‘Tis the Season: Holiday Photo Tips

It’s a special time of year that includes colorful lights, glittering decorations, special foods, ribbons and bows, and get-togethers with family and friends. It’s a wonderful time to create memories and capture them to share with all.

© 2011 Noella Ballenger. All Rights Reserved. Card Creation by Marla Meier.

© 2011 Marla Meier. All Rights Reserved.
Here are some tips to help you make your holiday images special.

1. Santa makes a list so he knows which child gets what toy, so make a list of those must have shots. Maybe you’re also visualizing some artistic shots. Write them down so you don’t forget them in all the hustle and bustle.

2. Tour the neighborhood – take photos of the Christmas lights and the decorations to help get you into spirit of the season. And, don’t forget to photograph the people looking at the decorations or Rudolph and the other reindeer as they fly by pulling Santa in his sleigh. You don’t want to miss those ahhhh… moments.

3. Have fun with all of those lights. Give your camera and your body a shake, rattle or roll and see what you get.

4. Look for the unusual–something not normally seen at every home.

© 2011 Noella Ballenger. All Rights Reserved.

© 2011 Marla Meier. All Rights Reserved.

© 2011 Marla Meier. All Rights Reserved.

© 2011 Noella Ballenger. All Rights Reserved.

© 2011 Marla Meier. All Rights Reserved.

5. Get up close and blur the background when things get cluttered. Turn the camera mode to aperture priority and set the aperture to an F-4 or F 5.6 and let the camera pick the shutter speed for a good exposure and a soft background.

6. Try all the angles—shoot from above, the side and below or tip and tilt the camera to make it more fun.

7. Add some sparkle – show all the colors, glitter and lights of the season.

8. Going to a family dinner, party or event? Be ready by charging the batteries in your camera and have an extra card available. By the way, in the rush to get out the door, don’t forget your camera.

9. Take some test shots. If you are having a party, photograph the room under the same lighting conditions so you don’t have to worry about camera settings later.

© 2010 Noella Ballenger. All Rights Reserved.

© 2010 Noella Ballenger. All Rights Reserved.


© 2010 Marla Meier. All Rights Reserved.

10. Preparation is a big part of the holiday festivities. Part of the fun of the party is sharing the chores such as trimming the tree, baking cookies and gift-wrapping. So grab your camera and go for it.

11. Think in terms of telling a story with your photographs–have a beginning, a middle and an end.

12. Grab as many candid shots as possible. If you are baking cookies with the kids, then show the process and the fun of a group activity. Be ready to capture those facial expressions and sentimental moments.

13. Get closer to your subject – fill the frame in order to create those intimate-feeling shots. The simplest of gestures, such as the sharing of gifts, the touch of a hand or a hug will create lasting memories.

© 2010 Marla Meier. All Rights Reserved.

14. Take more than one shot. If there is lots of action, put your camera on multiple shot or continuous shot settings. You don’t want to miss the moment. Show what people are doing … dancing, talking or singing.

15. Be sure to include your furry or other critter friends in your photo plans. Animals love to be in the midst of the action or playing with their new toys.

© 2011 Marla Meier. All Rights Reserved.

© 2010 Marla Meier. All Rights Reserved.

18. If you have a post-processing program, get creative and have some fun with a few images. You could also turn them into holiday cards, invitations or place cards. Let the children help you decide what colors, patterns and textures to use.

Have a great time this holiday season.

16. Capture relationships and not just people. These are your friends and family, so find combinations with contrast, such as the old with the young or Santa and the Scrooge. Team them up and show the link.

17. Know how to work the timer on your camera and get the tripod out so that you can participate in the group shots as well. Make sure everyone is smiling at the camera and that you have a convenient spot waiting so that you can join in the fun too.

by Noella Ballenger
Article and photos: © 2011 Noella Ballenger. All right reserved.

All written content (and most images) in these articles are copyrighted by the authors. Copyrighted material from Apogee Photo Mag should not be used elsewhere without seeking the authors permission.

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