It's that time of year when we all become amateur photographers - jockeying for the best angles of the kids, the decorations and the food, in search of those perfect Christmas holiday candid shots. Taking quality holiday photos can be accomplished rather smoothly if you just follow a few simple guidelines for snapping the best holiday photos:
Position the Main Subject of Your Photo Off-Centre
When snapping a picture, many people take great pains in making sure that the subject is front and centre. This is actually the opposite of what you should be doing when trying to capture a loved one in the ambiance of the holidays. Centering your subject tends to leave distracting bits and pieces on the edges of the frame such as another person's shoulder, part of a holiday decoration, etc. Instead, position your subject beside the Christmas tree or other holiday decoration. If outdoors, keep grandma a little to the side of centre so you will capture the entire front door with the beautiful wreath. Taking a great holiday photo is not just about each subject of your picture, it's also about capturing the feeling of the season with your subject.
Keep Those Holiday Photos Candid
When you see someone excitedly ripping open the wrapping paper to get at his holiday treasure, don't say "Look over here" to them before snapping your photo. In the excitement of the moment, it doesn't matter if he's looking directly at the camera. By having him pause from what he is doing to force on a camera-time grin, you are losing the opportunity to capture a truly special holiday photo that is full of the emotion of the moment.
Don't Wash Out Those Beautiful Holiday Lights
When taking photos around the Christmas tree or other decorations festooned with holiday lights, turn off the flash. The supply of the existing room light combined with the twinkling holiday sparklers should be plenty to adequately illuminate the situation. Blasting the area with the harsh flash of most consumer cameras will wash away all the beauty of those holiday lights that capture the feel of a great holiday photo.
Step Up, Don't Zoom In
When you want to get closer to your subject, if possible, step closer to get the picture - don't just use the camera's zoom. Using the zoom increases the chances that a digital photo will be blurry, and it just generally makes framing the picture more difficult for occasional photographers.
Flash the Outdoors
Many people believe that flash isn't necessary outside in the natural light, particularly for holiday photos when the opportunity for bright white snow illuminating the area is possible. Nothing could be further from the truth. Using the flash can brighten some of the shadows that are caused by a bright setting and can even help balance contrasts.
Remember, digital photos cost nothing in film prices, so snap away. Taking lots of pictures is a great way to make sure you get the one you want.
Taking holiday photos is a tradition that dates back to George Eastman and his Kodak company. Following these few simple tips can go a long way to improving these cherished memories.
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