christmas photo tips

Boathouse Star

Boathouse Star

We’re quickly diving into the holiday season, and with all the shopping, baking, and decorating, we don’t want you to forget to photograph it all! Darren suggested we remind you of some photographic tips and tricks so you don’t miss a thing.

getting ready

  • Charge your camera batteries and your spares.
  • Flash batteries too! (I always forget this one).
  • Download + backup your memory cards, then format them so you can fill them with new images.
  • Make sure your camera bag is fully stocked with everything you need, so you can just grab and go.
  • You may even want to make a list of the important photographs that you’d like to make in the coming weeks.

must have photographs

  • You’ve gotta photograph your Christmas tree. I remember as a kid my Mom would always take a picture of my brothers and I in front of our Christmas tree. We’d even hang a sign on the tree with the year the photo was taken.
  • Exterior photograph of your house all done up for the holidays.
  • Detail photographs of planters, the wreath on your front door, and any other holiday arrangements. This is great because you can refer back to it next year and easily remember what you liked and what you’d like to change.
  • Photos with Santa, if that’s your thing.
  • Group photos at holiday parties – it’s always nice if you can take a photo of everyone at an event. If that’s not possible then be sure to take a group photo of everyone at your table.
  • Family photos.
  • And don’t forget puppy with his antlers on!
  • Those fantastic snowman shaped cookies that grandma makes every year.

other fun images

  • Snowmen, snow angels, snow forts, tobogganing, and other winter activities – think rosy cheeks and laughter.
  • I love the idea of a snowman family. Wouldn’t that make a fun holiday card?
  • Trees laden with snow and other lovely snowy scenes.
  • Young me, now me.


Photographing your Christmas tree – If you have a tripod you’ll probably want to use it when photographing your tree. To get an image that shows both the lights and the decorations, try photographing it just before the sun starts to fade for the day. As the room gets darker you’ll start to see more of the lights and less of the decorations so you may need to experiment over a few days to get it just right.

Photographing falling snow – Want to highlight the falling snow in your images? Turn on your flash, it will light those babies up leaving bright white circles speckled all over your photograph. This works for rain too.

Group table photos at holiday parties – If you’re at a party and you’re taking a group photograph of everyone at your table, get them to stand in front of a nice wall or plant. Don’t photograph across the table. Please.

Family photo props – Add some festive pizzazz to your holiday family photos by hamming it up with Santa hats, antlers, stockings, ornaments, tinsel, ugly sweaters, tissue paper crowns, tiaras, and New Year’s noisemakers.

Decorating with holiday photos – Years ago I heard a really great tip about updating your wall art and family photographs for the season. Store your festive photos in your existing picture frames that are currently hanging on your wall, tucking them behind the image that you display the rest of the year. Then, each December, carefully swap the imagery so your holiday themed photos are on display.

Photojojo has also posted some tips about photographing lights and decorations, so take a peek over there.

What are your favourite holiday images?

1 thoughts on “christmas photo tips

  1. sylvia says:

    great tips jen (thanks to darren for the suggestion)

    that last one is something i’ve never thought of doing. i will definitely keep an out out for seasonal/holiday photo ops! … not that we have a tree yet, or any decorations. all this snow is making life’s little extras more complicated!

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