And it is that time of the year and the holidays are upon us. Time to dust off those cameras or put our skills with our mobile phones to the test.
Here are some useful tips for taking awesome pictures this festive season
Explore all angles
We all tend to take a photo straight-on from standing up, eye level. But that tend to more times than not, be unremarkable and quite frankly boring.
Spice things up a bit. Get closer to the ground or lie down and shoot your photo straight up or skewed from the side. Even get up close and personal or move farther away. You will be amazed at the difference this can make to one single picture.
When out hiking for example, we often tend to not look up. Do so. Just look at the amazing picture below.
Those lovely head shots
Eyes are a natural focal point that we are drawn to and connect with. Also play with the angle of the head so that you have multiple pictures with a variety of different lighting falling on the subject’s features. But always make sure you focus on the eyes before clicking away. When the eyes are in focus, you are more likely to have an amazing picture.
Below example was taken in studio, but you can see what we mean by eyes are the focus. And let your subject be their own natural self. If Aunt Maggie wants to look at you over her glasses, let her.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Of course you should try and straighten shots before you capture an image, but we all know that isn’t always easy. What may look like a wasted picture on your small screen may not be at all when you download your picture and see it from a bigger screen. You then simply straighten the image and crop until satisfied. Or even play around with the colour! Don’t delete any image until you have had a proper look at it. Or you may just lose out on a fabulous picture.
This is just a simple example of a flower before and after playing around with colouring.
The all-important lighting
Now, if you are starting out on your photography career path or simply love taking pictures as a hobby, chances are you don’t have fancy studio lighting. Not a problem. If indoors, an easy fix is to turn off all excess lights in the room and have your subject(s) stand near a window and make use of the natural light outside. Remember to also turn off your flash if needs must. Take a lot of pics. We promise there will be more than one that will be absolutely fantastic.
If outdoors, play around with your camera or mobile settings. Take some practice pics beforehand to see what works best.
This is a picture of a model, but you can clearly see what we mean by using the natural light. This is simply stunning.
Pets are family
So little Daisy the Maltese also needs to be in the festive season memory book. Something to remember is that pets are full of personality. And similar to your human subjects, keep focus on the eyes sharp. You will capture some memorable pics. And get down to their level!
This is what a shot looks like of an adorable pooch from standing upright and then getting down to their level. See the difference?
Consider your surroundings
Backgrounds and Foregrounds can turn an otherwise ordinary photo into one that is extraordinary. Backgrounds include trees, other people, mountains, the ocean, you name it. Foregrounds are very useful when you want to create a sense of depth in your photographs.
The background for the flower is an amazing run down building. And the example of using foreground to create depth to a picture is clearly illustrated with the bush giving depth to this sunset image.
Remember Candid Camera?
Don’t forget about those candid moments. Where people are not posing or even conscious of you taking a picture. I know, we are all tempted to call everyone over and say ‘cheese’! And yes, there are moments for that. However, you also want to shoot moments instead of poses. Capture the essence of your loved ones while they are talking, laughing or opening their presents. Be as discreet as you can. These are sometimes some of the most special images you will ever take. And if possible, turn the flash off.
Even though this was taken at a wedding, you can see how awesome it came out. It is natural and not posed at all.
Every one of us love to take pictures of our kids. The trips down memory lane to see how they have grown has brought many a tear to a loved one’s eye. However, you need to remember that as we have stated before, eyes are the focus. You won’t get a lot of memorable shots looking down at kids. Get down on your knees, sit down or lie down and get on their level. It will make for photos that are far more personal and memorable.
Just look at this adorable face. You would not have been able to capture it standing looking down at the little one.
There is a time for everything under the sun. You must enjoy and have fun with your friends and/or family. Take all the images you can. But don’t spend the entire Christmas morning for instance behind your camera. Know when it is time to put your camera down. Instead of a 100 pictures, decide beforehand how many you want to take or how much time you want to spend taking pictures and stick to it. Holidays are for family and reconnecting. It comes but once a year so make it count.