The images shared on Pinterest are sometimes so amazing that they make us everyday moms in the “real” world feel inadequate.
Below you’ll find 5 simple tips from real moms for real moms on how to capture magical holiday photos.
We’ve rounded up three of our favorite photographers and asked them each to share a simple insider secrets. I hope you enjoy their tips as much as I did!
1. Make your camera easily accessible | Carey Pace
I am passionate about capturing the real moments of life with little ones. Something I’ve discovered is that if my camera is tucked safely away in my lovely camera bag, off in another room that is not where we live life… then I will miss those moments. The memories will remain undocumented.
By the time you run to grab your camera, the kids have moved on. Moment gone. Memory evaporated. Image circumvented.
After a while, you begin to feel defeated and stop going after the camera altogether.
I learned this the hard way. Find a way to keep your camera safe in the area of your home where you live life. Make it easy to grab and snap. The easier your camera is to find and use during those spontaneous awesome moments, the more of them you’ll end up capturing.
Then, when you walk by a room and see your son with his face perched just so on his hands, staring in wonder at a cherished musical Christmas snow globe, you’ll be able to grab your camera and capture that moment, perfectly, forever. This time, you won’t miss it. You’ll have an amazing memory in your hands, but more so, you’ll know you captured a tiny bit of the real magic of Christmas for your child. And that, indeed, is special.
2. Embrace the holiday chaos | Tiffany Dahle
At the end of a Christmas card photo session, my toddler insisted on wearing her big sister’s red shiny shoes. I caught her chilling out on the coffee table wearing shoes 5 sizes too big. This photo was so sweet to me that it beat any of the images from the real session and made it’s way to the front of our annual card. This is a slice of our life as it was, not necessarily the picture perfect card image I had envisioned. A year later it remains one of my favorites.
You might also enjoy her post:
How NOT to take a Christmas Photo Card
Bonus Tip: Use a little distance
To ensure your tree really glows in the background of your image, place your subject a little farther away from the tree and set your aperture to a number lower than 3.5 if possible. If you have a lens that will allow it, set it to 2.8 or even lower. This image was shot at f/2.5 and the subject was 10 feet from the tree. The greater the distance between your subject and the twinkle lights, the blurrier the bokeh will be in the background.
3. Reduce the Need for a Perfection with Your Aperture | Jill Krause
As Tiffany mentioned, by working with a “wide open” aperture (or an f-stop with a small number), you can focus on something at the forefront of a picture and blur out the background. In this photo, I used a wide aperture to focus on these holiday ornaments, leaving our family blurry in the background. This worked great since it was a selfie (I was taking the picture AND I was in it!). I didn’t have to stress too much about our family looking perfect in the background. A perfect solution for taking your own holiday card shot!
You might also enjoy her post:
Christmas Twinkle Light Pictures
4. Create a Story | Zina Harrington
Often we are focused on bringing out our cameras when the gift giving begins. Don’t forget to capture the small moments before and after too. A little one in a cardboard box, a giggle as Grandma tries to catch a tickle, a “Santa is coming” whisper between cousins, all of these little moments help tell a story.
5. Get Down to Their Level
When you’re taking shots of you kids, sit on the floor or get down on your knees. Shooting from their eye level will create an emotional connection within your photo. This sense of engagement is lost if the picture is shot down toward the subjects.
Do you have any ideas suggestions? Let’s chat in the comments.
PS: Looking for additional inspiration? I am proud to be sharing holiday card ideas with the blogs Peanut Blossom, The Artful Parent and Simple As That this month. Click below to see some of their photography tips and creative ideas!