- Holiday Photos Tip #1: Embrace the Holiday Spirit
- Holiday Photos Tip #2: Take Photos at Night
- Holiday Photos Tip #3: Capture the Tiny Details
- Holiday Photos Tip #4: Shoot Natural and Staged Photos
- Holiday Photos Tip #5: Showcase Your Holiday Photos in a Beautiful Christmas Card
- Final Thoughts on Holiday Photos
- Recommended Photography Gear
- Need a Great Holiday Gift? Give People Your Photography!
- Capturing Memories: How to Tell Personal Stories Through Photographs
- Learn the basics of lighting and the exposure triangle (shutter speed, aperture, ISO)
- Sign up for a holiday photo challenge
- Shoot RAW images (if you can) and edit them
- Capture video along with photos
- Have fun and enjoy this precious time of year with your loved ones!
- Try One of These Christmas Card Ideas to Liven Up Holiday Greetings
- Personalized Photo Books and Three Other Top Photography Gifts
Photo by skynesher via iStock
The holiday season is a magical time, where festive decorations, twinkling lights, and the warmth of togetherness create perfect backdrops for taking pictures. However, we understand that capturing beautiful images can be challenging. Lucky for you, that’s exactly why we wrote this article. To help you shoot high-quality holiday photos you will cherish forever!
From getting into the holiday mood and shooting at night to taking different types of images, these five tips for holiday photos will instantly improve your results. Moreover, they are designed for all types of photographers (beginner vs professional) and devices (cameras vs smartphones), so regardless of your experience level and gear, there’s lots to take away.
We’ll also recommend our favorite way to share holiday photos with family and friends. With that said, continue reading if you are eager to transform this year's most beloved holiday moments into lifelong memories with the help of photography!
Check out the video above by Mango Street to learn 11 creative photography ideas for the upcoming holiday season.
Table of Contents
Holiday Photos Tip #1: Embrace the Holiday Spirit
Photo by AleksandarNakic via iStock
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or something else, December brings holidays for everyone. And there’s no better way to get in the mood and create a positive atmosphere for photos than by embracing the holiday spirit. That goes for everyone, regardless if you plan to spend the holidays with family, friends, or alone.
Ways to do this include putting up decorations/lights, listening to Christmas music, watching popular holiday movies, and shopping for presents. Doing these things creates stunning settings for holiday photos and brings joy to everyone (which will show up in your photos in terms of smiles and laughter).
Holiday Photos Tip #2: Take Photos at Night
Photo by dszc via iStock
Piggybacking off the idea of lights and decorations, taking pictures when it’s dark out is an easy way to capture beautiful holiday photos. During the holidays, nighttime is when cities come alive with Christmas markets, the lights on your tree shine brightest, and fireplaces set an enchanting mood. Use those things to your advantage to improve the quality of your images.
When shooting at night, it’s important to have a few things in mind. First, cameras with larger sensors and built-in image stabilization will yield better results. Next, you have to take the direction of the artificial light into account to avoid shadows that can ruin an image. Also, if you use a smartphone to take photos, check and see if yours has a dedicated “night mode.”
Holiday Photos Tip #3: Capture the Tiny Details
Photo by Liudmila Chernetska via iStock
While everyone typically focuses on people (and rightfully so) when shooting holiday photos, don’t overlook the small things that make the holidays special. Capturing these scenes is crucial to painting the whole picture of your holidays and making wonderful additions to holiday photo albums.
These small details will vary from person to person, so it’s up to you to decide what is important for you and your family. If you need inspiration, some of the most popular images include food, stockings, presents, Christmas trees, etc.
Holiday Photos Tip #4: Shoot Natural and Staged Photos
Photo by Drazen Zigic via iStock
Another tip for holiday photos is to take both candid and staged photos. We prefer candid photos because they capture moments in their truest form and usually invoke the strongest emotions in us when looking back on them later. Since you never know when the perfect photo opportunity will pop up, always having a camera on you during the holidays is key.
On the other hand, having a few staged photos is a good idea. They are especially useful for family holiday photos to ensure everyone is in the picture. Make sure to include yourself in some photos, too. The best way to do this is by using a tripod, but if you don’t have one, at least take some selfies!
Holiday Photos Tip #5: Showcase Your Holiday Photos in a Beautiful Christmas Card
Photo by EKIN KIZILKAYA via iStock
Finally, once you have your new and improved holiday photos, don’t forget to share them with others. While the most common way to share photos nowadays is digitally (social media, text, email, etc.), we prefer sending custom Christmas cards. They are more personal, and let’s be honest, everyone loves receiving Christmas cards.
One fantastic resource for customizing cards is Photo Book Press. They are a trustworthy and reliable online print shop that has made customers happy with their high-quality products for nearly forty years. On top of that, their low prices are unbeatable. Want to display your photos differently? They also have photobooks, wall art, calendars, and more!
Final Thoughts on Holiday Photos
Photo by helenaak via iStock
Ok, what are you waiting for? Now that you’ve learned how to take better holiday photos, it’s time to put those tips and techniques into practice so you can be ready for the upcoming holiday season! And as a thank you for reading our entire article, here are a few bonus tips for beautiful holiday photography: