Inspiration and tips for capturing Christmas


If you’re looking for inspiration on how you can make your Christmas photos look better than ever, here are a few tips and ideas to make the most of your photography on Christmas day.  

1. Get the big picture

  • Take a step back and take in the scene
  • Walk around and shoot from all angles
  • If shooting with your phone don’t forget to turn it on its side
  • Create a story with your photos

Warm up by taking photos that capture the overall scene; from outside showing the heat and haze, inside with all the decorations and the tree, the hustle and bustle in the kitchen, and then the backyard festivities and shenanigans. 

2. Take a minute for the minute

  • Slow down and look around
  • Get up close and intimate

Don’t neglect the smaller details; shoot the decorations on the tree, perhaps a ribbon or a name tag on a gift.  These images make great filler and transitions from one scene to the next, you may even discover something new you have never noticed before.

Reindeer toy with decorations

3. Cheese is for crackers

  • Don’t have a huge crowd shouting at the kids to smile, it will stress them and they will end up looking away from the camera
  • Get the shot with the big grins if you can but don’t force it
  • Wait for the in between moments; shoot candidly, capture the laughter, emotions and conversations

Yes it is great to have the photos with the big cheesy grins but there is so much more to capturing images of your family and friends; maybe tell some jokes to get their attention and genuine laughter (or cringes if you’re not funny).  Keep the camera ready for the in between moments, the interactions, and the expressions. 

4. Level with the kids

  • Get down at the same level as the kids
  • Get amongst the action 

Change it up, instead of shooting down from adult height all the time, get down to the kids level and hopefully they will play up for the camera and include you in their games. 

Making christmas decorations

5. Check for distractions

  • Clear the table of empty beer bottles and wine glasses, especially for photos of the kids
  • Look at your background for distracting items such as wheely bins, cars, bright objects
  • Watch out for branches unless you are trying to make someone look like a reindeer

It might not be super noticeable at first but you will kick yourself if you’ve got a great shot of Auntie Alice with your Mum and there is a pile of dirty dishes in the background, it’s really going to detract from a great portrait. 

6. Work the light

  • Shoot in open Shade
  • Keep the light over your shoulder
  • Plan indoor shoots to be near windows or under lights

Many phones and smaller cameras will struggle in poor lighting so if you are shooting indoors try to position people under lights or better yet near a window.  If can position them facing or beside the window you should get some lovely soft light.  When outdoors try to keep the sunlight coming over your shoulder onto your subjects.

Kids on christmas day

What now, what do I do with all these awesome photos? 

You’ve spent the entire day capturing everything from small details, the overall scene, wonderful family and group photos, action shots with the kids, and everything in between. 

Print them! 

Get them off your phone, don’t just store them on a hard drive, your family won’t see them every day on a computer and they’ll be gone after three seconds on social media.

Merry Christmas