Holiday Photography

Holiday photography checklist

Written by James Jordan

Planning ahead results in much better holiday pictures than fumbling with lighting and camera settings in a busy house full of relatives and their kids.

Holiday family dinnerThis article about improving holiday photos is the first in a series written by photographer James Jordan. Several of the recommendations can be used on other occasions throughout the year.

It’s the time of year for getting ready for holiday festivities. Food, check. Decorations, check. Goodies for the children, check.

Hey, what about your holiday photographs?!

Thinking ahead makes things easier on the nerves (and results in much better pictures) than fumbling with lighting and camera settings in a busy house full of relatives and their kids. Consider the items on this holiday photography checklist well ahead of the arrival of your first guest:

Get ready …

  • Memory cards cleared
  • Batteries charged
  • ISO, white balance and exposure mode set

Getting these tasks and decisions out of the way early frees you to simply grab your camera and shoot when made-for-photography moments present themselves. Decide ahead of time if you’re going to go with available lighting or flash, then set up accordingly.

This series of articles on photographing holiday gatherings covers a lot of ground and might seem intimidating at first. Honestly, don’t sweat it.

Pick one or two things that you haven’t tried previously and work it into your picture taking. Maybe approach your lighting differently this year or try out a different exposure mode.

After all, if you’re not enjoying yourself while taking pictures, why do it at all?

This special holiday series includes:

Exposure modes – if you’re not sure which camera Exposure mode is the best to use when taking holiday photos, here are some suggestions.

Lighting – tips to improve lighting when taking holiday photos. Some may have never even crossed your mind before reading this article.

To flash or not to flash? – If you’ve decided that shooting available light is not going to work, learn some of the ways to get the best results using a flash.

Composing holiday photos – Now that you’ve got HOW you’ll shoot your pictures down pat, it’s time to think of WHAT you’ll shoot.

Enjoy and a have a picture-perfect holiday!

About the author

James Jordan

James Jordan, Digicamhelp Contributing Writer, is owner of James Jordan Photography in Elgin, IL. His portfolio includes portraits for families, seniors and corporations, events, products, travel and landscape photography. His work has been published in travel guides and lifestyle magazines in the Midwestern U.S. A series of artistic landscape prints will be exhibited in Door County, Wisconsin in the summer of 2009.