December 3, 2015

December is the month of crisp, cold walks, parties, chocolates and mulled wine. If you want to learn how to capture your Christmas on camera, photographer Meg Gisborne gives a lesson on how to become a pro at all things winter photography. From learning to use light to your advantage to shooting from different heights and angles, experiment with her top tips to become an expert at snapping your holiday moments this year.

Get creative

There is a fine line between being creative and being cheesy, but it’s great to think outside the box. There can be a lot of saturated colours around the festive season, so limit how many you bring into your frame. Too many bold colours can be overpowering and can can make it hard for the eye to focus on the subject. Sometimes it can be fun to pick one main recurring colour and keep the rest of the image neutral.

Keep it simple

Christmas is a very exciting and busy time and you may be tempted to capture it all in one photograph, but remember less is more! Every good image should have one main focal point and you want to be careful not to over clutter your composition. Keep an eye out for detail and capture the small things – these can often be the most effective photographs.

Heights and angles

Experiment with taking photographs from different heights and angles, as this can help you create really interesting compositions. Think about layering different tones and patterns together to create texture in your image. Christmas is all about keeping warm and snuggly by the fire so make sure you capture these moments!

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Fill your frame

When composing your image think about what you have in your frame and how much empty space you have around your subjects. You may be led to think that you should include everything in your frame but this often means you have to take the photograph from afar. This can be really effective if you are taking pictures of scenery but when you are inside it is best to zoom closer to your subject.

Winter is all about wrapping up and getting outside. Take your camera for a walk and have fun! Try photographing your pets. Animals are extremely photogenic. I find the best way to photograph my dog is by having someone stood behind me or to the side of me, keeping them still and paying attention.

Go Macro

Macro photography requires the smallest aperture in order for your subject to be sharp and then the background will be out of focus. Winter is full of beautiful plants and berries and using this technique can help you create striking images. Go and explore on a frosty morning and see what you can find!


Light is your most valuable tool and it can make or break an image. A lot of time can be spent inside around Christmas and unless your house is naturally well lit, you will need to adjust your settings accordingly. A wider aperture will let in more light and a higher ISO and longer shutter speed will also help. If you have a tripod you can make it easier for yourself as this will stop the dreaded camera shake. Even if you don’t have a tripod, try resting your camera on a flat surface and this can give you a steadier hand! Take full advantage of windows as these can help you create beautiful portraits using the available natural light.

I love going on wintery walks with friends or family and taking advantage of the light for portraits. Although we tend to think bright sunshine is the perfect weather for photographs, flat light can enable you to take some striking images. It really illuminates your subject and if you are leaving your images in colour try using bright clothing as it contrasts nicely with the white sky.

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