Like it or not, clicking photos or making videos is a huge part of any celebration. Be it a graduation, a dinner party or festivals like Dashain and Tihar, most of us want to capture and archive our experiences. And some of us want to be really good at it. So when the festival season arrives and our social media is flooded with pictures from our friends and family, it can be difficult to maintain a unique Instagram feed. But it’s not impossible. The Week is here to arm you with a few tricks to make your photos stand out from the rest this festive season.
Embrace the colors
The beauty of a festival lies in the colors. Be it the red of the ‘tika’ or the green of the ‘jamara’, one can’t imagine celebrating a festival without celebrating the colors. And so whenever you take a photograph, make sure to embrace these colors. Rather than just taking pictures of the people around you, try to capture the golden of the brass water vase or the bright silver of someone’s ‘pauju’. Moreover, if you are traveling to your village for Dashain, make sure to capture the green, lush trees and other plants around you. All in all, the key point of your photography should be to capture any color that is different and eye-catching. This way, not only will you be archiving your experiences, but you will also be capturing colors that are specific to these festivals. And bright fun colors are always a real eye pleaser.
Tell a story
Whenever Dashain comes up, we expect the same generic portraits and, at most, a few landscape shots (think swings with hills in the backdrop) from most people. However, it doesn’t always have to be that way. Especially if you are traveling, it’s a perfect opportunity for you to tell a story. The story can be yours or of someone you met along the way. For example, if you come across a family that celebrates certain festivals a little differently than yours, why not make a photo journal out of it? Similarly, you might find something of historical significance (in relation to the festival, of course), if this is the case, you can make a vlog about it and put it up online. This way, along with keeping your Instagram feed updated and chic, you will also be providing some valuable information. That should make your stories worthy of people’s time. Picture action
To make a festival grand, there must be people around who celebrate it. Click pictures that show people doing something rather than, say, a pre-planned portrait shot. If it’s Dashain, capture the heartfelt expression in your grandparent’s eyes as they put ‘tika’ on your relatives. In the case of Tihar, snap a picture of children marveling at the fireworks rather than just the fireworks. Capturing subtle yet powerful moments like these are an important part of festival-photography. Take note of the small details that set the scene in order to give the viewer a sense of place. After that, move on to the events and the acts that are happening there. When you upload the images on your Instagram or blog, people from all over the world should be able to grasp the emotion and the excitement that the people in the photograph felt at that moment. After all, that’s what a good picture is supposed to do, isn’t it? Get involved
Whenever you are taking a photograph, it’s important for you to be able to blend in with the people you are trying to capture, otherwise the people may seem guarded and the photo might come out generic. If you truly take your time to get involved and comfortable, the people will be at ease and that will show in your photos, making them pleasant to view. Similarly, you can only take a good landscape photo if you know the place well because only then can you decide on the focus of the shot, the lighting as well as the colors, and get them right. It’s the same with festivals. You need to be fully invested in and informed about what’s going on to truly capture its essence. So taking some time to understand what’s going on before you whip out your camera is always a good idea. Have a good time
The most important thing while celebrating (or photographing) a festival is to have a good time while you are doing so. Sometimes it’s okay to leave your camera behind and truly enjoy the experience of being around people you love. However, photographers are all about capturing special moments in their lives, so it’s impossible for them to not click a shot or two. But the most important thing is to not miss out on the fun just because you are busy clicking pictures and thinking about whether or not a certain shot will look good on your Instagram page. An added bonus is that if you have a good time while taking pictures, you will also not find it difficult to caption the photographs later on as you can just reflect on how you felt at that moment and allow the words to flow.