Much of holiday picture-taking involves capturing people and holiday details. Taking a moment to think about the kind of photo you want and setting your camera properly or changing your position can take your pictures from typical snapshots to outstanding holiday photographs. Here are few tips from my LifetimeMoms.com post last month. Happy Holidays!
Photograph traditions and candid moments:
Capture the result of an activity, like cooking and baking, with flair. Position yourself at a higher level and shoot down. Position the subject in the top one-third of the frame and the activity in the bottom two-thirds for a pleasing composition. This elevated position also eliminates distracting backgrounds.
Capture family interaction by keeping your distance and zooming in a bit. When shooting into a wall, you chance getting harsh shadows behind your subject. Try using a flash that can bounce off of a white ceiling, which showers the area with light and eliminates the shadows.
A key to getting good expressions during gift-giving is to be on the subject’s level or slightly below. Kneel or sit on the floor with them and you’ll capture more of their face instead of the top of their head. Additionally, the shadows created by your on-camera flash can be reduced.
Capturing group portraits: For fast group pictures, line up your family members with tallest on the outer sides of the group. Avoid the “line-up” look turning their bodies slightly towards the center. Or try arranging chairs so that the tallest, or the patriarch/matriarch, can be seated in the center with children standing to their sides and adults leaning in from behind and the side. Ask men to kneel and women sit on the floor. Avoid having heads all on the same level, or “ear to ear.” Stagger heads for a more pleasing composition. Avoid photos on a couch as people tend to lean back and their position is not flattering. Take several shots to ensure all eyes are open and expressions are good.
Shoot the details: Capturing favorite holiday items is easy when you set your camera to macro mode or use a lens that can zoom in close. When you are so close to your subject, the background automatically becomes blurry making the subject to stand out. Focus carefully when shooting close up.