The holidays may be the biggest workout your camera gets all year. And this might be the only time you get a chance to take pictures of far-flung friends and family. Use these tips for taking great snapshots:
- Get familiar with your camera’s settings ahead of time so you’re not fiddling with buttons as the Kodak moments happen around you
- It’s easy to forget your camera when you also have to remember all the presents and the green bean casserole, so get it ready to go. Charge the batteries, find the extra ones and make sure there’s room on the memory card.
- Take a lot of pictures, trying the same scene zoomed in and out, and with and without flash. The beauty of digital photography is that you can look at the pictures later, decide what to keep and get rid of the bad shots.
- Get close to your subject to avoid background distractions.
- If you’re taking pictures of holiday lights at night, the flash can overwhelm them and harshly illuminate people in the foreground. Try switching to your camera’s nighttime setting—but you’ll also need to use a tripod or steady the camera against a fence rail or table to avoid a blurry shot. This article has more tips on tricky nightime lighting situations.
- Some digital cameras have a delay after you press the shutter, so you may need to anticipate a shot and click the shutter a split second early.
- Learn your camera’s timer feature so you can take a photo of the whole gang together. Position people at different levels (some sitting, some standing) and take plenty of shots to increase the chances of everyone’s eyes being open at the same time. This article has more tips on group portraits.
- Feeling creative? Here are some neat photo effects you can try with a digital camera.
- I love this list of holiday photo ideas for pets. Now I just have to find a box big enough for Janie to pose in.
More resources from FamilyTreeMagazine.com for preserving memories through photographs:
- Professionals Critique Family Photos (free article)
- Photo Digitization Tips (free article)
- Family Photo Essentials CD with tips on taking photos, preserving them in albums, safely organizing them and researching old pictures (on sale at Family Tree Shop)