Perfect Christmas Family Photo Ideas

We all love the holiday season. This is such a great opportunity to capture everyone’s joy and our kids’ sparkling smiles on camera. Whether there is or not a perfect Christmas family photo “recipe”, make sure you don’t miss out the following ideas for amazing holiday family portraits.

happy family photo

Joyful Christmas Family Photo

Christmas Family Photo Ideas

Capturing the perfect family photo involves a mix of factors we cannot always control. Whether it is the weather or your kids’ mood, unexpected thinks may come up. Do not let them destroy your enthusiasm. Get ready for anything and be creative

A perfect photo starts with smart planning.

#1. Choose a location and a time for your shots.

  • Take both indoor and outdoor photographs. Regardless of the location you choose, make sure the place is not crowdy or cluttered.
  • The time of the photo shooting is important. Schedule it during the Golden Hour (early in the morning or during sunset) to add extra magic to your shots.
  • Check the weather forecast as to avoid rainy or heavy snowy days. Natural, consistent light is essential. If it gets cloudy, though, don’t worry. A darker sky can add a dramatic effect to your shots. Get creative and enjoy shooting no matter what.

#2. Decide who the photographer will be.

  • Wil you hire a photographer or ask a friend to help you? A pro knows exactly what to do and will help you speed up the process.
  • You can use a tripod and the self-timer option on your camera.
  • You can also take amazing shots using your smartphone. We’ve got a few smartphone photography tips for you. Use a tripod (we bet you want more than a Christmas selfie) and some of the editing apps we recommend to improve exposure and add effects.

#3. Get ready for the photo shoot.

  • Choose holiday clothing and Christmasy props. Maybe you have selected a color theme for your Christmas party or you have bought an outfit you want to wear. Our tip is to keep it as simple as possible for your indoor photos. Choose neutral colors and avoid patterns that catch the eye, especially if you want to pose in front of the Christmas tree or at the Christmas table.
  • Either you wear cute, fluffy winter clothing or you capture steaming tea or cocoa cups around you, keep everyone warm and with a smile on their face.
  • Make a list of favorite poses. We have got a few ideas for you below.
  • If you plan an outdoor photo shooting, don’t forget to pack some snacks and drinks to keep you energized.

Dreaming of a White Christmas

One of the family Christmas photo ideas not to miss is, of course, the classic outdoor shot in the snow. Here are a few tips to remember for an unforgettable “winter wonderland” image:

  • Go out and shoot during the snowfall.
  • Since you’ve got a white landscape, you can choose bright but strong colors to contrast the background.
  • Dress in blue, red, yellow or green for a more powerful effect or add color with cute knitted accessories.
  • Take your family pets with you. They can make things more complicated but also add more fun to the scene.
winter family photo in the park

Winter Holiday Family Photo

The Perfect Holiday Family Portrait

Now you’ve got the opportunity to capture the whole family celebrating this wonderful time of the year. Whether it is during the Christmas preparations or during the opening gifts morning, get a picture that includes all the members of your family.

Pro tip: try to focus on everyone’s eyes. There’s where the spark of joy is.

We have seen a lot of family photos gone wrong. The secret is not to overthink the whole process, to enjoy the moment and act naturally.

Your go-to poses: 

  • holding hands;
  • group hug – these can be welcoming hugs as well;
  • smiling at each other during the big feast.

Candid Holiday Photography Fun

No Christmas photo album is complete without candid, funny photographs. In addition to classic poses and professional portraits, those unplanned shots will make you smile.

Candid arrangements may sound counter-intuitive, but when you have little kids, you want to keep them engaged and “ready” for funny family photos. Toddler pictures are the most challenging, but the results can be fantastic.

Pro tip: take as many shots as you can and try to capture the family fun from different angles.

winter fun family photo

Fun Family Time in the Snow

Candid photography tips: you can add a dynamic effect to your family photos by considering the following actions and key moments:

  • Take a photo of the kids while opening their presents.
  • Shoot the holiday preparations in the kitchen. Baking may be messy, but it makes for spontaneous pictures.
  • Hold hands while walking towards the camera.
  • Children whispering in their parent’s ear.
  • Make jokes and provoke laughter.
  • Take photos while playing outside, making angels in the snow.

The Iconic Christmas Family Photo

Want to take a guess here? Of course, we shall refer to the family portrait in front of the beautifully lit and decorated Christmas tree. This is your best chance to capture that magical atmosphere.

  • Take the photo is soft, evening lighting and with the Christmas lights on.
  • Adjust your camera for low light conditions. Set a wide aperture so that the background remains out of focus.
  • If you have a DSLR and additional equipment, use a macro lens to achieve a nice bokeh effect.

Just the Little Ones

The holiday season is not just a time for feasting. It is the time for enjoying the company of your loved ones. The little ones, of course, are the protagonists of your Christmas celebration story. Don’t miss out the opportunity to capture those heartfelt moments when they play in the snow or keep warm by the fire.

portrait of happy siblings on Christmas evening

Portrait of Happy Siblings on Christmas evening

Pro tip: Take a photo with your kids (or the little ones in your family) every year during Christmas. After the kids are grown you can create a personalized Christmas photo album for them as a gift. This can also be the perfect gift for their grandparents.

Take photos of the kids:

  • decorating the Christmas tree.
  • baking Christmas cookies.
  • playing with their sleds in the snow.
  • opening gifts in the Christmas morning.

Finally, why not turn your favorite Christmas family photo into a unique card and send it to your close ones? Or have all these pictures printed out and have them framed? For more tips and ideas on how to capture the holiday magic, take a look at our complete Christmas photography guide. Enjoy!

Do you have further ideas and suggestions to share with us? Feel free to leave a message in the comment section below. Thank you & happy holidays!

A Few Tips on Shooting Great Family Portraits


Many of you aspiring professionals have a hard time choosing a photography niche, but some of you already decided to have portrait photography as one of your main go-tos. And the rest of you striving to make it in this transition from an amateur photographer to a pro haven’t really wholeheartedly decided for portrait photography, but you end up doing portrait gigs once in a while because this is what is most often offered to you. Since building a portfolio always requires you to show off your paid gigs, it’s only natural to accept most of the employment offers coming your way even if you don’t need the money that bad (you have another main job) or even if the subject isn’t really your cup of tea. And this is how the matter of family portraits arises.

The customers employing you to take photos for them want portraits most often than not, obviously, so there you have it: sooner or later, every aspiring photographer needs to deal with portrait photography no matter how much or little they like it. But perhaps we’re getting ahead of ourselves and you really have a genuine interest for this kind of photography, well, even better in that case. You’ll need all the enthusiasm you can muster, just as in any other photography niche. We’ve previously shared with you a general outline about the dos and don’ts of portrait photography, but this field has its own subfields which can be very different from each other, like wedding photography, artistic nudes, mother and child photography and so on. Today we’re going to talk about what it takes to shoot really wonderful pictures in the subfield of family portraits, so that you hopefully end up with a product that satisfies both the client and your own artistic and professional exigencies.

1. Be as relaxed as you want your subject to be

Photographers complaining about how some subjects just can’t pose and how they freeze in front of the camera often forget that the subject’s attitude is very often dependent on theirs. Talk to clients beforehand about any previous experiences with photographers and, if they trust you, they’ll confess that photographers freeze too behind the camera and start fidgeting. The manner in which a photographer fidgets is something like this: continuously changing camera settings and lighting, giving contradictory instructions for the subject’s posing, seeming unsure of themselves and of what to do next, and generally conveying a discontent vibe about the whole thing. If you make your subject(s) uncomfortable and general

2. Adjust your lens to the group’s size

The lens you equip dictates what kind of angle your camera will be capable to sustain, as well as opening up a whole array of focusing options. If you’re taking the portrait of a large group, like multiple generations of one family or more than 4-5 people, you need to equip a wide-angle lens of about 18 mm, allowing more people to fit in your shot. A telephoto lens (greater than 70 mm) works, as the name implies, better at a distance, but don’t allow a great angle. If you’re shooting a group sitting further away, this could be a good option. Just climb on something that gives you a bit of an altitude and shoot away for some of the best family portraits ever; the distance will prevent you of missing the angle.

3. Use Exposure Compensation to get the skin tones right

The Exposure Compensation feature is something landscape photographers often use to brighten or darken up skies in order to obtain more realistic or dramatic images. When shooting family portraits, this feature can be used as a trick to make sure that the lighting isn’t tampering with your subjects’ natural skin tone. You can dial up this functionality (the exact place to find it depends on your camera so search it in the manual) by positive or negative ¼ measures until you feel that the skin tone is now just right.

4. Increase your ISO to counteract your subjects’ movement

People tend to move around quite a bit when they have their portraits taken and this is true especially of large groups. Imagine many generations and kids and pets all crammed up together in a tight group and having to wait for multiple shots to be taken. But don’t worry, this can actually work to your advantage, as they will be more relaxed and natural if they’re allowed to move and you may be able to capture some very fun family portraits. The only downside to all this is that movement can make the pictures blurred, depending on your camera’s aperture and shutter. To prevent the blurring, you should increase your ISO and bump up your shutter speed up to 400, and even higher in low light. This might produce a little bit of a grain effect (at higher ISO values like 3200), but even so the pictures will still look better.

Remember to practice patience and friendliness and keep researching and experimenting with various camera settings. Your portrait photography skills and photography skills in general will get better for it.

Tips For Taking Better Holiday Portraits

This week it’s Thanksgiving here in America, which means it’s the start of the holiday season. Family and friends will be together more, meaning more opportunity for potential portrait sittings.

The larger the group, the more opportunity you have to sell. Yet if you have a small home studio, or no studio at all, where are you going to photograph everyone? While it may not be a problem if you live in a nice warm climate, what do you do when the wind is howling and the snow is falling?

Find A Perfect Location

Don’t scout the perfect location on your own; talk with the family as well. Maybe they are members of a local country club that would be more than willing to let you use their area for a portrait. If they are planning on going out to eat after the portrait, maybe you can work with a local hotel, and use their surrounding grounds. Parks also can be very attractive in both winter and summer – how about an ice skating pond in the distance? Use your imagination, and try something new. Don’t be afraid to ask – you never know where you can end up for a perfect portrait experience.
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Does Your Photography Studio Need More Sales?


It’s finally here. After today, the election will have come and gone, and it will be time to move on, and focus on how to finish up 2008 with a roar. Can it still be done? Can you still meet your sales goals? You bet.

Now is traditionally one of the best times for a photographer to make money. And this year is no exception. Instead of splurging on high ticket items, more people are going to look for things of value. And what could have more value than a family portrait?

There are three ways to bring in more sales.

1. Bring in more clients.
2. Bring in the same clients again and again.
3. Sell more to each client that walks through your door.

If you’re new to this business [Read more…]