At this time of year when we gather so often with family and friends, you might find useful this brief list of tips for capturing the memories on your still or video cameras.
1. Nothing more than feelings. It is emotions and moods that really strike us and make memorable photographs. Take the obligatory “cheese” pictures of kids holding up their opened presents and the group picture of everyone smiling as if they were a normal family. Beyond that, focus on the twinkle in the eye, the head thrown back in laughter, the big bear hugs, anything that shows personalities and emotions at that moment.
2. Get close. Closer… No, really: closer. Trust me on this one – most pics will look better if the subject fills the frame. But do remember to take a wide shot of the whole scene.
3. Stop flashing everyone. This one will depend on the capabilities of your camera (or camera-phone). Try turning off the flash and letting the ambient light set the mood and show what it really felt like at the 2011 New Year party.
4. Look to the future looking back to the past. You are capturing memories so think about how the photos will look in a couple years. What will you want to remember? Christmas morning is all about the children, but don’t forget to turn the camera on the older folks as well.
5. Use these tips year-round.
Show me some of your best pictures after the holidays, and I would be glad to give you any feedback. Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo!