photo by kate_sept2004 via iStock
We’re getting so close to the holiday season!
Taking holiday family photos is an enjoyable part of this time for many photographers, but I know I always wonder how to take better family photos. Plus, seeing some other photographers’ Christmas photo shoot ideas is always welcome.
So, to get our creative juices flowing, let’s go over a few simple tips for taking gorgeous holiday family photos.
DIY Family Photos
photo by kate_sept2004 via iStock
For holiday family photos to use as greeting cards, show on social media, display in our home or office, or include in a family year-end newsletter (do people still do that?), we always have the option of having someone do them for us. A lot of fine portrait photographers offer these services this time of year.
But we can easily do our own holiday family photos, you might say DIY family photos, which obviously saves us money and we can have extra flexibility in when and where to take them. All we need are a few family photo tips to capture excellent holiday family photos.
Choose a Theme
photo by Sabrina Bracher via iStock
One very helpful tip for holiday family photos that look fun, relaxed, charming, and warm is to choose a theme for the photo shoot. DIY family photos don’t need to be scripted out and storyboarded - just keep it simple. But a theme helps us keep on track for capturing great holiday family photos.
A theme may be as simple as “Hey, let’s all wear Christmas sweaters!” or “Hey, let’s go to a pumpkin patch!” Being loose about it instead of rigidly adhering to an idea will generally tend to work out better for everyone involved.
Make It Fun
photo by Nattakorn Maneerat via iStock
Which brings us to the next of our holiday family photo tips: make it fun, keep it fun. This is especially important for any young ones involved, but I can say as an adult working photographer, it’s helpful to keep me in the mood, too.
We’re good enough photographers and have sophisticated equipment that is capable of virtually anything we want to do, so relax, go with the flow, and stay ready to capture the candid pics that often say who we are better than our carefully crafted family portrait.
As the photographer of many of my own holiday family photos, I find myself having more fun in creating these photos than when I try to stick to any preconceived notions I had. I still have a plan of what to do, but allow tons of flexibility, so no one feels controlled on what should be representing a joyous occasion, holiday with loved ones.
Remote Control and Drones
photo by Wavebreakmedia via iStock
Two wonderful Christmas photo shoot ideas I learned are to make use of my camera’s awesome capabilities for remote triggering and also to try out a drone for some shots.
I’ll be honest here and let you all know that I tend to heavily rely on my camera’s extremely accurate automation for a lot of the images. With evaluative metering, swift and accurate AF, and exposure modes for many situations, I find I get many excellent images to choose from while triggering the shutter remotely.
A drone with some form of “Follow Me” technology can add an extra layer of interest to our holiday family photos. Remember, as we learned when using drones for filming B-Roll in our videos, a drone doesn’t have to be overhead.
Running through a field with our spouse and kids and the drone following us is another way to keep the photo shoot fun, too.
Create Heirloom Prints
Many of these images we create will end up going out in snail mail greeting cards and digitally shared on social media, but holiday family portraits give us an opportunity to to turn our holiday family photos into an heirloom by printing high-quality enlargements that we can display in our home or office.
Or give them as gifts! Especially as grandparents seem to love receiving a special family picture they can display on their wall of fame. A beautiful specialty print such as a canvas wrap works wonderfully for creating a treasured heirloom from our holiday family photos.
CanvasHQ is an online company that offers easy uploading, many size and display options, and quite reasonable pricing for their beautiful canvas wraps. Ordering online is as simple as uploading our full-resolution JPEG file and making a few mouse clicks or finger swipes. We can even have them send the wrap directly to our gift recipient.
Holiday family photos are fun to make, fun to share, and make great gifts to those that love our family. Enjoy your family photo day!