With Christmas coming soon I’ve been thinking about how to take better photos. It will be my niece’s first Christmas so I want to up my photography game to capture it. I found a few tips online and thought about the things I usually do to take photos. This is my shortlist on how to take Christmas photos. I sort of love grainy and generally bad Christmas photos as well because a perfect photo isn’t always necessary for capturing the emotions. But, if you would like to take better amateur photos with your phone this Christmas these tips will be helpful.
Try to use as much natural light as possible but, don’t overdo it. That means you need to allow the light to come through your windows. Draw up your curtains and blinds. If the room you intend to take photos it doesn’t have natural light coming through take the photo close up and at the Christmas tree. You can also opt to use the flash although I don’t recommend that rather switch on the lights in the room and or add candlelight which actually goes well with the Christmas theme.
Frame your subject
With most phones, there’s a face search setting which allows you to take a clear photo of the person you are photographing. Remember to bend down or kneel if you’re taking a photo of someone short like me or of a child. Shooting at eye level will achieve the best results. My friend did a great job I think the image below is one she took. Instead of getting in the whole tree she focused on getting my face in the photo.
South Africa always experiences a sunny Christmas. I have gone to the beach on many a Christmas day. Even with the sun out, you can take festive photos. So instead of a snowman, I get to build a beach sandman. I know it’s weird for those of you who have a snowy Christmas no matter what there are ways to use your location. If you happen to be close to a beautiful Christmas market take a few photos there. And inside your home, the Christmas tree itself, people in front of it, the ornaments shot close up and the pre activities all make for good photos. So if you bake Christmas cookies then have someone take photos of the process. It’s a fun time of the year to get creative with your photos. Below is a Christmas market selfie which was taken in Essen. It’s an example of a imperfect photo which works because the background is festive and everyone is happy.
Hold your camera steady
Whether you’re using a DSLR camera or a phone this is important. Take your Christmas photos before popping open the wine or champagne if you get tipsy quickly. Hold on to the camera and don’t move. My brother in law is guilty of taking many blurry photos so I just had to mention this one.
The setting and props
Colour coordinate and try to add fun props like Santa Hats, and other cute Christmas props. If you plan on taking your photos in front of the Christmas tree trim the tree but, also add the gifts in front of it or mock gifts i.e boxes and bags with nothing inside. Have a throw on the ground which matches the tree trimmings or a pretty piece of cloth or even a cute blanket. Add character to the photo in your own way.
Taking photos of children
When taking photos of children or babies I try to do funny things to make them laugh. I also take photos with them doing things. Like of my niece trying to stand up or playing with toys. For Christmas, I plan on taking photos in front of the Christmas tree with her rattle. Try to get kids to be calm by letting them laugh and allow them to play with something to keep them busy. Alternatively, get someone they love to stand next to you or behind you so that they can look at the person. That way you can get a shot of the child’s face.
Snapseed it what I use to edit most of my photos. However, Pics Art, VASCO and Adobe Lightroom are also awesome editing apps. If you feel your photo can’t be saved even after editing just slap on a black and white filter which tends to be very forgiving of any flaws.
Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoy your festive season.