Ways to make your holiday photos sparkle

With Christmas coming up soon there are so many great photo opportunities. From capturing images of family together, children playing there are so many great photo opps during the holidays. One really fun thing to shoot are some of the details that surround you; The Christmas tree, lights outside, winter wonderland decorations everywhere the list goes on and on with some really cool things to shoot. Here are a few tips to getting the most out of your holiday detail photos.

1. Turn that flash off! This is one tip that can be so useful to grow your photography. Try for one day to turn your flash off and really look for good natural light that surrounds you. If you want to get a good shot of your Christmas tree turn your flash off and let the glow of the ambient light sparkle. When you are forced to only use natural light you will really lstart to look at light in a different way.

2. Speaking of ambient light, when you are indoors the color of the light sometimes can be pretty bad. The best thing to do is to set a custom white balance on your camera. This will not only save you a ton of time later in photoshop but does also help out with exposure. For an overview of white balance check out this article: Understanding your cameras white balance

3. Shoot at the lowest possible aperture. The holidays are a time where little twinkle lights are everywhere and it can be so fun to get a very shallow depth of field with lots of big, soft, glowing lights in the background.

4. And sometimes try and do the exact opposite of #3 and shoot at the highest aperture possible. Here is a quick shot of a Christmas tree that first was shot at f/5.6 and then f/22. You can see when you raise your aperture to a higher number the lights really have that starlight effect to them that can just look magical.


We would love to see your holiday photos, post a link in the comments below with some of your favorite photos!

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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  1. Here are some links to photos I took this holiday season:

    The first photo was kind of an accident. The lens kept fogging up (it was cold out) and it gave that particular picture a unique look. The second one is simply a photo of the Town Hall in Port Orchard, WA.

  2. Thanks for sharing Kevin! The like the angle of the Christmas tree shot and the color of the sky goes so perfect with the blue lights on the tree, great job!
    Looking forward to seeing more of your images.



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