The Christmas period is the perfect time for snapping fantastic photos of family and friends. With so many photo opportunities, it’s natural that you’ll want to take the best Christmas pics you can – especially if you’re thinking of turning those festive memories into a beautiful photo gift later down the line, whether it be photo books,wall art, calendars or personalised mugs for the whole gang.
Whether you’re using your smartphone, DSLR, or any other camera, here are some of our favourite tips and tricks to help you take better photos this Christmas.
Capturing the perfect Christmas card shot
Everyone loves receiving those beautiful Christmas cards with family photos. To capture your Christmas card shot, choose a location with a festive backdrop. This could be in front of your fireplace, outdoors in a wintery setting, or simply against your sparkling Christmas tree. Ensure that the photo reflects your family’s essence – whether that’s posed elegance or spontaneous silliness. And remember, this is the shot that will grace many mantelpieces, so taking a few extra moments to get it just right is worth the effort.
Christmas photo tip: Dressing in coordinated outfits (though not necessarily matchy-matchy) will elevate your final snaps. Whether it’s Christmas jumpers or a hilarious festive onesie, play around and have fun with your photoshoot.
Play with light to take a great portrait pic
Natural light is one of the best elements of a great portrait photo, and the winter sun can be one of the most effective lights you can use. However, be careful not to shoot directly into the sun or that your subject has to squint!
Light is, of course, very important, but also try to use a shallow depth of field. This will ensure that the background is blurred, giving more focus on your subject. By doing this, especially if the background is Christmas lights or decorations, will ensure you’re taking a proper portrait rather than a normal Christmas photo. It’s also a great idea to alternate between posed photos and grabbing candid shots so you can capture all of the best moments.
Top photography tip for natural light: If you’re indoors, try to ensure there is some natural light in the room or if it’s at night, make sure to use an adjustable light to get the right effect. An anglepoise lamp is a great way of lighting your photograph at night. Adjust your exposure to let more light in if you don’t have enough natural light.
Master the art of group photography
The Christmas family photo is a great tradition to continue year after year. Our best tip for taking good group shots is simple: make sure that everyone’s in the shot! Check that your wonderful Christmas decorations are not obscuring anyone’s face, and position taller members at the rear while kids and furry friends take centre stage up front.
Begin with a few playful shots to set the mood. Engage in rounds of funny faces, followed by capturing the genuine laughter that ensues. By easing into the photo session, you’ll find that your posed photos give off a more relaxed, natural vibe as everyone’s already comfortable and at ease.
Top tip for your family Christmas pic: A tripod ensures a stable shot, and using the self-timer function on your camera gives you enough time to join the group!
Create a Christmas feel
Give the picture some Christmas context by taking the photo around the tree, by decorations, with everyone in Christmas sweaters or even around the Christmas dinner table. Increase your depth of field to somewhere in the mid-range (f4 to f5.6) to ensure everyone will be in focus – even if you have more than one row of people in shot.
Top photography tip: When using a wide-angle lens or the wide setting on your phone, avoid having people right on the edge of the frame. Because of the wide-angle lens optic, things on the edge of the shot can warp slightly.
Turn the spotlight on food, glorious food!
The Christmas season is packed with delicious food and drink – from festive feasts to a buffet table filled with homemade deliciousness. Whether it’s Christmas day or a festive party in the run-up, take a few moments before everyone piles in to take a snap of all the different dishes before the family tuck in.
As with our other photo tips, try to arrange the lighting so it’s not too harsh, and there aren’t too many shadows. Try and work out what sort of angle will make the food look best – should it be shot from above or from a lower angle?
Top festive food photography tip: Make sure your food photos have a hero in them to focus the eye – if it’s too busy, then it might feel cluttered. Place complementary objects in the foreground and background as well to help tell the story of the photo.
Make the most of social media features
In today’s digital age, social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook offer a wide range of free photo editing features, from filters that add warmth and vibrancy to your snaps to collages that stitch together your Christmas highlights.
Top Christmas photography tip: Always remember to save and back up these edited photos. They might be perfect for turning into memorable photo products!
As the final page on the calendar turns and the year winds down, remember that the essence of the festive season is to cherish and celebrate moments big and small. With each photo you snap this Christmas, you’re not just capturing a fleeting second but a memory to revisit year after year.
As you embrace the Christmas spirit and capture it in pictures, think about turning those snapshots into timeless treasures. Click the link below to explore our wonderful range of photo products, and cheers to capturing the joy, love, and laughter of the season. Here’s to a photogenic Christmas like no other!