The John Lewis Christmas advert is now live. That means it’s now officially the start of the festive season. Hopefully, 2021 will see the return of real-world parties. If it does, they’ll probably create some very special memories. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to get a collection of great photographs.
Prepare as much as you can
If you’re hosting the party, then you have a head start on organising the photography. You can photograph your preparations and capture the party area before the guests arrive. You’ll also know your way around the venue so you’ll know (or be able to learn) where you can get the best shots.
If you’re going to somebody else’s party, see what you can learn in advance. It might be that the host is organizing photography. If so, you can just take a few snaps for yourself, if you like. If they’re not, try to get there as early as you can. Use the time to find out about the venue and any guests you don’t know.
Get a selfie mirror
Everybody loves a good selfie and selfie mirrors are a major improvement on traditional photo booths. To begin with, they’re digital. That not only means you get instant results. It also means that you have a lot more control over what they do and how they do it. For example, you can get selfie mirrors that can be operated by your voice.
Probably the single, biggest benefit of selfie mirror hire is that it puts the party guests totally in control. They can have photos as singles, couples, small groups or large groups. They can be as formal or informal as they like. What’s more, when they get the results, they can go on and edit them if they want.
Be prepared for challenging lighting
During the warmer months, even indoors, you can usually expect plenty of natural light well into the evening. By the time the festive season rolls around, however, it’s often dark before a party gets started. In principle, this shouldn’t be a challenge, you can simply use artificial lighting. In practice, however, people often like to have the lights down fairly low for parties.
Dim lighting may be great for creating that “party atmosphere”, it is, however, a serious challenge for cameras and hence for photographers. The situation can get even more challenging if there’s “party lighting”, for example, disco balls and flashing lights. Again, these can be massive fun for the guests but very difficult for cameras.
This means that it’s very much preferable to take a proper camera with you rather than rely on your mobile. At a minimum, this will allow you to use a decent flash without having to worry about the effect on your battery life. You could even take a spare battery just to be on the safe side. It’s even better if you can learn to use your camera’s more advanced settings and adjust them to suit the lighting.
You can also bring along your own lighting and a tripod. These days you can get both in sizes small enough to fit into a handbag. In fact, you can get flexible tripods you can wrap around your hand or anything you can find at the venue. These are really affordable and do a great job of eliminating the dreaded camera shake.
This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links