Last week I gave you a winter holiday stock photo shoot list. If you missed that issue, you can find it here.

Many items on the list are indoors… and shooting indoors, especially around dim candlelight and incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs can be tricky.

Holiday stock photo tips

Here are a couple of tips to make sure your holiday photos come out right:

  1. Use a high ISO. I know, I know… you’ve heard that you should always use a low ISO setting to avoid noise. But when you’re shooting indoors (especially on winter evenings), the light is usually dim. You need to use an ISO at anywhere from 800 to 1600 (or higher, depending on conditions) to avoid motion blur in your images. Go ahead and do it. You’ll be glad you did.
  2. Watch out for logos. Ask friends and family to wear generic clothes so you can avoid getting logos in your photos. Also watch out for food or wine labels on the dinner table. For example, with wine bottles, you can turn them so the label faces away… blur it out in the background… or place something in front of the label.
  3. Beware of mixed lighting. If it’s daytime and you have light coming in a window, turn off the overhead light indoors when you shoot. Otherwise, the different colors of light will create photos that are half blue, half orange… and impossible to fix.
  4. Sweep the frame. Every time you take a photo, sweep the edges of the frame with your eyes to see if you’re getting any clutter or unwanted items in your composition. If you are, simply move them!
  5. Get in close on food. If you’re going to shoot food, make sure it’s fresh. Pick only the prettiest piece of pie, turkey, cranberry sauce… etc. Then, get in nice and close. Fill the frame with the food. Focus on the front of it and let the back melt away into a blur.

Editor’s Note: Learn more about getting started selling your photos online in stock agencies – no matter how much or little photography experience you have – in the Breakfast Stock Club e-newsletter. It’s once a week, and it’s free to join, here.

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