The school holidays and festive season are here. It’s time to kick back, relax and have fun with friends and family. This a great time to recharge your batteries, and to capture this happy time with great photos.
Not quite an Annie Leibovitz? Here are a few easy hacks to make sure your holiday snaps come out just right:
Give your lens a wipe
This may seem obvious, but it is easily forgotten. If you snap photos with your phone, simply use a microfibre cloth to give the front and back lenses a clean. The same goes for cameras – dust and fingermarks always find their way onto your lens. It’s best to use a specialised lens-cleaning kit for this, though. You don’t want to damage an expensive camera with a cheap cloth!
Leave your finger on the shutter button
True emotion is best captured in the moment, and the only way to snap it in time is to be ready. If your kids are opening Christmas presents, be ready to take a photo the moment they unwrap their gifts. Also snap a few photos, instead of just one. You’ll almost certainly want choices – particularly if someone’s eyes are closed or another is pulling a strange face!
Be careful with the flash
A camera flash is great for a pop of light that could mean the difference between a beautiful and clear or a dark and blurry photo. But use your flash with caution. Using a flash indoors tends to overexpose with harsh, cold light, whereas using it outside on a bright, sunny day can soften the intensity of the sun. Although using natural light generally produces the best photos, test out your camera flash in different circumstances to understand when it can add or detract from you photos.
Edit, edit, edit
If you aspire for your photos to be as striking as those of your favourite Instagram influencer, you’ll need to do some post-production work. Use a photo-editing app or software to make the most of your images. Increase the brightness or contrast, play with colour saturation, or simply add a quick filter over your photo for a dramatic effect.
Know when to put the camera down
Although the festive season and holidays offer the perfect opportunity to update your family album, know when to put the camera down and simply enjoy those special moments. Before disrupting your Christmas lunch for a photo, ask yourself if that is really something you will want to look back on with physical proof that you were there, or whether it will it only disappear in a pile of other photos.
If yes, go for it! If no, laugh and have fun. There will be plenty of time for photos later.
Looking for a few more pointers? Here are some additional tips to help you take better photos using your smartphone.