Holidays are great opportunities to practice photography. First, you have plenty of exciting subjects nearby. Then, you benefit from a unique atmosphere, family reunions, colorful outfits, and delicious food. Holidays bring together textures, colors, and patterns. Moreover, they reveal feelings and emotions and provide endless stories for you to photograph. And we are not talking just about Christmas lights. Any holiday is equally photogenic if you know what to look for.
Spot Authentic Subject Matters
Whether you are a portrait photographer or prefer street, landscape, or food photography, holidays have something for each of you. Look for that unique feature that speaks for itself. It may be the Christmas tree, but it may also be something equally iconic and more subtle.
For example, people may dress up in a particular way, wear specific colors, or gather in particular places. Food is also a relevant subject matter for some holidays. A small flag may indicate a national holiday. A flower may mean a spring holiday. Look for symbols, whether they are objects, colors, patterns, gestures, or actions.
Find Unique Perspectives
As beautiful and exciting as they are, holidays are subjects many photographers used before you. You won’t impress your public unless you find a fresh perspective to tell the same story. Research traditions and get to the meaning of the holiday. For example, each country chose a representative day in its history as the national day. You should know that history before taking any photos on occasion. You may also connect the past with the current situation and include conceptual contrast or similar patterns in your visual story.
Finding unique perspectives doesn’t only mean finding new subject matters. It also means finding new ways of photographing old subjects. Experiment with different aesthetics such as black and white, analogous colors, low or high-key photography, etc. Try unusual angles, creative focus, panning, everything that can capture the atmosphere and meaning you want to convey.
Get Involved in the Holidays
Most of the time, photographers are neutral observers. While it may be a healthy approach for commercial photography, it isn’t what you want in artistic photography.
When you tell a story, you should care about its message. The viewer should be able to feel your anger, respect, dismay, fear, happiness, or whatever feeling made you take that photo. Remember that your photos reflect the reality that surrounds you. Holidays are an excellent opportunity to expose yourself and show the things you care about.
So, whether you celebrate that holiday or not, get involved. Make it your own and put something of your experience in your photographs.
People created holidays to celebrate nature, religious events, historical events, or other people. They have rich symbolism and provide exciting elements to an artistic eye. Consider storytelling and photograph more than beautiful objects and people. Capture the holiday spirit in your photographs.