This isn’t just about Christmas but any holiday or even family events such as birthdays and anniversaries. Here are some tips for getting great photos for memories.
Plan ahead. So often we get so caught up in the fun and events that we forget to be aware of distracting elements. We all have photos similar to the one above. This should have been much better, after all, they were “posing”. With just a bit more planning, even with things happening fast, we can do better.
While not perfect, we have fewer distractions and a moment.
Watch for drinks, food, mergers (like the stocking coming out the woman’s head above), stray feet/arms/etc.
Use your lighting. Learn to take advantage of lighting. When necessary use flash, but not that little-underpowered popup. The popup flash results in flat “deer in the headlights” type of lighting. If you only have the popup flash there are some ways you can diffuse (soften) the light or reflect it. A piece of tissue may provide a bit softer light or you can use a white card, like an index card, to reflect the light up and bounce it off the ceiling.
Also, don’t be afraid to use the flash as a fill light.
Designate a spot for portraits. During celebrations, we often want to get some portraits. Designate a location ahead of time. This will keep the distractions to a minimum and give you a consistent look.
I don’t want to give you too many things to think about so I’ll just leave you with those three items. Even following those three will drastically improve your holiday celebration photographs. Look for more tips in the coming weeks.