Happy November to all of you lovely people! It’s getting chilly and the time has now fallen back . . . all signs we are getting close to my favorite holidays: Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Some of you may choose to celebrate differently than me, whether you’re in another country and don’t recognize America’s Thanksgiving or of a different set of beliefs and Christmas isn’t on your calendar. Even if we don’t celebrate the same things, odds are you’ll be getting together with family and friends many times in the next two months and taking lots of pictures. As such, I wanted to put together a quick tips guide to getting great photos at your holiday events, because, let’s face it . . . I can’t be at all of your parties! 🙂
Below the great tips are some great ideas for your holiday portraits and how I can help capture them!
3 Easy-To-Remember Tips for Great Holiday Photos (details follow)
- Fill Flash
This isn’t a place for your head to relax and watch TV, it’s a photography term referring to the amount of space between the top of photo and the top of the tallest subject’s head. The general rule you typically want to follow is limit the headroom, or make sure there isn’t a ton of space above the people in your photos. If you can see the ceiling and not their shoes, it’s a dead giveaway that you’ve got too much headroom!
2. Fill Flash
My second tip relates to lighting, which is the most important aspect to a great photo (in my opinion). Most cameras have an on-board flash that fires a very small light directly onto your subject, which is usually the least-flattering form of lighting a photo, especially in darker places (which is the most likely place you’ll be celebrating a party). If most indoor locations at night won’t supply enough light to take a flash-less photo, and turning on the flash means having unflattering photos, what can we do to make the best of the situation? Use your on-camera flash anyway!
You’ll have to modify it slightly, though, with an easy trick. Cup your hand in front of the flash element and direct the light up to the ceiling (it’s important that your hand is between the subject and the flash, otherwise it won’t work). You’re bouncing the light off the ceiling and creating a very broad light source that indirectly falls on your subjects to create flattering light. Remember how I earlier mentioned you don’t want to have the ceiling in your photos? This is another reason why.
This one seems simple, and it certainly can be. Some of the best images I’ve ever captured are natural, unposed, and candid smiles. But how do you create that moment in a situation that can feel a lot like posing? One option is to tell a really good joke that everyone gets the punch line at the exact same time while you’re ready to snap the perfect photo. Or you could just tell everyone to laugh as big and as loud as possible, and wait until their silly laughter makes them genuinely laugh. That’s when you snap the shutter and brag about the images later.
I don’t know about you, but many of my best memories of family and friends are from the holidays. My family hasn’t always made it a tradition to take family photos when we all get together each year, so I don’t have photos, much less high-quality portraits, of my family from earlier in my life. They are only sweet memories.
Be intentional about taking and sharing photos of your family during the upcoming holidays. If you are able, hire a professional photographer to capture stunning family portraits of you to treasure now and in the future.
I’d love to be able to photograph great portraits of you and your loved ones, but even if it’s not me, make it a priority during the upcoming holidays to do so. This is merely my opinion, not just as a photographer, but as someone who truly wishes he had more photographs of his grandparents from the holidays . . . images I’ll never be able to capture again!
Should you be interested in hiring me to create portraits of your family this holiday season, or photograph at any of your holiday parties or events, please contact me today. My number is 865-229-6673 and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Inviting me into your event or to capture your family is an honor for me, and I can’t wait to photograph for many of you soon.