Photographers Offer Holiday Photo Tips

Mark A. Claesgens, Wozniak, John D., Benedict, Linda F.  |  12/7/2006 2:07:58 AM

Move in close and down to their level when photographing youngsters.

News You Can Use Distributed 12/06/06

Holidays are among the special occasions to preserve the memories of people, scenes and events you won’t see the same way again.

To help make the most of recording this season for future enjoyment, LSU AgCenter photographers Mark Claesgens and John Wozniak have pooled their recommendations.

– A tripod and self-timer will get you in some of the pictures. That way your kids won’t grow up wondering why you never were there on Christmas morning.

– Don’t be afraid to move in close to your subject – many photographers are shy and shoot from the back of the room. Move in close!

– Try cheek-to-cheek. Hold your camera at arm’s length and take a picture of you with someone else. The pose might feel unnatural, but the result won’t look that way.

– Take pictures in a context. The background should give some clues as to the occasion and where it is.

– Concentrate on faces. That’s what viewers want to see in people pictures.

– Make it clear what you are photographing. Years ahead, you shouldn’t have to ask yourself, "What are these people doing?"

– Kneel or sit on the floor when photographing youngsters. Camera angles should be at or near their eye level.

– Document indoor and outdoor setups. Doing so will help make decorating easier next year. Serving food? Photograph the presentation, not the leftovers.

– Make a short movie. Most digital still cameras have a movie setting with sound. An animated greeting by e-mail to someone distant would be a gift in itself.

– Do you have enough storage for digital images? Did you buy a storage card with the camera? Is it big enough? Megabytes are like money – you can never have too much.

– Do you have an extra set of batteries? Did you charge the rechargeable batteries? Digital cameras need a lot of power, so keep extra batteries on hand. If your camera uses rechargeable batteries, buy two sets – one for the camera, one on the charger.

– Take group shots. Start by putting everyone in the picture, including yourself. Then, divide the group by inlaws, cousins, immediate family, kids, visitors, pets to get more attractive photo compositions.

– Shoot Christmas lights at night or at dusk with the camera on a tripod. Manual exposure settings for shutter speed and lens aperture (f-stop) might be needed to get the right effect.

– If you’re giving a camera to someone, make part of the gift a lesson in how to use it. Study the manual ahead of time so the gift recipient can start taking good pictures right away.


Mark Claesgens (225) 578-2939 or
John Wozniak (225) 578-6105 or
Linda Benedict (225) 578-2937 or

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