There are many magical moments that occur during the holidays, and it’s always wonderful when you can capture these moments in pictures. Sometimes, though, with the craziness of the holidays and all the decorations, it’s hard to take those really good photos.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways that you can take professional-quality photos on your own without having to pay a true professional to do it for you. The following are some great tips and ideas to help you take professional holiday photos on your own.
1. Get creative with your angles.
There is no rule in photography that says the main subject of your picture has to be in the center. Instead, get creative with your angles. Put your main subject off to the side of the photo to capture some of the people or decorations in the background. Move up really close and try to get a new perspective of what your subject is looking at. And don’t be afraid to get down on the ground or stand above people to get some unusual shots that could capture a great story. The more active you are with your photo taking, the better your holiday photos will be.
2. Take a lot of pictures.
Every Christmas, families like to get everyone together in order to take large group photos of the family members that were there. While this is a great way to capture a memory, taking large group photos can be a nightmare. This is why it’s very important that you take as many pictures as you possibly can. Using a DSLR camera is always the best option for large group shots because they allow you to take a large amount of photos in a short period of time. When you take a lot of pictures, you’re giving yourself plenty of options to choose from when it comes to deciding which picture highlights everyone’s best features (or at least has everyone looking at the camera).
3. Turn your flash off.
When taking photos indoors, most people think they have to turn the flash on in order to capture those moments. What most people don’t realize is that you don’t always need the flash on when indoors, especially if you’re taking pictures of a Christmas tree. The flash tends to wash out your photos, so while you would see the green color of a Christmas tree better with a flash, you will not see the lights very well. When you turn the flash off, the lights from the Christmas tree will provide enough light for your photo, and they will even light up the ornaments and decorations on the tree, giving you a beautiful shot of your tree.
4. Be mindful of your light.
Always try to pay attention to the natural lighting options you have. Don’t be afraid to take pictures outside in order to capture some great photos with natural light. Pay attention to the indoor lighting options you have and try to create a balance between the shadows and the light to capture some great photos. Don’t be afraid to play around with the different settings on your camera either in order to see what changes can be made to your photos with the light you already have.
5. Play with your white balance.
If you are taking pictures in the snow, you may notice that instead of crisp white snow you’re pictures are showing dull bluish snow. This has everything to do with your white balance. Make sure you adjust the white balance on your camera so that the pictures become clearer. You may also want to turn the flash on when taking pictures of the snow in order to provide that extra sense of light to help clear up the photo. And of course, if all else fails, you can always use Photoshop or some other photo editing software to help brighten the pictures.
6. Practice often.
The only way you’re going to become a professional is to practice as often as you possibly can. Make sure that you are bringing your camera with you everywhere you go and take as many pictures as you possibly can. The more you practice and play around with your camera, the more you’ll get to know which settings work and which don’t, and you’ll be on your way to taking holiday photos like a professional.
Beth Larson is a shopper-for-hire and a blogger with a passion for sharing gift ideas for the hobbyists on everyone’s list.