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5 Tips for Your Holiday Photos

Winter holidays make great photo opportunities.  Whether you have a DSLR, a point and shoot camera or even if you’ll be taking pictures with your smart phone, here are some tips to get you started with your holiday photos.

1. Get closer

Keep in mind that you don’t have to include everything in your frame. When we walk into a beautifully decorated room, we get so excited and we want to capture as much as possible in one shot. Try to resist this temptation. Pick some interesting objects and zoom in or get closer; it could be an ornament, table setting, food, Christmas village, etc.

Christmas table setting

2. Avoid gray snow

If you like snow as much as I do, I’m sure you’ll want to capture a few photos outside. You have to keep in mind that your camera doesn’t know that you’re photographing snow. You see snow and the camera sees as a bright scene. Because the camera will try to adjust to 18% gray, your image will be darker and the snow will be gray instead of white. To avoid this, use the exposure compensation function of your camera and add 1 to 2 stops of light. I know it seems backwards, but it’s the right thing to do in this situation.

Snow

3.Increase the ISO

Chances are that you will be dealing with low light conditions, both indoors and outdoors. Take advantage of the ISO setting (check out this blog post for more info on ISO). You want to avoid using flash, especially indoors. The light from the flash tends to be harsh and it can kill the mood. By increasing the ISO you will prevent the shutter speed from getting too low and you will avoid blurry images.

Horses and Sleigh in the snow

4. Convey a mood

There are many ways to convey a specific mood, especially around Christmas. Let your creativity and feelings decide what to photograph and forget about any photography rules. You may be inspired by some lights, a candle, a fireplace, or you may want to capture some abstract photos. The possibilities are limitless.

Red Sleigh in front of fireplace

5. Capture the moment

Have your camera ready because you never know what family moment will unfold in front of your eyes, or if Santa will sneak up on you. It’s particularly important to watch the shutter speed in this case because it’s likely that your subject(s) will be moving and if the speed is too low, the shot will be blurry.

I hope you are excited to take some wonderful shots this holiday season.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shooting!

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