Just before the holidays I noticed a tweet from Drobo asking to connect with a photographer willing to offer some holiday photography advice.
Being a Drobo user and someone who loves educating others about photography, I reached out to them right away.
The next day I had these 10 tips written and submitted to Drobo. They only asked for 3-5 tips but I couldn’t help but to write 5 more.
Their marketing plan was to use these tips in social media and email blasts to their Transporter customers and prospects. For example, in Facebook posts so parents would see it.
Since they were not going to blog the tips, I decided that I would share them after the holidays were over. That way this article wasn’t taking away from the tips being shared by Drobo/Transporter.
10 Holiday Photography Tips
I hope you enjoy these holiday photography tips and that they wind up helping you improve your photographs every holiday.
1) Don’t forget about colors. Around the holidays there are a lot of reds, oranges, yellows and greens. You can try to match these colors with patterns or solids, but if doing a group photograph make sure that everyone is matching, otherwise the colors could go wild. I personally prefer solids over patterns.
2) Practically every camera has a flash built-in. If you’re in front of street lights, a Christmas tree or a room that you think has a lot of light don’t forget to use the flash. The small built-in flash or even a hot-shoe flash can provide a small amount of fill light which can add more depth and contrast to the photograph.
3) Try not to mix light. Many homes use a combination of tungsten and fluorescent light. When possible try only using tungsten light as it’s much easier to work with. Fluorescent lights actually flutter causing the color of the light to change mid photograph.
4) Have something to hold. Some people get very nervous in front of the camera. Finding something for such a person to hold on to while making a photograph can be beneficial. A very common prop is snowflake decoration. Not only will it give people something to hold on to and distract from the photography going on (you still want them to look at the camera) but it adds something fun and fresh to the photograph.
5) Use bribes. Yes you heard me. Many times the hardest people to calm down and have sitting still for the photographs are the youngest. You may not want them to be filled up on sugar, but chocolate and ice cream make really good bribes. Make a deal that if the child sits for the photograph that he or she can have a candy afterwards. Most of the time it will work. (sorry moms and dads)
6) Faces make a photograph. Because faces really make a photograph, try to capture photographs while people are opening their holiday presents. Doing so will provide the opportunity to capture amazing expressions of joy and love. That’s what the holidays are all about, so there is no better time really.
7) Capture generations. Sometimes after the presents are open and parents are cleaning up the mess, you might find a grandparent telling a story to a child. During this quiet time you might typically be pre-occupied but this year keep it in the back of your mind. Grab your camera and make a photograph of that precious moment in both of their lives. Remember this tip if you overhear or see siblings telling stories.
8) Delicious treats. The holidays are filled with delicious treats like gingerbread cookies. Before giving your child a treat, stand him or her in front of the Christmas tree, zoom in so you can see 1/2 foot above and below the face and then capture photographs of that treat disappearing. Don’t want to pose? That’s fine, make it candid and it could be messy, cute and fun.
9) Get low. Your children are much shorter than you so sometimes you have to get down to their level for a better photograph. When possible, lay down on the floor or kneels down so you can make the best possible photograph of your child’s holiday.
10) Continuous modes. These can be your best friend during the holidays. Many cameras have continuous burst mode, which means the shutter will continue to open and close as long as you’re holding the shutter button. Many cameras also have a continuous focus mode which will constantly focus on a moving target, like your child, as long as your half-pressing on the shutter button. Combine the two and you’re much more likely to catch fast paced moments.
So there you have it. Now you can archive this article and remember it next time you put up a Christmas Tree, light the menorah or prepare for New Years.