Follow a few tips for your holiday photos

   It’s early December and Christmas is nearing. You think of all the Christmas traditions and consider if you should send cards to your friends and family, but there’s one problem: you have no idea how to take pictures for your cards. Whether you’re going in depth with photography or keeping it casual with some Christmas cards, some handy tips and advice can help. 

   Professional photographer Dana Moore has been taking pictures since 2017 and makes sure she has a good foundation for her photos. 

   “Having the right camera setting for the lighting and not overexposing, shooting in raw for better editing capabilities are things that make a quality photo,” Moore said. “If you’re specifically doing portraits, having the eyes in focus can help.”

   Taking pictures in the snow is one idea for a Christmas card, Freshman Savannah Jones has experience with this. 

   “My best experience taking pictures was in the snow with my cousin,” Jones said. “It was really cold but they turned out really pretty.”

  Getting your pictures to contrast properly with the washed out winter colors can be a challenge in the snow. 

 “I have taken pictures in the wintertime and snow,” Moore said. “The best thing for those is to make sure you’re not overexposing because of all the white and to have a game plan so you don’t have you and your model be out in the cold for too long. Oh, and wear gloves!” 

    Weather can play a leading role in pictures and can be an obstacle that you need to learn to work with in order to be a pro

   “We do a lot of rain checks, but when we need to make it work we do,” Moore said.  “For wind it can actually be cool and it’s even beneficial for some shoots, for snow just stay warm, if it’s too sunny find shade, and rain have an assistant with an umbrella if it’s doing anything more than drizzling. Keep your camera dry as best as you can.”

   Professionals develop ways to capture emotions in their pictures, they can be impactful or bring out a little christmas spirit. 

   “Lighting, color and eyes,” Moore said. “Color and lighting work together really well to create different moods and are the easiest to manipulate. To take it to another level it’s really helpful to have a model who can really make those moody eyes, it doesn’t even matter what mood you’re going for, it really just accentuates the existing vibe of the colors and lighting by adding an interesting focal point.”

   There are many things that make up a picture but when photographing a person poses are one of the many ways to be creative with the picture. 

   “I’ve posed standing up and laying down, in a good picture it’s whatever looks fun or just natural,” Jones said. 

   Some photographers incorporate the scenery in poses or use props to make the photo more creative.

   “I like to focus on incorporating greenery and nature, my favorite is to have the model under a weeping willow peering through the strands,” Moore said.  “I also love playing with shadows and having interesting shadows or light on my model.” 

    Colors can be put together in a shoot to match and complement each other, clothes can be a big part of what makes a photo look neat and cohesive. 

   “I normally get dressed up, I wear a lot of neutral colors whenever I take pictures but you also need something that will pop,” Jones said. “I think it all just depends on the background of where you are taking pictures.”

   Although there are many challenges to taking pictures that even the picture pros struggle with.

   “Learning to pose people and learning to like your own work,” Moore said. “Posing people is what I struggle with most, and liking my own work and thinking it’s ‘good’ is what I struggle with mentally. That’s what can prevent me from having fun and moving forward a lot of times.”