Christmas is the perfect time for eating too much food, spending time with family, and of course uploading photos on social media. As more and more of us choose to document the festive period through the likes of Facebook and Instagram, suddenly everyone with a smartphone is an amateur photographer. Make your photos stand out for the right reasons by following these tips:
• Beware of backlighting
Don’t position your subjects in front of bright lights, such as those on your Christmas tree, as photos taken on smartphones are particularly vulnerable to bad lighting. If you’re taking a shot by a window, it might be worth drawing the curtains if there are street lights on in the background.
• Turn off the flash
On the subject of lighting, it’s a good idea to turn your flash off. When using a smartphone, it tends to create particularly harsh lighting. If you want to take better indoor photos without the flash, consider using the HDR (high dynamic range) mode, which gives better tonal range.
• Add a lens
As most smartphones have a fixed focal length, you cannot zoom in or out of a subject like you would with a traditional camera. Why not attach a lens to the front of your smartphone? There are a number of clip-on fish-eye, telephoto and macro lenses available for iPhone and Android.
• Always use the back camera
Front cameras are fine for the odd selfie, but generally speaking, smartphone manufacturers include better and more detailed cameras on the back.
• Be prepared
The best Christmas photos are often the unplanned ones; those that capture the excitement of the day. Spontaneous snaps of someone opening a present, or sneaky shots of a heated Monopoly debate are the ones you’re most likely to look back on with fond memories, so make sure you’ve always got your phone by you, just in case!