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January 12, 2020

2 Hands-on Tips for Holiday Photography

A belated Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year to everyone!

2 Hands-on Tips for Holiday Photography 2 Hands-on Tips for Holiday Photography

The holidays are a time of sheer bliss, but also come with some annoying obligations – like having to go on family outings to crowded markets when the last thing you'd like is to be jostled by strangers. When you try to kill some time by shooting the decorations with your phone, you'll find that you just can't get pictures of the people and objects you treasure, without the distracting bustle that surrounds them.

And so, with the goal of spreading holiday joy, I've provided two useful tips for taking photos that bring out the best of this festive time of year. Though Christmas has come and gone, there's still time to make your New Year's Eve one to remember!

1. Stay above the fray
Point your camera upwards, and cut the throng of people surrounding you out of the frame, to shoot the scene from a different perspective.

2 Hands-on Tips for Holiday Photography 2 Hands-on Tips for Holiday Photography 2 Hands-on Tips for Holiday Photography

By "upwards", I don't necessarily mean an extreme angle. Just by shooting a little higher than normal, you can get an unexpected result. (Note: here I don't mean simply holding your phone higher, but tilting your camera upwards from ground level.)

2 Hands-on Tips for Holiday Photography

Whenever I ask a stranger to take a picture of my family, the ground always ends up consuming half of the image, which is bewildering… and annoying! Why not tilt the camera upwards and include the more interesting scene above and behind us?

2. Get up close.
When a scene is too busy, close-up photography offers an elegant solution.

I grew up with the Disney princesses, so here I've reproduced them in their full glory (though in miniatures).

2 Hands-on Tips for Holiday Photography

Or, if you prefer some other iconic characters…

2 Hands-on Tips for Holiday Photography

Close-up photography is highly dependent on the shooting angle, so going straight-on isn't always advisable, especially when there're too many elements packed within the viewfinder. Instead, take the shot from off to the side a bit, and draw attention to your favorite object in the scene.

2 Hands-on Tips for Holiday Photography

The rule of thirds is a great shortcut for ensuring professional, balanced composition. On the HONOR 9X (and most other HONOR phones), an assistive grid can be activated in Camera, via the Settings icon in the upper right corner.

2 Hands-on Tips for Holiday Photography 2 Hands-on Tips for Holiday Photography

The same principles apply to portrait photography. Get close (until there's nothing else within the frame to distract from your subject) while retaining the decorative background, and follow the rule of thirds, to capture the aura of the holidays!

2 Hands-on Tips for Holiday Photography

Feel like you're getting the hang of it now? Get off your couch, and take your phone out into the cold, crowded streets. Then share your best shots with us!