Christmas is a time when people are on vacation, in pleasant spirits and generally happier. This reflects on their faces and on their homes, which in turn present wonderful photo opportunities for the enthusiast. Here are a few pointers to help you get the most out of your Christmas images:
1. Be Prepared – They say well begun is half done, and how true this holds with photography! Plan your photographs ahead of time by packing the right gear, especially if you are traveling. Carry at least one additional memory card, batteries and whatever else it is that helps you shoot.
2. Get the White Balance Right – Christmas is usually accompanied with a lot of lights of varying colors, sometimes flickering. If you do not want a color cast on your images, experiment with white balance settings. Alternatively, shoot on RAW format and do the color correction later.
3. Why Not Organize Self-Portraits – Setting up a photo corner is a great idea to let your guests photograph themselves at a party. All you require is a background (maybe a curtain), a camera with a self-timer and a tripod.
4. Photograph the Preparations – Setting up the Christmas tree, putting up decorations and holly and such activities ahead of the Christmas day are all shoot-worthy subjects. They are the most fun during the season, especially for children. Do try and capture these joyful memories on camera.
5. A Few Before-After Photographs – It is an interesting idea to get some photographs of your venue before and after the party! Usually the place is messy after a party, but then the mess itself could be quite colorful during Christmas time. Paper hats, gift wrapping covers and satin ribbons could all come together esthetically! Do make sure you get the before and after photographs from the same point of view.
6. Keep it Simple – It is all to easy to get cluttered images at Christmas time, simply because of the various activities and presents, wrappers, decorations and such. Try and keep minimal clutter in your images. Trust me, it is far better to shoot tightly cropped, zoomed in images than to have so much in your photograph that the eyes are left wondering where to look!
7. Group Photographs – Group photographs are common at every Christmas party. Unfortunately most people remember they want a group picture towards the end of the party, with everybody looking their absolute worst! So do remember to have people pose for the group shots at the start of the party.
8. Shooting the Opening of Presents – It is a great idea to shoot unwrapping of presents in the camera’s burst mode. You will get a wonderful series of expressions as your model unwraps his or her Christmas present. Children are favorite subjects for this since their emotions are hardly ever ‘fake’.
9. Use Diffused Light – A common problem shooting during Christmas time is the flash reflections off gift wrappers and balloons. Avoid this by diffusing flash light – all you need to do is point the flash towards a wall or ceiling, assuming you have a professional flash. If you don’t, why not try a few images without a flash?
10. Shoot Macro – Why not try a few macro shots to bring the details out of those Christmas decorations?