Everyone wants the perfect holiday pictures, but not everyone knows how to achieve this. I want to make things easier on you guys & give you some tips that may help.
1. Get in close--Many cameras have a macro setting (it's usually the one that looks like a flower like this). Use it to get great close-up pictures of ornaments, gifts, food, etc. It's not a good setting to use for photographing people, so use it only when you need to & remember to change the settings when photographing something else.
2. Choose a different angle--Everyone's seen the Christmas tree from straight-on. Everyone knows what the food looks like looking down on it. Position yourself differently. Take a picture of the Christmas tree from the floor looking up. Get down on the same level as kids to photograph them opening their presents. Have you ever seen a photographer capture kids standing straight up? Usually they lower themselves so they are right in front of the kid.
3. Get some candids--My mom is the worst offender when it comes to this! (Sorry Mom!) She tries to make everyone pose as she wants & those are the only pictures she takes. Part of the fun of Christmas is the laughter & traditions that make it worth getting together every year. Your cousins always sing a carol? Take a picture. Your grandma always plays "see food" with the grandkids? Take a picture. Uncle Bob always drinks a little too much eggnog & puts on those silly reindeer antlers? Take a picture. That's what you will want to see later on. Sure, take some posed ones, but don't rule out the candids.
4. Those darned Christmas lights--I don't know many things people complain about more than not being able to get a "good" shot of Christmas lights. Here's one big tip: Use a tripod!! I can't tell you how important this is! If you don't, the picture will turn out blurry. Most point-and-shoots (P&S) today have a setting for nighttime or fireworks. (For my P&S, they're under "SCN", then I can select which one. If you can't find it, look at your owner's manual.) Set your camera on a tripod, choose which setting you want, set the timer for at least 10 seconds (if possible), and press the shutter. Setting the timer will help the camera stabilize on the tripod before the camera goes off & your picture won't be blurry.
Hope that helps! I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!