It can be a challenge to juggle everything we have to juggle during the holidays, let alone get beautiful photos on Christmas morning. But as the chief memory maker, it often falls to moms to photograph Christmas morning. To help you capture those memories the best and easiest way possible, I’ve got 10 tips to take beautiful photos on Christmas morning.
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- Prepare: On a morning before Christmas, make sure that you take the time to observe where you are going to take your Christmas morning photos. Is there clutter? What is the light like? Should you need to move furniture out of the way? Think about what shots your want to get and make yourself a list of photos that you have to have. Also, on Christmas Eve, make sure your battery is charged and that your lens is clean
- Choose the Right Lens: If you are using your DSLR, choose a wide angle lens like a 24mm, a 28 mm or a 35 mm lens. ( All photos in this post were taken with the Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art Lens for Canon). These are storytelling lenses. They will capture the whole chaotic Christmas morning scenes and allow you to get closer if need be.
- Check your settings: Set your white balance BEFORE you start shooting. This is where step one can come into play: you can practice a few mornings before to make sure you will get it right. Use Kelvin, a grey card or an expodisc to get it right IN camera and save yourself time when editing later. Also, remember to crank up that ISO to let in as much light as possible and make sure your shutter speed is at least 1/125.
- Use natural light: open up all the blinds and the shades so you can use that natural light as much as possible and keep your flash off. Bonus Tip: If there are windows by your tree, and you shoot directly at the windows, your photos will come out dark. Change up your angle, such as moving to the side to find a better spot to take your photos so that your subject is well lit and not in the shadows.
- Tell a Story: The story for your kids might begin the night before with cookies for Santa. Position yourself so that you can capture them coming around the corner to see the presents under the tree. Document family, expressions, and what Christmas morning means to your family.
- Get down low: Get on a child’s level to capture the morning from their perspective, especially when opening gifts.
- Get the details: Don’t forget the little things like ornaments, discarded wrapping paper, lights on a tree, and little hands opening gifts.
- Don’t be afraid to just take snapshots. Not every photo has to be a work of art with perfect lighting and poses. You want the memories. And sometimes, a snapshot is perfect.
- Get in the photo. Use your tripod, set your camera on a stack of books. BUT YOU WERE THERE. Document it!
- Put down your camera: After you have captured the photos you need (thanks to preparation and that shot list), put down your camera and enjoy your family. It’s Christmas after all!
Hopefully these 10 tips for the best photos on Christmas Morning help you to capture all the details and joy that come with that morning! Have fun!