Five Tips for Better Holiday Photos

When you look back on past holidays, most of your memories have been captured by a camera wielding family member who might not always be the best photographer.  Whether it’s a classic case of red eye, blurred figures or cutting off people’s heads – it seems like more often than not people wind up with unsatisfactory photos from their past holidays and events.  Below is a list of five simple tips for taking better holiday photos…

1. Fill the Frame:  This is a key factor in getting the best photos of people and objects – simply fill the frame with your subject and leave a little space atop their head to guarantee that you won’t be chopping any heads off.  If you want to include some of the background in the photo you can go a little wider – but be sure your subjects are large enough to be the main focus of your photograph.

2.Candid Camera:  Sometimes trying to get a grandson or child to pose with a toy or gift can be impossible.  Kids are fidgety enough, throw some toys at them and they go into hyper mode.  It would be better to take candid photos of the children opening the presents and in this case their smiles will be as real as can be.  The same goes with adults – try and sneak up on a group of cheerful partiers and take a few quick snapshots, you’ll be surprised how good these photos turn out.

3. Use a Small Aperture:  The goal with holiday photos is to get everything in focus and capture exactly what that moment looks like as if we were viewing it from our own eyes.  To get photos like this you’ll want to use a smaller aperture or set your camera on aperture mode.  If you are taking a photo of a group of people or family members, using a small aperture will insure that the people in the back row are as clear as those in front.

4. Reduce Red Eye:  Red eye comes from blood vessels in the human eye that reflect the flash back at the camera.  You can purchase digital cameras with red eye reducer or eliminate red eye after you have taken the photo by using Photoshop software.  You can also shoot with the flash off, but if you are shooting in low light the shutter will be open for a long time and objects or people that move will wind up blurred.  Using a tripod can help reduce some of the blur caused by movement.

5. Print Your Photos:  Nowadays everyone has computers and hard drives full of hundreds or even thousands of photos.  Very few people still take the time to print out their photos and create albums or scrapbooks that friends or family members can touch and feel.  Printing out photos and mailing them to family members can be a great gift for minimal cost.  Older family members, such as grandparents will relish these photos for years to come.

By: Jillian Hayes (aka AtlCanonGirl)

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