5 Pro Tips for Capturing Holiday Photos

Look out, the holiday season is fast approaching. With Thanksgiving, Hannukah, and Christmas just around the corner, maybe you want to up your photography game.

Printed photobooks make great holiday gifts. You can showcase your artsy skills while presenting something professional and long-lasting.

Here are our top pro tips for capturing the best holiday moments in photos. Which one will you implement today?

1. Take Direct Control Over your Lighting

You may be used to always taking pictures in automatic mode. While this is okay, it may or may not get you the quality photo you want. And if you haven’t adjusted the flash, you’ll find it flaring up at times when natural light may have worked better.

Here’s what you can do: adjust the ISO setting, instead of disabling the flash altogether. You don’t want your blurry photos.

Set your camera to P (for Program mode), so that it works without flash for low-light conditions. (Think house parties with glowing candles or tea lights.)

2. Choose Candid Moments Over Posed Shots

The holidays are a great time to capture people in their best-dressed attire. But instead of having groups pose, as usual, try to look out for special moments. Discreetly shoot people as they re conversing, playing, opening gifts, or just enjoying the moment.

Once you say, “Cheese!”, or “Look here, everyone!” some folks tend to get nervous. You lose the magic setting that makes great memories and even better-printed shots. One way to take candid shots better is to think of yourself as a documentary journalist. You want real, raw action; not posed or made up scenes that lack authenticity.

Candid moments make excellent holiday photos

3. Don’t Be Afraid Of Close-ups

When you want to capture intimate scenes, a good zoom lens comes in handy. It’s the best way to capture the personalities and character of your subjects.

By being selective, and focusing on close-up portraits, you can eliminate background “noise” by blurring it. Then, those holiday moments are more intimate and special.

4. It’s All in the Details

When creating a photobook, collect pictures where details are the sole focus. How the baubles hang from the Christmas tree and catch the light; the reflection of the birthday celebrant in her champagne glass; the rippling waves and tiny bubbles at the beach.

These are the small, special effects that make a world of difference. “Macro photography” is all about discovering the beauty in simplicity. Those little things that create a big impact when framed on your wall, or in a printed photo album. If you want to invest in better lenses, choose the ones best for compact macro shooting.

5. Make it Shareable

Even before you print your holiday photos, you may want to create some buzz about the event on your social networks.

To make your photos “Instagrammable”, or shareable is an art in itself. As social media photos are often taken on phone cameras, here are two tips to remember:

  • Use square mode. Using your phone camera, use square mode, and compose it so that all the best details fit within that square.
  • Better to underexpose than over-expose. You can always adjust the light settings when you have a photo that is too dark, but it’s hard to do the opposite. To find the best lighting, tap the camera focus on the brightest part of your phone frame. Lock in this focus and exposure, then move it to compose your picture. This way, you can control and select the necessary lighting.
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