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Try These Seven Tips for Better Party Photos

Try These Seven Tips for Better Party Photos

USA Today

I bet you’re planning to take plenty of family photos this holiday season. Will you take the same ole washed out pictures? Will your kids once more look like little devils with their red eyes? Or do you want to knock the family’s socks off?

OK. No one is going to lose their socks over Christmas photos, but you can still take wonderful Yule pictures. Spend a little time with your camera’s manual and these tips. You might actually impress your friends and family.

Take photos outside

Indoor lighting can trick your camera. Low-light photos appear overly warm and yellowish. Flash washes out subjects and causes a cold, bluish tint.

So, take your photos outside when possible. Morning or late afternoon light is the most flattering. Then, use the camera’s flash to eliminate shadows on subjects’ faces.

To capture Christmas lights, shoot in the evening before it gets dark. This will help you properly expose your photographs. You’ll see both the lights and your subject clearly.

Snow can interfere with your light meter. I recommend you visit Phoenix at Christmas to avoid the snow! Perhaps that isn’t practical. If not, overexpose your shots a couple of steps. Take several exposures to improve chances of a good shot. Better yet, frame your photos to minimize the snow.

A polarizing filter will eliminate glare from eyeglasses. Or, ask your subjects to remove their glasses.

Fill the frame

Distracting backgrounds are the bane of many photographs. So, fill the frame with your subject. This draws viewers’ eyes to the subject.

Of course, you’ll want to capture some of the background. So, use background (or foreground) elements to frame your subject.

Shoot in aperture mode

Many people don’t pay attention to aperture, or lens opening, size, but doing so will greatly improve your shots. I recommend using your camera’s aperture-priority mode for your photos.

You can adjust the size of the lens opening for effect. Use a small aperture (large f-stop) for photos at the dinner table. Guests seated far away will appear just as clear as those seated nearer.

Large apertures (small f-stop) blur the foreground and background, creating a narrow focus range. Distracting backgrounds are minimized. You can capture Christmas lights for a pleasingly blurry background.

Take candid photos

Use continuous (or burst) mode to capture the kids opening gifts. That way, you won’t miss a single candid moment.

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