Digital Camera Tips – Five Tips for Better Holiday Pictures

It’s Holiday time! Families and friends gather, smiles are all around, festive decorations add sparkle and color. All that’s missing is you and your camera. There is no better time for family or party pictures than the Holidays. And we have five no-fail tips to help you get the best pictures ever from your digital camera this Holiday season. It’s not tough and in fact being the photographer can be a whole lot of fun, so before you grab your camera and dash, brush up on your skills in just a few minutes.

TIP #1 – Relax! Blend in and have fun. You will get your best pictures if you are on the inside of what is going on. Having a picture taken is right up there with root canal for some people, but a relaxed and friendly photographer usually gets the job done. Don’t be too formal, which leads us to…

TIP #2 – Get candid! Let people be people, don’t try to line up every twosome and foursome for a group mug shot, rather take them as you find them. You’ll get a chance to do the group shot later, in the beginning it’s all about the individuals and smaller groups. This isn’t to say that you are to catch everyone by surprise; you can bring the digital camera up to your eye and simply say “Could you two get a little closer? Great smiles and thanks for the shot!” The very best candids come from shooting kids…

TIP #3 – See eye to eye! When you are shooting kids during a gathering put you and your digital camera on their level. Try to take several shots without the kids craning their necks up to look at the camera. And you know what? The same advice applies to seated adults; get your camera’s lens down to eyelevel with them too. If we shoot down on people from a higher vantage point we inadvertently give them big heads and small bodies, pros call it a foreshortened perspective.

TIP #4 – Have a spare charged battery and a spare memory card available. Both are cheap digital camera accessories and everyone should have these spares so that they can keep right on shooting. The party was supposed to end at 9:00, but here it is 10:15 and still going strong. If you hadn’t slipped that extra battery and memory card in your bag you would have missed the pictures of Uncle Carl’s famous Lampshade Hula Dance. And speaking of missed opportunities…

TIP #5 – Learn how to use the self-timer on your camera so that you too can get into the picture. I know, the reason you are the self-designated photographer is because you prefer to take pictures rather than be in them. Tough, you’re a part of this scene too. Friends and family deserve to see you having a good time right along with them. By staying out of the pictures you are only hiding from yourself, think about it, everyone else sees you all the time so you aren’t hiding from them!

There you have five no-fail tips that will give you better Holiday pictures: A relaxed photographer takes pictures of relaxed subjects. Candids are much more fun than posed pictures, but informally posed pictures are pretty darn good too. Position the camera’s lens at eye level with your subject; it makes them look better in the finished picture. You can’t take pictures if you are out of memory or power; always pack an extra battery and memory card. And finally, what I call “Proof of life” – use the self-timer to get yourself pictured in the fun too; your family and friends want to see you having fun too.

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