This year do something special that will last beyond the holiday season and become more precious with time. Here are a few photo tips to create your best holiday season ever.


1) Holiday Time Lapse – This year as you celebrate the holidays with family and friends, set up a camera on a tripod to shoot a time-lapse series. First set your camera ISO, F-stop and shutter speed to a correct setting for your environment. Then set the focus and turn the focus to manual so it doesn’t move. A good starting point is to take a photograph every 3 seconds. To do this, you will need to use an intervalometer.  Set the intervals between frames to 1 picture every 3 frames and your length of time to at least an hour but you can go longer if you want. Make sure your camera battery is fully charged before you start. If you have a higher end Nikon camera, like the Nikon 810 or D4s then you can shoot time-lapse photo’s directly from your camera and it makes the time-lapse movie for you to see right away. Once you have completed the time-lapse movie send it to your family and friends and get ready for the reaction.


2) More Than One – As you are taking your holiday pictures this year gets in the habit of taking more than one picture. Each time you take a photograph take at least three pictures back-to-back, then wait for your subjects to relax as they think you have finished and take a few more to capture them in their relaxed state. You will find that you may like the pictures taken “after the moment” more than the actual photo moment. Have fun!


3) Family Surprise – A few years ago I surprised my parents by announcing I was going to interview them. It was amazing and I still love that interview today. I would suggest asking one simple question, like “what are you most thankful for in 2015?”

Most of our cameras today have a video setting that allows us to shoot video. If your camera doesn’t your smart phone will for sure. Shoot a short video asking each person the same question. Afterwards, put all the interviews together and send everyone the movie.


4) Get In On The Fun –This year, get in on the fun and hand your camera to someone else so you are also in some of your pictures.


5) Camera vs smartphone – Everyone will have their smart-phone taking pictures, but your DSLR is still the best way to get higher quality pictures. Use a flash when possible to freeze the moment and make sure you are still when you take your pictures so you don’t get out of focus images.



6) Fill The Frame - To get great pictures fill the frame ofyour viewfinder. Make sure you look through your viewfinder or look at the screen and fill the frame in every shot. Make sure to look at the edges to ensure everything in your camera frame is what you want. 


7) Find The Hero – Every great picture has a hero, or one simple thing that makes the picture come to life. The best images have only one key subject that stands out. If you have more it make for a busy shot and nothing is special. Look for your hero in every picture and you’ll be very happy with the results.


8) Make A Theme – Give yourself the assignment of photographing one theme. For example, decide you are only going to take pictures that have something red in them. Giving yourself this simple assignment will make it fun for you this holiday season and make your images come to life in a very different way. You can make your theme anything you want but try itand I bet you’ll be surprised. Have fun and have a wonderful holidays season.