Christmas 2015 special: How to take successful family photos
Here are a few basic photography tips which are suitable for all types of camera, including smartphones.
Whether you're snapping your children receiving their gifts next to the Christmas tree or the grandparents sitting around the table for Christmas dinner, some basic rules apply. Here are a few, provided by French photographer Lolita Lejeune, which are suitable for all types of camera, including smartphones.
It is important to keep the foreground clear (for example, a table looks better with just a few pretty cocktail snacks rather than overloaded). For the background, it is better to have a plain single color rather than patterned wallpaper or a wall with framed photos. A photo in the photo attracts the eye, which should be focused on the faces. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to avoid an overly dark background and doors opening into other rooms.
Think about staging the photo
For big families, it is best to place everyone in rows (first row sitting on the floor, second row sitting on chairs and the third standing) and then add an original touch such as putting the youngest on an adult's shoulders, or everyone could squeeze in around a senior member of the family. One option is to line up in single file and then everyone sticks their head out so they can be seen, or they all lean to one side to make the photo more relaxed. Another original idea is to position everyone in a window frame and take the photo from outside.
Go for a wide-angle
While a zoom lens can give a more natural result for individual portraits if there is the right distance between photographer and subject, a wide-angle lens is recommended when the photographer cannot go very far back in a room and there are a large number of people to photograph. For example, a wide-angle shot could include a table full of people, plus the surrounding decorations, Christmas tree and gifts.