Words by Rachel White.
Capturing the perfect Christmas family moments can sometimes be a bit tricky with everything that's going on. So to help you we've got a few quick and easy hints and tips so you can get the most out of your day.
Firstly get prepared, the day itself can be quite hectic so take a few minutes the day before to make sure you have what you need. Make sure your camera is fully charged, spare batteries are ready, you have plenty of memory cards and a tripod is to-hand.
If you have time the day before why not try a few practice shots. If you're using a compact camera, go through the different program modes to really get to grips with your preferred shooting mode.
White Balance And Lighting
Lighting can often be an issue at Christmas. Everyone's usually indoors, there's Christmas tree lights shining brightly and limited hours of daylight. Indoors, try turning off the flash and setting your white balance to bulb as this generally stops the yellow glow you can get when shooting inside. If there's time before family and friends arrive why no try different white balance settings so you know exactly what to use. If at all possible try to take advantage of natural light, getting family members to sit by windows or suggest getting the kids outside to try out their new presents.
Photo by ePHOTOzine member IanBurton
Capturing The Moment
Opening the presents can be quite chaotic especially with younger family members so it's a good idea to set your camera to a burst mode or continuous shooting mode as it's sometime known as. Don't forget, most compact cameras now come with a movie mode, so why not have a go? You could make great full HD home movies with a touch of a button.
After presents, get some alternative portraits by photographing everyone on their own. You can make it feel less intimidating by getting them to pose with their favourite gift! Group shots can look a little unnatural at times but if everyone has agreed then spend a little time organising the group to get the perfect shot. Make sure that red-eye reduction is on and don't be afraid to direct the scene to get the best from them. Use your tripod and your camera's self-timer if you want to be in on the shot and remember to fill the frame.
- Use the space, move around and get close to the action.
- Try to take portraits at the beginning of the day when everyone's neat and tidy.
- Don't forget you need to be in on some of the photos!
- Experiment by using different views and angles.
For further ideas on Christmas Portraiture, click on the links to view the articles:
The Samsung NX200
is a great camera to use throughout the festive season, it has a whole host of features that can transform your average family photos into a magical Christmas, here's how:
- Captures 7fps - this allows great clarity on fast moving objects. Great for pets in wrapping paper or kids on new bikes.
- The AutoFocus is also quick, focusing at 100ms, which is useful when focusing on children running around with new toys.
- It offers the ability to shoot at 12800 ISO at normal settings and when needed, the range can be expanded so you can maximise the potential of any light available. Perfect for dark nights and Christmas tree lights.
- The NX200 can shoot videos in full HD.
- And finally, the Samsung NX200 has Panorama, 3D Panorama and Action Panorama modes enabling you to shoot in landscapes and verticals for that show stopping shot of the dressed table, unwrapping of gifts and whole streets filled with Christmas lights.
Have a great Christmas!