During our holiday gatherings we want to capture great photographs of family and friends. We want our photos to be special remembrances of happy occasions. What’s the best way to make this happen?
Start by taking lots of practice portrait photos before your get together. Ask a few willing family members to pose. Practice both candid and posed shots. Read your camera’s manual. Know your camera’s settings.
Take your camera out of automatic mode. If you’re fairly new to photography set your camera on portrait mode. Portrait mode is typically located on a dial at the top of a camera and is represented by the symbol of the little lady in the jaunty hat. This mode will help adjust for lighting and background.
Whenever possible turn off your flash and use available light. You’ll be shooting at close range in small spaces so your flash may be too harsh on your subject.
Window light and no flash makes for the best indoor photos. If you do need to use your flash, turn on as many room lights as possible to reduce the flash power that’s needed to expose your image.
Check through your viewfinder for harsh shadows on your subject and either move them to a location with better lighting, or position lamps to eliminate the shadows.
I have a couple of tall floor lamps with bendable arms that I take with me whenever possible. They’re great for adjusting lighting and I use bulbs with a soft glow which keeps my subjects from looking harsh.
Remember to turn on your camera’s red eye reduction feature.
Tripods are handy in low light so there’s no blurring in your photos.
Keep composition in mind. Don’t cut arms, legs, hands or other body parts off in awkward places.
Make sure your subject doesn’t have any odd items “growing” out of the top or side of their head.
It’s best to leave plenty of room around your subject and crop the image later to a pleasing composition.
Use gaily colored fabric, a family heirloom quilt, or holiday items to make a backdrop for posed photos. Get creative and you’ll create really special images.
Be prepared for spontaneous moments.
Have fun and don’t forget to capture those candid shots of whacky family members. There's at least one in every family!
Thank you Keith at krwhome for allowing me to use your wonderful photos. You know how much I enjoy your images. Please be sure and follow the link to his flickr site and leave a comment or two.
After the first of the new year I'm dedicating a post to all my followers. I'll share a post on which you can link to your blog or Facebook and share some of your holiday or party photos with us. Fun!
I will be mostly off until after the new year. So stay tuned for some great new years tips and ideas for your photography.