My Christmas Photography Tips
1. Be Prepared
Just like Santa, make a list and check it twice.
Pack your camera (obviously)
Pack a tripod if you think you might do some long exposure shots.
Check Batteries are charged and you’ve packed the recharger.
Memory cards – Format them, use the cameras in built “format” (helps to keep the cards healthy)
all really obvious, but it wouldn’t be the first time I have left the house only to drive back again 5 mins later, because I forgot some bit of kit).
2. White Balance
Lets face it; its cold at x-mas time, so you are most likely taking photos inside in unnatural lighting. Have a look at type of light you’re shooting in and set your white balance settings accordingly. Of course if you’ve got a camera that shoots in RAW format you can take your photos and change your white balance later.
3. Diffuse/Reflect Your Flash
The problem with on camera flash is ending up with shots where the flash is so bright that subjects look startled with harsh shadows behind them. One way around this is to use some sort of a flash diffuser, if there is nothing to hand try a bit of tissue paper over the flash bulb preferably held an inch away (helps diffuse the light).
4. Change your angle / focal lengths
Making use of various focal lengths and different angles during the day adds to the collection of photos you have taken and can have more impact to the viewer. Children, get low; get down the same level as them. Don’t just shoot wide shots either, remember to zooming and fill the frame (see tip 5).
5. Fill your Frame
The most common mistake in Christmas photos (or any party/even photography) subjects in photographs are often off in the distance with too much space around them. Zoom or move closer to your subject and fill your frame.
6. Find a focal Point
All good shots should have a main point of interest. With Christmas the biggest problem you have is there are so many competing focal points people, decorations, colour, food etc. De-clutter your images.
7. Remember the preparation stages
The actual Christmas meal or party is obviously the main event, but there are loads of other great photographic opportunities through out the day, in particular the preparations stages. Putting up the decorations and the tree Gift wrapping Food Preparations Setting the table Also taking a few photos of the room or the table before the dinner starts are fantastic because they show everything at it’s very best before hoards descend.
8. Before and After Shots
Before and after shots, work great after a big celebration or party. Set up some shots of the place you’re holding your party both before and what it looks like afterwards. Remember to try to take the photos from the same position.
9. Christmas Lights
Taking photos of Christmas lights can be surprisingly difficult. Strobist.com has an amazing guide on how to do it. I’m not going to re-write it but you can find it by clicking the link Check it out HERE… How to Photograph Christmas Lights.
10. UnWrapping Presents
Things are going to be happening so fast, especially if you have kids about. Turn on Continuous or burst mode and rattle of the shots. You should end up with some excellent series of shots when you do this. Of course don’t forget to take photographs of the reactions of those giving the gift too.
Thanks for reading my Christmas Photography Tips, I hope you get some great shots… Graeme Webb.