Photo tips: Capture the holidays with Bruce Hudson

Bruce Hudson -
Bruce Hudson
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With the holidays upon us, we thought we would ask national award-winning and celebrity photographer Bruce Hudson for some tips on taking family photos over the holidays.

Here’s his advice for all you shutterbugs out there:

• Always set your camera to MANUAL, not auto. You might encounter some tricky indoor mixed lighting situations and your camera can be fooled. MANUAL will give you more control and will allow you to take a better photograph. If you get stuck, pull out your manual, it will help you get the settings right. Also, there are a lot of photography classes out there where you can learn how to work your camera better; we actually teach one at my studio.

• Set your camera at the highest image quality possible, or the highest resolution JPG file. The days of setting the image quality to low so you have more storage are over. The flash cards are cheaper and can hold more high-resolution images now. Plus, the higher quality the image the more cool ways you can output and enjoy them around the house. More on this in Tip No. 5!

• Weather permitting, take the large family group photos outside if you can. You’ll have more space to work with and the lighting should be easier. Also, try using your flash outside and get that light into your subject’s eyes. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with your results!

• Shoot with a purpose and try to have a center of interest with your composition. This doesn’t mean “put everyone in the middle,” but try to give your portrait something that makes the subjects stand out and not blend into the background. This is why professionals have subjects dress in similar solid colors for portraiture; it puts the flesh tones out front and makes the people’s expression the center of interest, not what they are wearing.

• Enjoy what you have created by printing the photographs! Please, get those images off of your phone, camera, and computer and start enjoying them. Print some copies for your family or make an album, the sky is the limit! The quality for most of the stuff you can order online (inkjet, magazine style albums, etc.) is pretty good, not professional quality, but you will be able to display it proudly in your home and enjoy what you have created!

Seattle-area native Bruce Hudson is the owner of Hudson’s Portrait Design and is celebrating 30 years of business in the South King County area this year. He recently started teaching photo enthusiasts and camera hobbyists both the art and the technically side of photography with his new Hudson’s Photo Workshops He teaches several basic, intermediate, and advanced level photography classes out of his new Tukwila studio. Learn more about Bruce Hudson at

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