Whether it’s a big birthday, a graduation or the imminent arrival of a newborn, some occasions are just special. The good news is that even basic digital cameras and camera phones can take very good photos, particularly if they’re used well. Here are some tips on capturing those special memories.
Look at your camera
If you go into your camera’s menu, there are probably some settings you’ve never heard off, like EV (exposure compensation), white balance and ISO setting. Grab a copy of your camera’s manual and learn about what they mean.
Alternatively just have a play with them. Before the special day, take your camera out and take lots of pictures of the same subject changing one setting at a time and look at the difference it makes.
Treat yourself to a tripod
Most digital cameras and many of the better quality camera phones have a place to attach a tripod (if they don’t you can put them into a case which does). A portable tripod can be put into a pocket and will probably be the single most effective way for you to improve your photographs by avoiding one of the photographer’s greatest enemies – camera shake.
A neck strap is also an affordable and effective purchase. Basically it will allow you to keep your camera handy at all times, while reducing the chances of it getting dropped or otherwise damaged.
Finally make sure you have at least one super-size memory card and if possible some spare batteries (and make sure all sets of batteries are charged). You will be gutted if you miss that perfect picture because your card is out of space or your batteries are flat.
Keep the focus on the special person
Remember that the people at the party are there to celebrate an occasion involving a special person so the focus should be on that person. Of course, that person is likely to want to see shots of their guests so it’s absolutely fine to have some shots of other people on their own, but ideally most shots should be of the guests interacting with the special person.
Look for different perspectives, literally, try taking shots from on the stairs or side on to a group of people rather than just front-facing images. Get down on the floor too, particularly if you’re photographing children.
Although most of the shots should include people, it can be nice to have some pictures of the party area, especially if it’s been nicely decorated. You can also photograph food, gifts etc…
Make those photos real
There are now numerous options for printing photos. They can be included on everything from bedspreads to keyrings. For celebrating a special occasion, old-fashioned brochure printing can be an affordable and effective way of creating a lovely memento that everyone will be able to cherish for the future.
It’s much more elegant and permanent (as well as private) than just uploading shots to Facebook. It also allows people an opportunity to add their own special comments and tributes.