If you're new to photography, Christmas is a great time to try out your skills, but it can also be quite daunting. So here are a few essential Christmas photography tips.
If you're new to photography and have just got your camera, the scene modes will be a great help in getting some great shots. Most cameras will have a variety of modes, some of which are ideal over the festive season. Portrait mode, for example, is ideal for family shots and shots of family members opening presents. Snow mode could come in handy if we're lucky enough to have a white Christmas and you want to venture outside, while a smile or blink detection mode might be ideal for those group shots, to ensure everyone is smiling and no one is blinking.
There are often various creative options in your camera's modes too. For example, black and white and sepia modes will give a nostalgic feel to your shots, while more creative modes will enable you to have fun with your shot and get into the festive spirit.
Think About Lighting
Lighting is an essential part of the shot, and the positioning of your subject should be considered to get the most flattering light.
Take white balance settings into consideration and don't think that auto will always produce the best-looking shot. For example, using the tungsten setting indoors will stop your image from having a yellow glow that can appear when working with house lights.
Interest In The Shot
Your shots need to have interest to draw the eye, but not be too cluttered so as to distract from the main subject. Try and arrange the shot so that objects in the background don't appear to be growing from people's heads if you're taking photos of family members, for example. A plain background with a little interest to one side of the shot will work – use the rule of thirds to position your shot so as to please the eye.
Shooting a documentary style portfolio of the day will serve as a good memento of the festivities. Shots like this work best while people are busy, so they don't look too staged in the photo. Capturing kids playing, family members pulling crackers and unwrapping presents... there are unlimited possibilities. Get creative and see what you come up with.
Your decorations will make great macro subjects and create some interesting festive shots. Baubles on trees, centre pieces and other ornaments make great macro subjects. When shooting a macro of a bauble, try putting coloured material behind the tree to add interest to the shot. Use your camera's macro mode to help blur the background of your image so all attention falls on the decoration.
Why not take some mouth-watering shots of the turkey fresh out of the oven, and other festive treats? Gingerbread men and mince pies make for festive foodie shots too. Trim the plate up to add some interest, maybe a sprig of holly and some tinsel, and you'll have a fantastic festive shot.
The possibilities are endless with festive photography, so just experiment a little and see what you can create!
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