Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Get the Job Done: Tips for Great Holiday Photos

Yesterday, I received this great news pitch asking the Denver Post to print ideas about how to take great holiday photos from Alyse Liebowitz of 3 Chicks That Click. I thought it would be helpful to post it on my blog as well. 3 Chicks bring more than 40 years of combined experience in wedding, portrait, celebrity, and event photography to clients in the New York/New Jersey metro area. Their images have appeared in publications such as People, Teen Vogue, Rolling Stone, US Weekly, In Touch, OK!, TV Guide, and Life & Style.

Tips for great holiday photos include:

-Good lighting is essential to add dimension and depth to an image. In general, the light source should be behind the photographer. If shooting in front of a wall, the subjects should be about 2 feet from it to avoid shadows on the wall behind them.

-When composing a shot, don't zoom in too closely. Leave enough room "around" the subject(s) so you can crop the image to different sizes if you choose. Remember, you can always crop IN, but you can't crop out

-Clothing - for portraits, avoid busy patterns and logos. Solid colors work best, or choose a very simple pattern. For women, basic makeup and small pieces of jewelry will highlight their look. Men look best clean-shaven, unless they already have a full beard. Makeup, clothing, and jewelry should enhance the subject, not pull the viewer's eye toward those items in the final image.

-Most people look best when their body is turned slightly to the side, not facing the camera directly. It's a slimming effect that works well on all body types. Be sure your face is still turned toward the camera! If there are a lot of people in the shot, remember - if someone can't see the photographer, the photographer can't see him/her.

-Children can be a challenge if they're not particularly cooperative in having their picture taken. Try to get them interested by letting them take a few pictures first, showing them how they look in display mode (if you're using a digital camera), and letting them set up a few poses for the family.

-Ask your photographer to take a few test shots to help you relax. Hopefully the photographer has a good sense of humor, as a natural laugh is a much better expression than a forced smile.

-Above all, try to relax and have a good time. If you schedule a professional session and you or your family isn't feeling well, rescheduling may be the best idea. This should be a fun experience.

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