It’s that time of year again! The holidays are upon us, and that means it’s time to start thinking about how to capture all of those special moments on camera. But if you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered. In this blog post, I’ll give you some tips on how to take better photographs this Holiday season, as well as ideas to get your creative holiday juices flowing.
Use the things you already have…like your holiday decorations, the presents that you have already wrapped, or the snowflakes you cut out. The gingerbread house you made with your kids, or the cookies you baked are perfect props for a wonderful little holiday scene. You don’t need to go out and buy a lot of fancy holiday props. Simple things can convey the feeling of the holidays just as well.
After all, family is really what the Holidays are truly about. Get in the photos with your children and experience the magic together. I love to get photos of my children together as they drink hot chocolate or eat cookies. That connection and interaction really conveys the true holiday spirit.
I have a whole blog post here all about capturing love and connection in your photographs!
Don’t forget to shoot some Holiday photos outside! Every year I love to get some shots by the green pine trees in our yard. If you don’t have pine trees think about visiting a Christmas tree farm so you can get some shots with that beautiful Christmas greenery. This can also be a fun way for the whole family to get outside and spend time together.
And if you are lucky enough to have snow where you live (and I am very jealous if you do, because we don’t usually get a lot of good snow here in Virginia) then you have all kinds of fun photo options like sledding, building snowmen, and making snow angels just to name a few!
Traditions are wonderful to capture with your holiday photography. Every family has different traditions that they celebrate each year. One tradition we do every year with our children is giving them each a little chocolate Advent Calendar. They get soo excited every morning to open their calendar. It’s something I always love to document.
Maybe you bake a special family recipe every year or hang stockings. I’m very nostalgic and watch the same holiday movies every year. Whatever your family traditions are, use them as inspiration for your holiday photography.
Lights and candles are a magical part of the holiday season. They provide a sense of warmth and cheer during this time of year when the sun sets much earlier and the nights are longer and darker. Shoot with your aperture open as wide as possible to get that magical blur/bokeh.
And don’t forget all the lights and decorations around town. If possible, go for a walk in your neighborhood (we drive to a nearby town) and see if you can incorporate any of those lights into your holiday photographs.
If you don’t have access to lights you can always experiment with overlays! Overlays are images or textures that you can add onto your photos when editing. There are tons of pretty holiday light overlays available on Etsy!
I hope these tips have inspired you to get out there and start photographing the Holidays! Remember to have fun with it, experiment, and don’t be afraid to try something new! Happy Holidays!
I’m participating in a super fun blog circle with some of my photographer friends. Check out my talented friend Brooke’s beautiful family pictures in Tampa Bay!
Ruth Young is a professional portrait photographer and photography educator located in Culpeper, Virginia. She photographs her daily life with her 5 small children and has a passion for teaching photography. For more about Ruth follow her on Instagram where she posts daily.