Taking better party photos

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Holiday gatherings are great opportunities to take pictures your friends and family will enjoy for years to come, so break the camera out early—while everyone’s fresh—and follow these tips to help make the most of your pictures from this special time of year.

Get the Group
It can be difficult to get everyone in one place. While you have the whole gang together, take a group or family portrait! It will probably be a treasured keepsake.

Be Candid
Resist the urge to make every shot a posed photo – jump into the “life of the party” for candid shots that capture the spirit of the people and the occasion. Move around to get different perspectives on any games, hugging, dancing, cooking and eating. If you’re shooting digital, take lots of pictures and then edit later. Don’t forget to use your camera’s video mode to capture the fun as well.

Zoom In
Closer to your subject is almost always better. Use your zoom to fill the frame and get more dynamic compositions. Sometimes once a guest sees the camera, they freeze up, so standing back and using the zoom mode can also result in more authentic and unexpected candids.

Set the Mode
Unless you’re going for a specific effect, use the camera’s easiest shooting mode for your situation. If your camera has a “Party” mode setting, use that. If not, use the “Automatic” mode and let the camera figure out the right shutter speed, flash and other settings. You’ll miss fewer shots, and have more time to focus on enjoying the party.