Holiday Photography Tips

by admin on December 16, 2011

With the upcoming holiday season, photographers and amatuers alike are pulling out the cameras on a regular basis to capture those fun gatherings and family get togethers. 

 These tips from will help make your holiday photos great!


As we approach this time of year, it’s very likely in most parts of the country that many of your holiday activities will be indoors due to the shorter days, colder weather, and also since most of the Thanksgiving pleasures center around the kitchen! This being the case, shooting indoors with a full house of family or friends all moving around and celebrating can make it difficult to capture clear, crisp, warm images. Here are a few selected photography tips for getting great holiday images in your home.

Use natural light if possible…

I always, always prefer using natural light as often as possible, even when indoors. If you’re hosting your holiday festivities in an environment with few windows, you’re out of luck here. But if the rooms have plenty of windows, try to open up as many of the window coverings (blinds, shades, etc.) as you can to reduce your dependency on flash lighting. This can bring tremendous amounts of warmth to your images as opposed to using a flash to light your images.

…but if you can’t, use indirect light.

If you don’t have natural light to take advantage of, consider bouncing your flash off of a wall or the ceiling. Many flash units and speedlights now come with rotating flash heads, making them a perfect choice for sending the flash light in a direction other than straight at your subjects. This can really do a great job helping to reduce the powerful wash out effect of flash lighting. In a pinch, I’ve also placed items like an opaque plastic bowl or a bit of wax paper over the built in flash unit on my camera body to reduce the power of the flash and hence warm up the image a bit. Just be careful if you try this technique as it can produce undesired imbalances in the lighting. Be sure to check your LCD screen.

Capture the candids!

Holiday gatherings are a great time to catch people just laughing and having conversations. In my family, it always seems that the old timers tend to gather in the corner and share stories that probably aren’t suitable for the kids in the room. I always like sneaking over and catching those types of moments. Just be discreet and see what you can come up with.

Here come the group shots…

Since the holidays are often the only time of year that many families are able to come together, it’s always good to try to get everyone together for a group shot, as long as your setting and family dynamics allow it! Composing group shots is usually a challenge and we’ve written a couple of articles just on photography tips for groups. However, it typically boils down to proper composition, getting everyone to look at the camera, and making sure to reduce any unwanted red eye or glare from eyeglasses. Try to make sure that your composition is balanced, meaning everyone is relatively close together and symmetrical from front to back and left to right. To reduce red eye, either use the appropriate red eye reduction setting on your camera or set your flash to throw indirect light. And to avoid glare from eyeglasses, have anyone wearing them simply tilt their head slightly downward (remember: slightly, not looking at the floor!).

By putting a few of these simple photography tips in place, you can make sure to capture the wonderful memories of your holiday gatherings.

Then of course make sure to upload your photos to your photo proofing account to share after everyone has gone home after the holidays! Reposted from

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