With Christmas just around the corner here are a few tips for capturing all of those great holiday moments.
The Family Portrait
1) Shoot the family portrait as soon as everyone arrives
We all know that when Uncle Sam shows up he loves to get the wine flowing & Grandma Jen tends to get a little sleepy after dinner. So by getting everyone together the night before or when everyone first arrives; everyone is fresh, looking nice and are a lot more cooperative.
2) Use a tripod
By using a tripod you can then set your camera to timer mode so that you can move yourself into the photo and get the whole family
3) Set your camera to rapid fire mode
By setting you camera to take 3-5 photos you can make sure that you have a couple of photos to choose from incase some one blinks or if your little nephew has his finger up his nose.
Set your camera to aperture priority mode
If you are like me and you have a Nikon camera, its mode “A”. If you are a Canon user then its mode “Av”. And use the scroll wheel on your camera to set the aperture value to the lowest number possible. If you are using a kit lens it will be around 3.5. If you have a fixed focal length lens like a 50mm or 85mm, depending upon the lens, you can go as low as 1.2. In the event you can go as low as 1.2, you will want to stay around 2.8 to ensure that your subjects will be in focus from front to back. (We don't want blurry noses and ears)
Set your ISO to around 1600.
By setting your ISO to a higher value you increase the shutter speed. This will allow you to freeze the action of everyone opening their presents and capturing all those great expressions. A good rule of thumb to prevent blurry images is to have your shutter speed no slower than 1/60 of a sec. Thus by increasing your ISO, when in Aperture priority mode, your camera will then increase the speed of the shutter and you keep increasing the ISO until you reach a min shutter speed of 1/60th of a sec.
Set your camera to rapid fire mode or burst mode
Like I mentioned above with family portrait, here is another great place to use burst mode. By using burst mode you will capture a quick series of photos allowing you to pick the frame with the best expression and energy. So you can capture that moment when the wrapping paper is flying through the air and your Son has that unforgettable look of surprise on his face.
With card space becoming cheaper and cheaper don't be afraid to take a lot of photos. The best part is you don't have to keep them all; you choose the best photos to keep and create a really nice album that you can then share with your whole family.
If you haven't yet be sure to like my twitter and facebook pages and share with all of those great images you captured over the holidays.