Updated 18 May 2020
On Hari Raya Aidilfitri, everyone looks forward to documenting happy memories! You’ve got the family portraits, the gorgeous make-up selfies and even OOTDs ringing in the festive season. And even though your celebration this year may be a stay-at-home affair, that doesn't mean you can't get any good snaps.
To help you capture the best yet, we’ve rounded up these 10 tips and tricks. So get your cameras ready – you’ll want to try these out in advance! ?
1. Shoot flattering family portraits in burst mode
The first on the list is the classic Raya family portrait! If you're staying with your family, then you'll have no problems getting this shot. For those of you who are away from your loved ones, you can easily solve this by making video call! That's right - using apps and online platforms like Zoom, Skype and FaceTime, connecting with your loved ones is a piece of cake. Once you've got that covered, use our little tip of shooting your photo in burst mode. That way, you'll be able to filter out any unwanted facial expressions (like half-closed eyes and opened mouths ?) and single out the best frame that captures everyone perfectly.
P.S. Looking to get a new camera? Check out these top 10 cameras you need for your raya celebrations or your next vacation!
2. Pair your mobile phone to your camera with an app so you’re in group pictures too
Being the photographer for the day doesn’t mean you have to be behind the camera all the time! Be part of your family portraits by downloading a mobile app that connects your smartphone to your camera. Through these apps, your phone acts as a remote control, shutter and viewfinder all in one – enabling you to take a picture even when you’re away from the camera.
For those with a Sony camera, the PlayMemories Mobile app is useful if you’d like to make quick transfers of photos from your camera and into your phone. Your loved ones will be happy to know they’ll receive the pictures almost immediately after they’re taken!
3. Nail your OOTDs by focusing on the eye
Moving on to a different kind of picture, we all want an OOTD shot for the one day we’re our best-looking selves! The perfect OOTD has to be crystal clear, especially if you’re looking into the camera and giving your million-dollar smile. So relay this tip to your personal photographer: they should focus on your eyes! By doing so, your gorgeous baju Raya gets to shine naturally in the picture and it'll turn out as an Insta-worthy photo that'll impress friends and family alike.
4. Turn towards the light for a flawless selfie
Once you’ve got your outfit of the day down, next on the list is likely your selfies with your family members! When it comes to selfies, lighting is crucial and your best bet for that will always be the natural sunlight. When indoors, the ideal selfie is taken in front of a window, with your camera in between. This ensures the light shines directly on your face instead of from the back and gives you the extra glow that'll enhance your Raya look.
If you decide to take your OOTD outdoors - whether in the backyard or front porch - the prime time for a selfie is during the golden hour, which typically occurs between 6.30 to 7pm in Singapore and 6pm to 7pm in Malaysia! There’s nothing like the good old sunset glow to let your facial highlights sparkle!
5. Use a tripod for unique night shots of sparklers
As most families would know, the sunset doesn’t signal the end of visits. As day turns to night, kids (or those young at heart!) beam in anticipation because it’s time to whip out… the sparklers! Now here’s a photo opportunity you won’t want to miss. You’re going to want to bring your tripod for this. In order to capture artsy shots of the sparklers, you’ll have to use a slow shutter speed ranging between 1 to 8 seconds. For that reason, a tripod is essential to avoid blurring and distorting your subjects!
If you want your subjects in focus while they wave the sparklers around, you’ll have to ask them to remain still, else risk being distorted. With all these conditions fulfilled, you can surely anticipate some picture-perfect memories of a fun-filled Raya visit with your loved ones!
6. Capture the beauty of the night as it is
Similarly, in other lowlight settings, try to make use of ambient lighting instead of flash. You can opt for a high ISO setting to combat the lack of light! And when photographing your loved ones at night, your f-stop (aperture) shouldn’t be too low to keep them in focus! If your camera has a full-frame sensor, remember to set your shutter speed to a fraction of your focal length to avoid motion blur. For example, if the focal length is 30mm, your shutter speed should be 1/30 of a second. Once you’ve got all these settings down, feel free to snap away!
7. Capture traditions in the most heartfelt situations with silent shutter
Be it to document the process of spirituality or to capture fleeting moments of bliss, every family has their own traditions that they practice whenever Raya rolls around. If you're thinking about documenting these events, capture them with using the silent shutter function on your camera so as not to draw attention away from the precious moment. It also helps prevent your subjects from noticing and breaking out of their natural selves. At the end of the day, you’ll be able to look back at all these candid moments and reminisce on the long, fulfilling day of reconnecting with all your loved ones!
8. Eat the traditional way for the best flatlays of your Raya spread
Now on to a different type of shot! Our loved ones aren’t the only possible subjects for some fun Raya photos! With all the colourful dishes and tasty kuih
served, a flatlay of your Raya feast will make a great addition to your social media feed and one for the memories. The easiest method to take a flatlay is to have your food on the floor, preferably where the background’s more neutral so that it doesn’t clash with all the colours of your typical spices.
Composition also plays a huge part in making your food look good in pictures. Did you know that the human eye reads images from the left to right? For this reason, the ‘heavier’ objects such as your bigger dishes should be arranged on the right! Of course, there are exceptions to this rule – you can simply let your creativity flow and capture what you deem most aesthetically pleasing.
P.S. Want to expand your Raya food selections this year? Here are 3 delicious recipes you can add to your raya spread!
9. Use the rule of thirds for single subjects in frame
When picturing a single subject in frame, you can never go wrong with the rule of thirds! For the uninitiated, the rule of thirds entails dividing your frame into 3 parts horizontally and vertically. The points of intersection are prime spots to place your main subject as the human eye typically directs its gaze towards these spots.
An easy way of marking out the intersections is to switch on the gridlines on your display screen! Once done, align your subject to any of the lines for cinematic composition. Keep this in mind for model-like OOTD shots, candid pictures and more!
10. Spend some time video-recording memorable moments and you might just find something worth capturing as a photo
Fancy a creative audio-visual way of documenting your Raya memories? What some families usually do on their annual gathering is to record a personal ‘Selamat Hari Raya!’ greeting, and since many of us will be apart from our loved ones this festive season, it's the perfect chance to do send your wishes to your distant relatives! Otherwise, recording videos during Raya is a great way to capture precious moments you might have missed! So why not give it a try this coming Aidifiltri? ?
With these 10 tips, you’re sure to impress your family and friends with photos of all the quality time you’ve had during Raya! Not only will you up your Instagram game, you’ll immortalise fleeting moments into picture-perfect pieces worth keeping.
Here’s wishing you the best on the last day of Ramadan! ❤️