Tips for Taking Great Holiday Photos

Simple tips to help you reach a new level with your photgraphic skills.

With all the new digital cameras available on the market today and their plethora of features, there is a good chance you can take a great picture with practically no skill. However, here are some little things you can do to ensure your images are even better.

Read your manual (if you can find it) you can always download it from the manufacturer.

Read your camera manual even though you may not understand everything, it will eventually make sense. Go through it page by page and try all the features even if you only want to use it on auto, at least you will know what your options are. By becoming familiar with your camera controls, you will be able to respond quickly when you see a good shot.

Check your framing.

Look around the edges of your frame before you take the shot. Nowadays we have large LCD screens so it’s easier to see the edges of our frame but we are so focused on getting the shot we sometimes forget to look. You might want Aunt Shirley’s arm in the shot but if you don’t check your framing then you might cut it off.

What’s behind your subjects?

I remember when I first started taking pictures I had trouble with this one. There’s nothing worse than being paid to take a picture only to find out after you’ve done the job that there was a plant sticking out of the top of the clients head. I still have that image burned into my brain. That was the last time I forgot to check my background. Always look around behind your subject to see what you want in the shot and what you can remove to make it better.

Look at the light falling on your subject.

Where are the shadows falling? Is your subject in harsh light? Where is the sun? Keeping the sun behind you or beside you will ensure the sun is falling on your subject in an attractive way. If your subject is backlit, then pop up your flash and use some fill. Don’t be afraid to use your flash outside. Most cameras have a program setting that will utilize your flash for effective fill outdoors without overexposure. Good lighting is the hallmark of good photography.

Make sure you see everyone’s face.

When shooting a group of people I always tell them if they can’t see me then I can’t see them in the viewfinder-LCD screen. This ensures I see everyone’s face.

Take more than one shot of a subject.

Always take more than one photograph of each scene especially when shooting people that way there’s a good chance everyone will have their eyes open in one of the images.

Try a different angle.

Try your shot from a different angle. Sometimes a different angle makes a stronger impact. When you are shooting a large group of people, getting a few feet higher than your subject might allow you to see everyone’s face. When shooting kids or pets get down to their world you’ll be surprised how
this changes your perspective.

Take control of your subject.

Don’t be afraid to direct the shot you will always get a better image if you take some control. Of course, I don’t mean to do this in every case, sometimes you just want to catch what’s going on spontaneously.

Practice makes perfect!

All of this takes practice to do it without thinking, so start today and in no time your photography will reach a new level.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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