It is so much fun to point, shoot and instantly post your photographs on Facebook or Twitter. I really enjoy seeing them, but there are some pretty gawdawful pictures out there. Let me help you banish the bleak, delete the delinquent, and take a better photo this holiday season. Your friends and family won’t be horrified when they find themselves tagged in snapshots with enormous faces or bodies that are freakishly distorted.
Don’t be the overexposed “big nose” this holiday season. Right Roxy?
Ten Tips for taking better pictures:
#1. Step away from your friends. Make sure you are at least 6-12 feet away from the subject when taking a photo and using the flash. Even though it looks like everyone has a tiny little pinhead, you can import the file and crop it down in Picmonkey. See! Their heads aren’t so small anymore. I know. It’s a Christmas miracle.
#2. a. Don’t use a flash. Try using ambient light. Looking possessed in a photo is disturbing to say the least. Even when using the red-eye feature, you can end up looking like you are in a devilish cult of aliens.
My friend’s photo. Me, Richelle, Annette, Sally and Jen with devil eyes. Muahahahaha!
b. Try different settings. If there isn’t enough ambient light, set your camera for low light without the flash. Remember to reset your camera to automatic afterwards, otherwise your outdoor pictures will look like they were taken one mile away from the sun.
My photo after cropping. The eye reflection isn’t as bad even though a flash was used since the photo was taken from farther away.
#3. Avoid the big-headed moon face. If you have to use a flash when taking a group picture, stand more than 6 feet away from the closest person or their face will be huge compared to the rest and will reflect the flash. No one wants to be the “big head.” See Roxy’s photo above. Every camera has a slightly different flash intensity, so experiment with distance between you and your subject to get the optimal lighting.
#4. Step away from the table. Like tip #1, only more disastrous. Never take a closeup photo of someone while they are sitting down and perpendicular to you. The edges of the photo could stretch your subject out so your poor friend or family member will look like they have an enormous butt, arm or hunchback.
My son Kelly with one giant arm and one itty bitty arm…
#5. Use the self-timer. Taking photos of yourself while holding the camera will distort you. I got a complex from all the pictures and videos I took of myself at arm’s length last summer. I didn’t realize that the camera foreshortened my face, making my nose look enormous.
#6. a. Signal to your friends before taking a picture. For example: “On the count of three. One. Two. Three.” Don’t snap it on “one” or “two” like my husband Danny. He has an itchy trigger finger. I am usually caught babbling with my mouth open.
b. For God’s sake don’t ever talk or move if you are about to have your picture taken. I did both in this picture with Louie Vito. I wrote my crazy story about him last year. Notice how Louie already knew this tip.
Moving + Talking = Distorted photo
Hey. There’s always Microsoft Paint.
#7. Take pictures at eye level. Trust me. Just do it. Okay, okay. I will give you a few examples. If you take the shot from above your subject, their gray roots or bald spot could become the focal point. Again there is this crazy distortion that takes place and it could give them a giant forehead. Taking a shot from below eye level could make their nostrils look like landing docks for space ships.
My brother took this photo of himself last summer with my unattended camera. I knew I could use it sometime. Thanks Joe!
#8. Reposition your subject. If you want Aunt Merna’s new tattoo to show up in the photo, direct Uncle George to tilt his head away from her cleavage.
#9. Straighten your photos. You don’t want to look like you are on the deck of the Titanic. Your friends could get a stiff neck from looking at your photos.
Cropped and straightened photo taken with self-timer and flash.
#10. If you take one of those gawdawful nasty-like photographs, please use the delete button. So what if you are the only one who looks good. If your friends and family look like ginormous, stretched out, zombie-eyed freaks, watch your back. They are snapping a lot of holiday pictures too.
Do you take a lot of photographs during the holidays?
Do you have any tips to add to the list?
Devil-eyed photo taken with an iPhone. Other photos taken with a Nikon Coolpix S205 camera