Day 11 – Try taking the perfect festive photo with these top tips from our favourite bloggers

Whether with a mobile phone, through an Instagram filter, with a compact digital or even a classic analogue camera, capturing the festive moments with friends and family is one of the highlights of the season.

To help you make the most of your sparkling festive photos we sat down with three of our favourite lifestyle bloggers, Angie of SilverSpoonLondon, Suze of Luxury Columnist and Laura of Heroine in Heels for their top tips to getting those all important seasonal shots. Whether for social media or even as presents for your nearest and dearest, their advice is sure to get you onto the right track. Read on below…

Angie Silver, SilverSpoonLondon

the-dalloway-terrace_-2-1Angie’s blog reflects her two passions: London lifestyle, with a focus on its bustling restaurant scene, and luxury travel – always accompanied by flawless photos. As one of the UK’s top lifestyle blogs, we were lucky enough for her to share her top pointers below:

My love of photography has me firmly placed as the family camera person at Christmas and that’s not always easy with champagne flowing, wrapping paper every where and the light dimming early in the day. That being said here are my top 5 tips on how to take the best photographs at Christmas.

  1. Be organised. Make sure your camera is fully charged, there’s plenty of space on your SD card and you know the best places to capture the light. You wouldn’t want to miss out on capturing a perfect memory if the camera runs out of battery.
  1. dsc_3555Lighting is always the key factor in photography and with only a few hours of daylight during winter this can prove to be a challenge. During the day try and use as much natural light as possible and photograph your subject near a window. As the dim lights sets in turn on a many lights and lamps as possible but avoid using the flash as this can wash out people’s faces.

In technical terms you may need to adjust the ISO on your camera in order to have enough light but do be aware that this can result in background ‘noise’

  1. Focus on the people. Christmas is all about family and relationships and I love capturing memories of all us together over the festive season. Personally I’ve always preferred reportage style photos over posed and stylised pictures. The very best pictures are the ones where the subject is unaware that they’re being photographed. The perfect moment of laughter, emotion at receiving a meaningful gift right down to the blissful face nodding off after a fantastic Christmas meal.

A shallow depth of field gives great atmosphere to a shot, so focus on people having a good time with a Christmas tree or fairy lights blurred in the background.

  1. hotel-review-regent-berlin-86-copyAction Shots. I love telling the story of the day and that’s best achieved with action shots rather than a static subject. Capture the champagne is it flows into the glass, the wrapping paper as it’s being ripped off and the steam rising from the turkey as it’s taken out of the oven.
  1. hotel-review-regent-berlin-86Food Pictures. Taking pictures of food is one of the key focuses of my lifestyle and travel blog and I’ve got it down to a fine art so people aren’t always left with cold food! Don’t take the fun out of Christmas day by worrying too much about arranging the food but a few pretty platters will add to the mood of the shot.

Go for wide angled overhead shots to capture the full spread on the table, bowls brimming full of brussel sprouts, a big fat turkey and a huge plate of crisp roasties. But also use a macro lens to go close up and get some detail such as chocolate oozing out of a Christmas pudding and perfectly rolled pigs in a blanket.

Discover more about Angie and her journeys here.

Angie Silver 4


Suze, The Luxury Columnist

suze-luxury-columnistSuze, aka Luxury Columnist, started her luxury lifestyle and travel blog from her friends’ recommendations to share her amazing experiences and love of photography.

Her photo of the Sky Garden was recently featured in Metro UK and she was runner up of the Thomas Cook Taste of Travel photography competition. Her passion for photography was first ignited when she lived in France and was lucky to meet the legendary Robert Doisneau, famous for his photo The Kiss. What better way to capture travel memories than by immortalizing them on film, and she’s visited 40 countries so far, with many more on the list. When travelling, she loves exceptional experiences, some of which are luxurious and some of which are down right quirky! She summed up her top tips below:

suze-image-21. Try to get some candid shots of friends or family opening their presents, rather than only staged shots. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.
2. Zoom in on festive baubles and decorations, blurring out the background for a pleasing effect.
suze-53. For capturing Christmas lights at night, think about using a tripod and selecting night mode to minimize movement.
4. If you have a festive party planned, think about taking before and after photos of some of your party-loving friends. Just don’t share the after shots with anyone but them unless they’re happy for you to do so!

laura-h-1Laura, is a 25 year old, now Londoner from Warrington who blogs about her adventures in London, and on her travels too. What started out as a university past time, has turned into pretty much a second job.

Although she has now upgraded to the Canon 6D, up until late 2015 Laura used a Canon 1100D with a 35mm 2.0 IS lens. She’s a firm believer that you don’t need to spend massive amounts of money to get decent pictures, just know your skills behind the lens and maybe make use of a few of her tips below…

laura-21. At Christmas, there are a lot of lights about, and not much natural light. This can often add an orange tint to images. On your computer editor or even on your phone, try turning down the Warmth. The photo might start to turn blue, so you can also use the Tint setting to add a touch of the green spectrum which will balance it out.

laura-32. The default composition is to shoot from standing height, usually looking down, but in alot of occasions, eye level works so much better, so crouch down before taking the shot.
3. When shooting Christmas lights, make sure you turn OFF the flash. Keep the ISO fast and with a longer shutter speed. If you have a tripod use that, if not, make sure to brace the camera to your body.
laura-54. For outside photography, a cloudier day is much better than bright harsh light. Try early afternoon too, as the sun is no longer at its highest. This gives a softer look to the photos.
5. Remember the rule of thirds. If you can, switch on the grid on your view finder. It will help you decide where to position your subjects. Not everything has to be dead centre the for it to look great, but remember to balance it correctly- don’t over stuff everything in one corner for example.
See more examples of Laura’s photography along with her travels and adventures here.