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Holiday Photography Tips

# 1 Play Around When Composing Your Photograph
Whether you are photographing holiday images or family and friends, try different compositions. Pay special attention to how you organize elements in each photo.Concepts when composing a shot:

  1. Off-center your main subject. Instead of placing the subject in the middle of the image try moving until the subject is off  center.  For example, if you are photographing your Christmas tree, try placing it on the right or left to make the shot more interesting.
  2. Close Up Is Good. Especially when you center your subject but even when you off-center it, moving in close is the one thing that will make the biggest difference in the success of your picture-taking. The simple fact is the audiences are always more impressed when the subject is huge and impossible to miss. Therefore, you want the subject to fill the frame.


# 2 Family and Group Portraits
The main thing that professional photographers do that most don’t is take tons of images.  That is the trick. Take a large number of photos. Since there is always someone blinking or looking off to the side or facing another member of the group, having a large number of photos will give you the best chances of catching everyone looking their best.There is often a great deal of pressure when photographing groups so keep the experience as fun and friendly as possible, so they remember it in a positive light.


# 3 Taking the Perfect Candid Shot
Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot and delete later.  If a child opening a gift – or playing with a gift for the first time – you know that, within a split second, the scene can change. There is often just a few brief moments when that “magic shot” appears.Be ready to go at a moment’s notice and keep that shutter clicking.

Be assertive with your picture-taking. Be ready to press that shutter button at a moment’s notice.

Either way, shoot quickly and shoot often. Don’t be shy – getting a great photo of the right moment is rewarding and well worth the extra effort.


# 4 Don’t Always Use Flash IndoorsThe flash can be a real lifesaver, no doubt about it. This burst of artificial light can mean the difference between a decent photo and a totally blurry, unusable image.

If you are shooting indoors at night, try to flood the room where you are photographing with as much light as you can – turn on whatever lamps you have at hand. This will help reduce those harsh, flashed-out subjects, as well as other problems like red-eye.

However, the light from flash units – especially from the tiny on-camera flash units found on most every camera – tend to produce harsh, flat, and cold light. This is rarely a complimentary way to illuminate your subject. Try using your hand to block some of that harsh lighting.

If you are shooting indoors during the day, make your portraits with your subjects standing near a window or door instead of relying on the flash. Get between your subject and the window – in other words, don’t include the window in your composition, as this will throw off your exposure meter.


# 5 If You Use Flash Outdoors
Most people think that using flash is synonymous with photographing indoors at night – at a Christmas party for example.However, flash need not be relegated to indoor, night photography. Flash can be a big help when it comes to shooting outdoors during the day. Even in bright sunlight, forcing your flash to fire can often mean the difference between a so-so snapshot and an eye-grabbing masterpiece.

The reason is that this kind of bright day flash will fill in the shadows and even out harsh contrasts.

Try it out… next time you are photographing friends or children outdoors, turn your flash on and see if it works.



# 6 Get Creative With Those Christmas Lights

Tired of the same old Christmas tree photos? If you want to try something new, set your camera to a slower shutter speed.  Meaning, make the shutter open and close more slowly. Maybe try setting your camera on a stationary object like a table to steady it.  When you hear the shutter open, move the camera to cause a blur of the lights.  The idea here is to intentionally blur the colorful Christmas lights.


# 7 Give the Gift of a Photograph
Whether you are a last minute shopper or not, we have the perfect gift idea for you: a family photo.Parents and grandparents in particular love photos of the family and children as a holiday present.



# 8 Be Prepared: Charge Batteries and Clear Cards
The last thing you want to have happen is to get all set up for the family portrait or holiday photo to realize you forgot to charge the battery!In addition to making sure your batteries are charged (or you have replacements on hand), you will also want to make sure you have a place for your potential images to be recorded.

Clear your memory card to free up space.


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