The technology may have changed over the years, but the sentiment is the same: with friends and family gathered around you, and the hearth all a-glow, the holidays are a wonderful time for snapping a few pics. And whether it's a group portrait by the Menorah or a still-life of a favorite gift by the stockings, there are a few things you can do to make sure the images come out great for all to enjoy. We asked photographer Weston Wells, who shot our Holiday Gift Guide this year, how he Instagrams his holiday season. Here's what he told us.
Tip #1: Composition. Symmetry is always nice in an Insta photo. One of the advantages to Instagram's square crop is that it lends itself to the rule of thirds. Keep your lines in the picture straight and it's hard to go wrong.
Tip #2: Get some humans in there! Landscape and still life photos are nice, but usually people want to see what other people are up to and where they are, especially around the holidays.
Tip #3: Negative space. Sometimes the use of negative space works well in an Instagram picture. It can often show environment, as well as show the viewer the meat of the photo and where to look.
Tip #4: Filters. Find the filter app that works best for you and the particular filter that works best for the picture (or no filter at all). There are so many ways to do some hand held post production and personalization of your images, it's almost as important as the picture itself. My advice is to find an editing app that you like and stick with it. Visual consistency in a feed is always nice.
Tip #5: Keep it light. Remember that Instagram is not a channel to announce bad news such a death and divorce. Especially around the holidays. Humor always wins.
Tip #6: Less is more. I'd say it's better to post three really good photos from your holiday vacation over the course of a few days, then clogging up a feed with too many pictures. No one wants to see an hour-by-hour account of what you're doing.
Tip #7: Tell a story. Think of Instagram as a visual haiku. Let your audience know what's happening, but keep it short and sweet.
Tip #8: Keep pets and babies to a minimum. Unless it's too good not to.