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?
Rich has published over 100 courses on Lynda.com. Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.
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