Guest Post by Darren Rowse
It’s just a few days until Christmas so I thought a quick tutorial on the topic of Christmas Photography might be appropriate. Hopefully this will give you some good Christmas photo ideas.
Here are 16 Christmas Photography tips and ideas to try that come to mind for digital camera owners wanting to capture the big day:
Prepare – Making a List, checking it twice….
Making sure you’re ready to capture any planned event is part of the key to a successful shoot. Getting yourself ready but also the location of your shots is worthwhile.
- Pack the camera – goes without saying? I forgot mine last year in the rush to get the car packed.
- Make sure your batteries are charged and you have extras and/or the recharger packed.
- Pack extra memory cards – have them empty and ready to fill up
- Put someone on ‘photos’ – our family has someone on drinks, main course, dessert – why not put someone on ‘photos’ so that in the craziness of the day they don’t get forgotten.
- Consider the light in the room that you’ll be photographing in. Is there enough light? Will you need a flash? Are the backgrounds too cluttered and distracting?
Set up a DIY ‘Photo Booth’
While you probably can’t afford to hire a photo booth for your party you can set up a ‘portrait zone’ of your own where you’ll take photos of your guest. I did this a few years ago and set up a little place where I asked everyone who came to sit for me so that I could take a nice shot of them. I photographed everyone as they came in and then left the camera (a point and shoot) set up on a tripod and set to a short self timer time so people could photograph themselves during the rest of the party. I set it up in a well lit position with a red velvet curtain looking background with a few Christmasy decorations around the edges. I left a few Santa hats and tinsel for people to decorate themselves with. The shots were great – people went back to it throughout the party and the photos got crazier and crazier as time went on. It was the hit of the party.
Fill your Frame
One of the most common mistakes I see in Christmas photos (or any party/even photography) is that people often end up with shots of their subjects off in the distance on the other side of a room with lots of space around them. Fill your frame with your subject either by using your zoom or getting up and moving yourself closer. While this is one of the simplest tips I ever give it is one that can have the most profound impact on your shots.
Explore Your Neighborhood
If your neighborhood is anything like mine there is an almost unlimited number of photographic opportunities presenting themselves all around you. Christmas carols services, houses covered in Christmas decorations, shopping malls filled with busyness etc. Get out there with your camera and capture it. What a wonderful time of year to practice using your camera. Have fun!
For Darren’s complete 16-item list, take a cyber sleigh-ride to Digital Photography School.