I figured today is as good a day as any to give you a list of pointers about getting a good photo this Christmas. It doesn’t really matter what kind of camera you have- though some of the point and click cameras do have a setting available for you to “blur” the background, which professional photographers do by setting their aperture. But we won’t get into that today. What we want to discuss today is the basics and where you’d start.
1. Prepare for the shot.
If little Johnny is about to open his gift, be thinking about where he is in relation to the tree, and the rest of the room. Is there trash in the shot, or a big ugly TV? Most photographers move around a lot- so they can see the setting through their lens from different angles. If you don’t like the view, ask the kiddo to move. They’re usually pretty cooperative. And don’t be afraid to set him in the middle of a bunch of wrapping paper if the tree and that are in the shot- it could be really cute! And if little Johnny won’t cooperate and move- then you need to keep reading!
2. Be closer than you think you need to be.
Once you’ve prepared and you have what you see as a suitable backdrop, find out what else you might see in that shot. Is there a leg of Aunt Susan stuck in the frame? If so, turn your zoom off, and use your feet or move your body closer to the action.
Here’s some good examples of being close:
She’s in the exact same pose for all three shots. I simply changed the way I viewed her through the lens. And while I realize, these are “set shots” I showed you for examples, the rules, they still apply.
And here, I was really close (actually I wasn’t, but my 300mm lense was):
3. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination.
Move your feet! Experiment with different angles. Take photos, sitting on the floor, in a chair, or standing up, looking down at your subject. If you’re in a well-lit room, try turning the flash on your camera off. And if you’ve lost the manual and can’t figure out how to do it, Google is your friend. Most companies have their manuals online; and if the company doesn’t- someone else does!
This shot was taken from standing on the roof of a pickup:
4. Your subject doesn’t always have to be the focus of the shot.
Sometimes you can create an interesting photograph, but not putting the subject in the center.
5. Have fun.
If you don’t get the shot you want the first time, just keep trying. There’s nothing wrong with taking 100 photos and only getting 2 that you believe are “perfect”. Just remember what you did and where you were when you got them. All photographers constantly practice making themselves better.
So go forth, shoot, and enjoy the Holidays!