I know it’s still a way off, but have you started thinking about Christmas yet? I’ve been working on some mini Christmas shoots - festive pictures of the kids make great presents or Christmas cards, you know - so it doesn’t seem that far away to me.
I use lots of props in my Christmas shoots to make the pictures extra sparkly, and there are some classic Christmas photographs I think every family should take. So I thought I’d share my tips with you to help you take lots of great Christmassy pictures (once December 25th arrives!).
Charge your camera!
First things first, if you’re planning to take lots of pictures on Christmas Day, make sure your camera is fully charged. It is very annoying if you go to take a shot of the kids opening presents only to find the battery is dead. Obviously these days we all have smart phones to fall back on, but if you do have a proper camera, make sure it is charged and there is enough memory ahead of the big day itself.
Get a group shot EARLY
Christmas Day can be a tiring affair - the combination of alcohol, rich food and over-excited kids can lead to frayed tempers. So if you want to get a lovely, happy family photo - to frame and stick on the wall - get it out of the way as early as possible! Before too much prosecco is consumed….
Make use of Christmas props
If you’re taking pictures at Christmas, you want to know it was Christmas when you look back at the pictures in years to come. So do make the most of your Christmas decorations in your pictures. It seems unlikely that we’ll see snow this year (or ever again), but tinsel and holly branches also make a lovely festive backdrop. And everyone loves a Santa hat, right?
As long as it isn’t too cold or pouring with rain, make the most of natural light by getting outside to take some photos. Do you go on a post-lunch walk? Take your camera and capture the scene. Or simply ask your family to nip outside for that all important group shot.
Don’t just focus on the main event
Taking a photo of everyone sitting down about to tuck into a Christmas feast is a must - but don’t forget all the other little elements that make up your family Christmas. Try taking a few close up shots of baubles on the tree and Christmas cake ready to be sliced. Think about all the family traditions you have and think about how to capture them with your camera.
The best family photos are a mixed of posed and relaxed, in my opinion. So do try to get some candid shots in with the posed portraits - someone popping a bottle of champagne, gravy being poured over dinner, kids playing with new toys. Even the aftermath of present opening can make a good shot, with Christmas wrapping paper everywhere.
Hope you have found these tips useful - and do please share your favourite Christmas family photos with me over on my Facebook page.