Holiday Photography Tips from SmugMug

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i wp4zhrz l Holiday Photography Tips from SmugMugToday we bring you a special guest post from our friends at photo-sharing-site SmugMug:

Five Ways to Tell the Perfect Holiday Story

If you’re like all of us at SmugMug, you’re going to want to capture every laugh, hug and smile of your winter holidays and tell your family’s story in a beautiful, organized sequence of moments. Whether you decide to build your book and keep it on your shelf, or share it with loved ones who can’t be with you, the photos you take are key.

Here’s a few simple tips that will help bring your story to life.

1. Mix candid, posed and detail shots.

Variety is the spice of life. People expect to be lined up for portraits but don’t let that be the only time you hit the shutter. Keep your camera close and subtlely snap the emotions around the room: anticipation, joy and everything in-between. Try getting detail photos like hands holding wine glasses, or your guests’ festive shoes and jewelry. You don’t want to miss a thing… and they’ll be thrilled you noticed!

2. Shoot sequences for a simple visual story.

The easiest way to tell a visual story is 1-2-3. With your subject in one location, shoot multiple photos using the same composition but different expressions. Or better yet, try creating a series of before, during, and after shots of the kids opening their presents.

3. Take photos before the chaos.i pmz7xkn l Holiday Photography Tips from SmugMug

You can expect a mess when guests arrive and dinner is served, but it’s still possible to capture a few shots of your festive house when “All is calm, all is bright.” Break out the camera before the storm hits (or the night before when the kids are asleep) and take pictures of the tree, beautiful shining presents, or candles burning bright.

4. Use fast glass.

If you have a DSLR with interchangeable lenses, it’s a good idea to shoot with the aperture as wide-open as possible (lower f-stop number). This lets more light into your camera, meaning you’ll have fewer blurry photos — a common problem with indoor holiday photos.  And a great memory gets only better with

Still too dark? Try bumping the ISO to 1600 or higher. This makes your camera more sensitive to light, and most modern cameras handle it beautifully so you don’t have to worry about your photos turning out grainy.

5. Storyboard.

If you can, plan your book’s theme ahead of time and make a list before your guests arrive. Will there be specific colors you emphasize, or will you create collages of each grandparent? If there’s something you’ve just got to have for your book, pre-planning can help you stay on track during the whirlwind and ensure that you take every shot you need.

And now, a special offer from SmugMug:

Need a place to archive and share your photos? Give them a safe home at SmugMug, where you can upload unlimited photos and easily turn them into Blurb books. Use the code BLURB25 to get 25% off on a new SmugMug subscription through January 1, 2013. Choose the plan that works for you and save with this special Blurbarian discount.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Wide aperture also means less exposure required which means avoiding shaky pictures in those party / holiday moments that need capturing for family. good tips here

      December 5, 2012 – 4:13 am   Permalink
  2. Thanks for the tip, Charles!

    By Kent
      December 5, 2012 – 11:00 am   Permalink

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