How to Shoot Celebrations

Xmas Ball Decoration

The festive season is a fabulous time to capture celebrations via photos and video, but if you’re new to shooting you may wonder where to begin. A great starting point is to apply the thinking that underlies video editing, namely that you are sharing a story. Cast your mind back to memorable fairy tales, which include vivid character and setting descriptions. Or watch a Disney movie to witness the delight of detail, such as abundant plants featured in The Jungle Book scenes, or the vibrant personality of The Lion King characters.

Imagine Xmas or New Year festivities and visualize the attention to detail that characterises candle-lit and al fresco dining – shimmering decorations, delicious food and aromas, accompanied by beautiful music. Not to mention the people, typically cherished family and friends. Then plan to apply similar attention to detail to your photography and videography, with a view to compiling a selection of concise, compelling photo albums or videos.

Remember that you are telling a story, for the benefit of those present and others who aren’t, especially in this age of social media. Having fun in the moment can heighten your awareness and alert you to special snapshots happening around you. Referring back to movies, aim to capture a variety of wide-angle, positioning shots that set the scene, together with tighter, cropped shots that pose a lingering question about the fuller picture.

Also tap into your senses, zooming in on evocative visuals and textures, mouth-watering dishes and emotive expressions. Of course, people form the heart of parties. Patiently focus on taking a flattering photo or clip of each person present, as well as various group combinations, posed and unposed. Everyone deserves their spot in the sun and each brings their own unique contribution, worthy of celebration.

Finally, with so much content vying for attention, less is generally more, so take the time to choose your best images and clips, and ideally tweak these in your editing process. This not only adds impact and quality to your results, but is considerate in terms of valuing your viewers’ time. Most importantly, play around, be spontaneous and enjoy yourself. After all, the whole point is to celebrate!