With the Christmas season already in full swing, there are bound to be a multitude of seasonal photo opportunities that will create long-lasting memories. However, there is nothing worse than a blurry group photo, or a dull photo of a Christmas tree. Therefore, I thought now would be the perfect opportunity to present you with a handy guide to getting the most out of your Christmas photos, which will help you to perfectly capture the most wonderful time of the year.
1. PACK YOUR CAMERA
With the advent of smartphones, most people are never far away from a camera, which means that any impromptu photo opportunities are ready to be captured. However, you should always ensure that your camera or phone is fully charged; there is nothing more infuriating than finding out your batteries are flat.
2. CAPTURE THE BUILD UP, AS WELL AS THE MAIN EVENT
Christmas Time presents many different photo opportunities, such as the Christmas dinner or the office Christmas party. However, capturing the build-up to some of these events will help to create a wonderful narrative to your Christmas celebrations. For example, food preparation in the lead up to Christmas dinner, wrapping Christmas presents, putting up Christmas decorations, or the steady accumulation of presents under the tree, would all make fantastic photographs that you are bound to cherish.
3. KEEP YOUR CHRISTMAS PHOTOS SIMPLE
It is widely accepted amongst photographers that all good photographs have a key focal point, which captivates whoever is viewing the photo. There is no denying that a well-taken family portrait is an ideal focal point; however, at Christmas there can sometimes be too much clutter that competes with the people in your photo. This includes gaudy colours, bold decorations, background action, and unnatural lighting. My advice would be to attempt to make only one item the focus of your photo; you can do this by filling the frame of your photo by zooming in or by moving closer to your subject. This should minimise the number of distractions in the background. You could also try taking photographing using the macro mode on your camera, which will be ideal for capturing the smaller details of your party, including Christmas decorations, sweets, lights, and ornaments. Some macro photographs will provide welcome relief from the steady stream of group shots.
4. THERE’S A WORLD OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW
When Christmas time comes around, there are an infinite number of photo opportunities besides the ones that occur in your home; the best thing to do would be to explore and experiment. For example, you could take your camera or smartphone out into the street and you are bound to encounter endless rows of houses adorned with dazzling Christmas lights; a variety of children playing with their brand new toys; fresh footprints on snowfall, or a spontaneous group of carol singers. Photos like this will help to document the true feeling of Christmas that we look forward to and enjoy, other than just a generic group of family photos.
5. MAKE YOUR PHOTOS TANGIBLE & TELL A STORY
Once you have taken as many Christmas photos as you can possibly manage, why not add a timeless element of nostalgia to your photos by turning them into a photobook. Photo books are a much more pleasurable alternative to keeping all of your images locked away on your hard-drive. They are incredibly easy to create, and will add to the sense of ‘narrative’ that I was referring to earlier; by placing your photos in some form of chronological order, you will be able to tell the story of your Christmas, from putting up the decorations through to having leftover turkey sandwiches in front of the TV.
From personal experience, Jessops provide a fantastic range of photo books, which you can easily create online. All you need to do is choose your favourite Christmas photos, select a suitably festive design, and you will have a beautifully created photo book that will allow you to preserve life’s precious moments. Moreover, leafing through your newly-created photobook will hopefully provide some inspiration for next Christmas.