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Holidays Photography

10 Easy Tips for the Best Photos on Christmas Morning


looking for tips to photograph Christmas morning? This is your guide to everything from preparation to getting the details. 10 easy tips for christmas morning photos.


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 makers, 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.

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy something after clicking on a link, I may be able to buy lots of Caramel Brûlée Lattes. *

  1. 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? Do you need to move furniture out of the way? Think about what shots you 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
  2. Choose the Right Lens: tips for taking photos on christmas morningIf 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. Tell a Story: tips for taking photos on christmas morningThe 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.
  6. Get down low: tips for taking photos on christmas morningGet on a child’s level to capture the morning from their perspective, especially when opening gifts.
  7. Get the details: Don’t forget the little things like ornaments, discarded wrapping paper, lights on a tree, and little hands opening gifts.
  8. Don’t be afraid to just take snapshots. tips for taking photos on christmas morningNot every photo has to be a work of art with perfect lighting and poses. You want the memories. And sometimes, a snapshot is perfect.
  9. Get in the photo. Use your tripod, set your camera on a stack of books. BUT YOU WERE THERE. Document it!
  10. 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!

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  • Reply
    December 19, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Great Tips!!! I love the pic of your husband helping your son, but your son is looking at you taking the picture! Snapshots are the BEST!!!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2016 at 9:20 am

    I love this post! I have had a DSLR fir a while now, but I am a little intimidated by it do i tend to just take camera phone pictures. I am gonna try to use some of these tips. Particularly the lens recommendation. And my brother will be here who is a photographer, so I may have him show me a bit of what to do as well! I hope you and your family have an awesome holiday!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2016 at 10:41 am

    You are my photog inspiration and these tips are great. What do you suggest for low lighting? It’s dark here Christmas morning.

  • Reply
    December 19, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Why was I just thinking about this last night as I was watching my mom put the ornaments on the tree? I’ve got some preparing to do. If you don’t have access to a lot of good natural light, do you use lights? What kind do you light do you use?

    • Reply
      December 19, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      I always find a way to make natural light work. But you can also use a speedlight and aim the flash at the ceiling.

  • Reply
    Michelle Malone
    December 19, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Great tips and great shots! I love the idea of creating a list of shots you want to get on Christmas day including a nice mix of poses and snapshots. 🙂 Lovely post!

  • Reply
    Mimi Green
    December 19, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Great tips, I try to capture everything but I like the idea of capturing some and putting the camera down.

  • Reply
    December 19, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    I can remember there being times when I forgot about taking pictures until all the gift wrap was piled up on the floor. Thanks for the reminder, each moment is special.

  • Reply
    Donna Shana
    December 20, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Great tips. I don’t get in the pic enough and I definitely have to work on preparing.

  • Reply
    December 20, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    I love these tips. I am usually so in the moment that I forget all about grabbing the camera. I have to do better this year.

  • Reply
    Tanya Barnett
    December 20, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    This is great advice! Get in the pictures is what I need to do. I always forget to get in them.

  • Reply
    Kirstin Fuller
    December 20, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Awesome tips! I like snapshots the most. It’s nice to have a few formal/staged (if you will) photos but I think snapshots tell the best, most authentic story.

  • Reply
    December 20, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    These are great tips, Lashawn. We tend to open our gifts in the evening right after dinner. I hate it lol but that has been our family tradition for a bit.

  • Reply
    December 21, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I love seeing pics of the surprise on a kids face. Some of my best shots were where I got low when they were just playing. Thanks for the tips!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Okay how am I so late finding this!! These are great Christmas pic tips! As I read them I was walking through it in my head lol preparing in advance is definitely key like you said! Merry Christmas!


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