As photographers, I think we all want to make great photos all the time. We want to feel like there’s a pay-off for the time, energy and expense we’ve invested into learning photography.
Around the holidays I think it’s easy to feel extra pressure to “get the shot”. We want to capture all of the special moments, and do so in a way that Hallmark will want to use our shots in next years calendar 🙂
I have some simple advice for shooting your holiday celebration, and I’m even going to try and follow it myself… Don’t get so wrapped up in making images that you don’t participate in the celebration. It’s easy to get caught up with lenses, settings, lighting, etc, etc. Make photography the thing you do WHILE you enjoy your family and friends, not instead of it. I have to remind myself of this constantly when I hang out with my 9-month old son.
Here’s how my camera will be set up on Christmas morning:
- I will have a 12-50mm zoom lens on my OM-D E-M5 so I can quickly change my field of view without changing a lens.
- I will have an FL-600r speedlight on the camera (set up like this) so I can move around without worrying about where my light is coming from.
- I will set the flash to TTL auto and bounce the flash off the ceiling.
- I will use either the bounce card or the built-in LED on the FL-600r to fill shadows.
- I will most likely set the exposure manually.
- Don’t forget to charge your camera batteries and bring extra AA’s for your flash!
If you find that your photos are not coming out like you want them, switch that sucker into full auto mode. Your camera will probably do a nice job as a fancy point-and-shoot. You might feel like a photo-failure for a minute, but when it’s all over you’ll be glad you captured the special moments.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!