discretely without asking them to look at you and smile. Shooting moments that are more candid creates better memories as you capture interesting images that reflect the mood of the season.
Be in the moments
Amid taking photos of friends and family, make sure you take the time to be with them by putting the camera down. Looking at everything through your camera lens isn’t putting yourself fully in the moment and while preserving memories is an understandable endeavor, it’s good to create memories that live in your mind instead of just in pictures. Taking 100s of pictures of people opening presents is unnecessary, and those images probably won’t earn a second glance later, but taking a handful of photos and then enjoying the time with your loved ones lasts forever. By being intentional with your photography, you can take fewer photos that are both interesting and accurately represent the time spent together.
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Featured image by four12