How to Take Great Photos at Holiday Celebrations

November 27, 2019
Taking great photos during the holidays doesn’t have to be hard. Follow these tips to capture great pictures at your holiday celebrations this year!

I have been watching Hallmark Christmas movies since October and I’m not sorry about it. Finally, everyone else is catching up and our schedules are now packed with dinner parties, nights out with friends and family get togethers. But how do you get good photos to documents all of these events with friends and family you might only see once a year? 

I’ve put together a list of tips I use when taking pictures during this busy time of year to help you take great photos during your holiday celebrations.

Get up high

Shooting from above provides more flattering angles for pretty much everyone. No one wants pictures of the underside of their chin (ladies, you know exactly what I’m talking about!), so keep your camera at or above your family and friends eyes. This helps elongate your face, get rid of the appearance of extra chins and generally will give you better photos that your friends and family will be happy to snapped of them.

Face the window and find natural light!

Fluorescent indoor lighting can be harsh, yellow and much darker than in a camera than it looks to your eyeballs. Natural light is your friend. Use her. 

Go to a window. Get outside if you can (just make sure the sun isn’t directly overhead to avoid squinters!) Find light however you can and bring your people closer to it before you hit the shutter or button your phone. 

Use a timer, not a selfie

Selfies can be fun, but they are definitely not timeless.

“But, Nic, how am I supposed to get myself and the whole family in one picture then?” 

Great question, you! Click the little clock-looking button on your camera or phone and use that timer. Set your image-making machine of choice up somewhere and position your loved ones in the frame. Get them in focus, hit the button and then run over to join the fun. I promise these photos will look way better and will be pictures you actually want to print and save. 

Bonus points if you have the option for multiple shots or a burst mode. When the camera starts going, prompt your family members to fake laugh, look at their favorite person or make a silly face. You’ll end up with more great photos and have more fun with it. 

Click away when they aren’t looking

This one shouldn’t surprise you if you’ve seen my work or followed me for a little while. I’m a sucker for a good candid picture. It’s how I got started as a photographer and made me fall in love with making images of people. 

Instead of forcing your kiddos or the neighbors to all look and smile on three, take photos of them laughing together at stupid jokes, getting messy making Christmas cookies or smiling over a glass of wine. Those pictures will showcase the real emotions your loved ones are feeling and will end up being great keepsakes of your holiday celebration this year. 

Get creative 

Rules are meant to be broken. Yes, natural light can be a lifesaver, but taking pictures of your kids using only the light from the Christmas tree to show their excited faces, looking through the presents, can be just as beautiful. Have fun with it. Get close ups of people’s faces, their hands held together or sipping a mug of cocoa. These tips are meant to help you, not tell you what you can and can’t do so get creative with your shots.

If you give these tips a try, I’d love to see how you did! Let me know in the comments if these helped you get better photos during your holiday celebrations this year!

And if you’re thinking about booking a session for next year, my 20% off Holiday Sale is live Nov. 30. Shoot me a message if you’re interested!

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