The holidays are one of my very favorite times to get out the camera and get creative, especially at home. So many memories are made during this time of year, and there are many great additions to the normal scenes to make fun photos. Here are some of my favorite ways to capture the scenes around me during the holidays!
Macro photography is one of my favorite styles of photography, so this comes very naturally to me. Getting close to the ornaments on a tree, the details in the holiday baking, so many sparkly lights - it’s all just beautiful in macro, or just close detail, and often with that soft bokeh! Even with people, getting a little closer and filling the frame with a subject can make a great photo! That closer angle can have a bigger impact to the viewer later, so give it a shot!
Find A Unique Perspective
Get away from the standard snapshots of the room and family, and instead, drop down to eye level with some of the little kids. Instead of shooting the Christmas tree straight on, try laying on the ground or climbing on a chair. A small shift in position can have a big impact on a photo. Get creative and just try some different angles to see what happens!
A Prime Time For Prime Lenses
Getting into lower apertures is a great way to get beautiful photos. Using a lower aperture, around 2.8 or so, will blur out a background to give great focus on the subject of a photo. It will also blur out the holiday lights, and create that magical holiday bokeh. A 50mm prime lens is often a perfect lens for this, and is very frequently priced very reasonably on KEH. Take a look!
Fun Family Photos, Not Posed Portraits
One of my favorite ways to get family photos is to just observe everyone interacting and to capture those funny and sometimes serious moments that people are sharing around me. Instead of getting everyone's attention, and lining them up for a posed portrait, I prefer to catch them playing a game or laughing or talking on a couch. Even getting people acting goofy and making faces at the camera! By all means, still get those beautiful portraits with everyone all together, but consider having some fun just mingling with a camera.
Leave The Flash Off
Get out of automatic modes, and make sure the flash stays off. The warm light that is often found indoors can add a very warm tone to the photos, if a flash isn’t firing. Adjust the ISO, or the aperture, to allow for photos to be taken without a flash. You may need a tripod at times. Photos taken without a flash will have more natural color, lighting, and often, beautiful lighting.
Have Fun With The Lights
Set a lens to manual focus and spend some time having fun with the camera. This is an easy way to make some fun and very creative photos! Setting the focus to manual allows the lights to be blurry. Setting the shutter to a slower speed allows movement blur. Try a shutter speed around 2 seconds and then purposefully move the camera around. Be sure to accomodate for the slower shutter in other settings, so you don’t have a blown out photos. A zoom lens also adds fun with just zooming in or out to add the movement blur. The outcome can be shapes, crazy lines, or just beautiful blurry lights!
My last tip… bake some cookies and get some frosting out. Not only does it result in a delicious snack, but this is a super fun subject. Messy fingers, funny cookies, crazy decorations, and family or friends around a table having fun. It’s perfect.