Christmas Family Photos

Tips from Ipswich Family Photographer:

How to make your DIY Christmas family photos look fabulous

Christmas family photos

We can all agree, it’s been a really crazy couple of years! Families have been kept apart; separated by borders and mandates. It has been heartwarming to watch all the families being reunited after so long. This Christmas will be very special for many, many people. There will definately be lots of photos to take, and lots of memories to share. This is why I wanted to share some tips about how to take stunning Christmas family photos of your own. A few simple tips can turn ordinary snapshots into images your family will love and treasure.

These tips can be used whether you have a DSLR camera, or a smartphone camera.

TIP #1Don’t Pose the family

Christmas family photos

Lining everyone up in front of the tree and saying “CHEESE” isn’t natural. You will often get strained smiles, weird expressions, and it just doesn’t do your family justice. Of course, having a photo or two looking at the camera is fine. Just not EVERY photo!

Be a storyteller!

What is the story behind your photo? What is happening in the scene?
Take photos of little hands decorating the tree, Grandad falling asleep, or the family sitting around the table toasting each other to a happier year next year. It’s so much better to record these moments, than trying to get perfectly posed shots of the family looking awkward and unnatural.

TIP #2 – Let the light in

Christmas family photos

Light is the most important thing to consider when taking photos. After all, the word ‘photography’ literally means ‘ painting with light’. It’s a good idea to have a good look around the house before the big day, and check out the light. Take a couple of test shots to see if there is enough light. If it’s looking a bit dim, open a window or two and try again.

Let in the light!

Try to avoid using your smartphone flash on the day as it doesn’t do a great job at lighting the scene. It often leads to washed out faces.

If you find that the light is too bright, or directly hitting the lens; try repositioning yourself and taking the shot from another angle. Alternatively, you can diffuse the light by using a sheer curtain across the window.

TIP #3 – Consider the background

Christmas Family Photos

Sometimes it can be difficult to think about what’s in the background of the shot, when all the fun and activity is happening. However, this is an important consideration if you want to make your Christmas family photos amazing. Too much clutter in the background distracts from the person or scene you are trying to capture. Background clutter can be people or objects that draw your eye away from the main subject and onto what is happening in the background.

Avoid the clutter!

One way to address this issue is to take your shot from different angles. Such as, getting down low and shooting up will avoid toys and wrapping paper on the floor. Or shooting from above will help isolate your subject without lots of people in the background (perfect for shots of unwrapping gifts). Alternatively, furniture or benchtops can also be used to hide clutter on the floor.

TIP #4 – Composition

We all start out by standing and pointing the camera at our subject, and we put them dead centre of the frame. That’s ok! However, if you want to take photos that really stand out and look amazing, you need to think artistically. This is what is known as composition. How you compose your shot. As mentioned above, that can sometimes mean taking the shot from different angles.

Think artistically!

If photographing kids, get down low to their level, or you can shoot from above or below to get a different perspective. Another composition tip is to use the rule of thirds. If you imagine your screen is split into 3, you would place your subject on the one third line instead of dead centre (see photo). This can create more interesting images, and is more visually pleasing to the eye. You can read more about rule of thirds here .

Give these tips a try leading up to the day, and I hope they will help you capture some beautiful memories of your special Christmas this year. I would really love to see some of your Christmas images. If you’d like to share them with me, you can do so on my facebook page.
I wish you all a happy and safe Christmas, and New year.

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