Everybody takes holiday pictures.

The holidays make for fantastic photo opportunities. When I worked at Kodak [back in the film days], they would work all year producing enough film for this time of year.

Use these tips to make great photos of the holiday of your preference.

Take a moment to compose your image and move in close

Whatever your subject, the holiday tree, children opening presents, family gatherings, get creative with your composition. This means paying special attention to how you organize the various elements in each photo. There are two main concepts to keep in mind when composing the scene artistically:

Off-center your main subject. Instead of placing your main subject in the center of the scene - with a lot of dead space around it - move your camera until this subject is off to the side. This works especially well if you can balance your main subject with something in the background, on the other side of the picture.

Move in close. Especially when you center your subject, but even when you off-center it, moving in close is the one thing that will make the biggest difference in the success of your picture-taking. The simple fact is the audiences are always more impressed when the subject is huge and impossible to miss.