The holidays are here. Families gather, decorations are put up, great food is presented and devoured, presents are exchanged and cameras you haven’t used since summer vacation are brought out. My awesome clients ask me for photo tips all the time, so to make sure you all are ready to capture all the moments, I have put together a few ideas to keep in mind.

Tips To Take Better Photos For The Holidays

Tip #1: Be Prepared!
Make sure you have plenty of batteries and if you’re using a digital camera, get plenty of memory cards. You will want to photograph at high resolution so you’ll be able to print the best images. Using too low of resolution just so you can get more pictures is not a good trade off! Also, do your homework now! Pull out that manual, or go online and download it, and refresh your memory with what all those buttons on your camera do. You don’t want to miss precious moments while trying to figure out how to work the camera and where to put the memory card.

Tip #2: Think About Your Composition
Where you put things in your photos matters! A few things to think about that will improve your images greatly include:
•Get close. Fill the entire frame with the your child and get rid of extra clutter. Go for expression!
•To create a more dynamic image, put your subject off center using the rule of thirds. Some cameras even have a grid on the LCD panel to help you with this. If not, think about dividing the frame into thirds and placing the subject on one of those intersections. To make sure your subject will be in focus, pre-focus by pushing the shutter halfway down while focusing on your subject. Then, still holding the button down, reframe your camera so your subject is placed off-center and press the shutter button fully.
•Pay attention to what’s behind your subject when creating your picture. Avoid things that come out of your subject’s head by stepping to one side or the other. Try to keep backgrounds simple. Use composition rule “get close” and this will be less of a problem!

Tip #3: Don’t take just one!
One of the great things about digital cameras is that you don’t have to print them all, so shoot away! It will likely take several photos to get just a couple of really good images, and when will you have this chance again? When you are photographing groups, someone always blinks so take lots. Make it fun by talking to the group and letting them have input on the poses. And of course, take lots of candid moments just trying to capture the moment and the expression.

Tip #4 Get in some of the photos!
In our family, it was always either Ned or me taking the photos of the other one with the girls. We ended up hardly having any of us all together! Learn from our mistakes! Put the camera on a tripod or even on a chair or table and use the self-timer. Almost all cameras have them now. Just be sure to pre-focus and to figure out where you will stand in a group photo before starting timer.

There is so much more to tell you about, but this will get you started and hopefully help you make some great images of all your special days with your family.

If you want to know more, I am holding another “Capture Your Life” Workshop on January 22, 2011. It will be another full day workshop to learn how best to use your camera and use composition to help create awesome images. If you missed it last time, now is another chance. E-mail me for more info! Happy Holidays!