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Tips to Photograph the Holidays

By Elaine Elliott

Holiday season is just around the corner! That means it’s time to photograph cute Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving spreads, family outings, decorated Christmas trees, New Years Eve festivities, and more.


Before you get too carried away with all the fun, make sure you’re prepared to make the most out of your photo snapping endeavors with these useful tips.


Bring out the Nice Camera

And by camera we mean a DSLR, film, or mirrorless, not a smartphone. Smartphones have pretty great cameras nowadays for most of life’s moments, but the holidays are extra special. And a nicer camera will capture a better quality image that can be appreciated generation after generation.


Think Square

If your family members are on Instagram, consider focusing your subjects inside a square frame when shooting. This can be difficult for big family gatherings, so consider having people sit behind others rather than in a long single line. This way everyone can share the images easier on social media.


Focus on Candids

Everyone loves a good candid photo. Between posed shots, take additional photos without telling your family members. Those precious moments during trick-or-treating or gift opening are so much cuter when the child or family member isn’t looking directly into the camera.


Give Incentives

If the kids in the family avoid photos or get nervous in the spotlight, then consider providing incentives such as, “we can go get ice cream after the holiday photo shoot is finished.” This way everyone will be a little more enthusiastic during the session. Another tip for photographing kids- make sure they are full and well rested to avoid any tantrums.


Go Outside

Indoor lighting can be tricky to master, especially if you’re not an expert photographer. Natural outdoor lighting always works in your favor, especially if it’s early morning, dusk, or cloudy. Take advantage of these prime lighting opportunities outside to take family group photos.


Get Level with Your Subject

If you’re photographing kids, remember to crouch down and get eye level. This results in a more flattering and personal photo. If you’re shorter than most of your family members, then consider taking images from a stool or step ladder. It may seem silly but it’ll make a big difference. Plus, everyone will be amused by the effort, which means you can snap more candid laughs!

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