Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. A day that many come together with friends and family. Around the world, we are entering into times of holiday celebration, reflection, and get-togethers.

This is a great time to bring your camera to functions. Shooting candid portraits helps preserve memories for all who come. Even if you do not thinking of yourself as a portrait photographer, but youre likely the most qualified in the room.

Here are a few tips.

  • Pick up a Fast Lens. Opening up the aperture will give you a pleasant shallow depth of field and let you shoot in lower light. A prime lens is one of the most affordable ways to shoot fast.
  • Leave the Flash at Home. While I use my flash plenty, its time to blend in and not stand out.
  • Bump up the ISO. Chances are you’ll be shooting in lower light… cameras have gotten much better at using higher ISOs. Take a few test shoots and be sure to zoom into 100% to check the noise. You might be able to use a higher ISO than youre used to.
  • Pack Light. Do you really need five lenses? I typically pack two lenses. One prime at portrait length (either a 50mm or 85mm). I also pack a zoom for flexibility. Toss in an extra battery or two and a large memory card and you should be good to go. Can you bring a smaller street camera? I’m shooting with my Fuji this year.
  • Give Your Brain a Rest. Try using a mode on your camera thats at least partially automatic. Perhaps its Aperture Priority to control depth of field or one of the Intelligent or Creative Automatic modes.
  • Occasionally Hand Your Camera Over. While youre spending time with friends and family, don’t forget to actually get in front of a lens. You’ll want some memories preserved too.

Do you have any other practical tips for shooting holiday candids?