Holiday Photography Techniques | Top Five Photography Tips for Better Holiday Photos
Holiday Photography Techniques | For a lot of photographers, the holidays are a busy time. Photographers are requested to document and preserve memories that are so important to so many. But the holidays can also be extremely challenging to photograph. The lighting is inconstant (and frequently dim or multicolored), people are moving speedily, backgrounds are busy, and there is always too much going on at the same time. Without this becoming a ‘how-to-photography-article’ cliché, we have to emphasize once again that a major goal of all your photos is to tell a story. The holidays offer many occasions to capture a story within a single image or with an advancement of images. The easiest type of holiday story to tell in pictures is your family’s complete experience during the season.
Lighting and Positioning | Holiday Photography Techniques
Nothing says ‘bad picture’ more than a photo that has been over-flashed by that little bit of unforgiving light on your camera. Instead, look for pleasant and natural lighting. Shoot with the flash off as much as possible and particularly when shooting decoration lights or candles. If there is daylight available, then try moving your subject near a window and use the natural light to brighten their face. If there is no outside light available but sufficient inside light, use a tripod or set your camera on something so that it will remain still. This will always make a picture feel warmer.
Find a good location to generate a portrait setting, and decorate it to act as a background. Then, ask individuals and groups to sit or stand in that space for their ‘official’ holiday portraits. You’ll have control of the background, the position of your camera and the lighting, so you can take the best-looking photographs imaginable. This is another occasion when everyone is apt to be more accepting of you using flash or even studio lighting.
Posing | Holiday Photography Techniques
Posing people, particularly groups of people, for portraits is an art that gets better with experience. If you’re posing two or more people together, avoid putting everyone’s head at the equal height. With a group of three, for example, create a triangle. Each face is at one point within the triangle. This visually creates relationships between the subjects and keeps viewers focused on the faces in the image. Always tell people to get in as close as they possibly can, and then move them in slightly closer. That tiny gap between two heads looks a lot bigger on camera.
Also, make sure to lean in toward the group with your body, not just your head. When photographing more than one person, make sure their faces are on the same plane, especially if you’re using a wide aperture. This will ensure that everyone’s face is in focus.
Create a Relaxed Atmosphere | Holiday Photography Techniques
Always try to create, capture and maintain a relaxed atmosphere. A portrait of a silly group hug or everyone laughing at a good joke emits the special energy individual to a family. Nobody ever said the family portrait above the fireplace had to be so serious. Also, one of the problematic aspects of portrait photography is that sometimes you’re working with a person who can be experiencing a wide variety of emotions while in front of a camera. They might be shy, uncomfortable, anxious, overly self-conscious, impatient, bored, cocky, and distracted or any other kind of emotion that can hinder getting the best shot possible.
To help your subject feel at ease, it’s a good idea to keep chatting with them. Light conversation can help ease the stiffness and relax them a bit. Talking about what you’re doing will demystify it. Giving them feedback about how they’re doing will encourage them that they’re giving you what you need.
Always be Creative | Holiday Photography Techniques
Sometimes the hardest part of photography is coming up with new thoughts for subject matter. It is easy to pick up a camera and passionately snap away at anything and everything around you. Instead, do a little planning in advance. The ‘traditional’ shot isn’t for everyone so flex that creative muscle and plan some fun and personality fused frames. Putting your subjects at ease is the first step so fire a few photographs in a comfortable or familiar environment. This will help to lend character and narrative to the piece. Forget boring head on shots, be original and look for more motivating angles. Climb a ladder or chair and shoot shooting downwards. This is great if you have a large group or want to get more creative with placing.