7 Tips for Capturing Details

As photographers, we love the holidays because they provide us with plenty of photo opportunities. A challenge that we face as photographers in any situation is capturing the essence of an event, whether it be a wedding, a 90th birthday celebration, or the holidays. Just like you would photograph the details at a wedding in order to capture the feeling of the day, photographing the details at the holidays works much the same! Here are a few tips to get your started this holiday season.

The Decorations 

The most obvious place to start with details? The decorations, of course! The most common way to photograph the details would probably be at night when everything is beautifully lit, but for sharper images, try shooting during the day, in natural light. Also, photograph your subject from several different angles, and experiment with getting closer to, and further away from your subject.  

If you are shooting in low light to capture the ambiance of the evening, you may want to try using a tripod so that your images will be sharp, allowing you to use the lowest ISO setting in order to avoid digital noise in your images. 

1. Abstraction is a really fun experiment in photographing decorations, as it will allow you to play with color, line and shape, and in the process, create some really beautiful abstract images.   

2. Don’t be afraid to play with color, either. Depending on what type of holiday decorations you are photographing, you may see a variety of colors. 

3. Finally, now is the perfect time to experiment with depth of field. The lights from the decorations, as well as candlelight, provide a wonderful backdrop when using a shallow depth of field.  

The Food 

I think it’s safe to say that the majority of us get really excited about the food at the holidays. Not only is it just plain delicious, but it is also one of the things that brings everyone together.  

When photographing food, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind, because, if not approached correctly, food photography can be unappealing to the eye.  

4. Photograph the food as it is being prepared, so that you can capture the ingredients on their own, as well as interesting items, such as cookie cutters and cookware 

5. Arrange the food/ingredients/cookware just like you would arrange a model at a shoot. It sounds silly, but it putting in that little bit of extra effort will go a long way!  

6. In terms of photographing the food, bright, even light tends to work bestRefrain from using your on-camera flash as much as possible, because it can create unappealing, harsh shadows on the food. If you need to use your flash, try pointing it towards the ceiling in order to bounce the light so that it diffuses evenly, rather than hitting the food directly.  

7. Don’t forget to photograph the dinner table before everyone has a seat. Photograph things such as centerpieces, place settings, and holiday dinnerware.