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10 Easy Tips for the Best Christmas Morning Photos

It can be a challenge to juggle everything we have to juggle during the holidays, let alone get beautiful Christmas morning photos. 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.

tips for the best Christmas morning photos.

Christmas time, specifically Christmas morning, is meant to be documented! There is always so much going on! The flurry of activity on Christmas morning just begs to be captured! There is gift opening with excited children, new toys, lights of the trees, and all those other special moments just begging to be captured. This post is full of photo tips and practical advice to help you capture this special day.

10 Easy Tips for the Best Christmas Morning Photos

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On a morning before Christmas Day , 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? Is there enough light? Do you need to move furniture out of the way? Think about your camera settings: do you want to shoot in aperture priority mode? Full manual mode? 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, and that you have an empty memory card ready to go.

2. Choose the Right Lens:

tips for taking photos on christmas morning

There are so many focal lengths to choose from! If you are using your DSLR, choose a wide angle lens like a 24mm, a 28 mm or a 35 mm lens. A 24-70mm Lens is also a good idea if you want variety in one 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. But really, pick one lens and stick to it.

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 not to be afraid of high ISO and crank up that ISO to let in as much light as possible, and make sure your shutter speed is at least 1/125 so that you can avoid a blurry shot of your little ones unwrapping gifts.

4.Use natural light:

Natural light will always give you better light than artificial 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 and use a lower iso. Bonus Tip: If there are windows by your Christmas tree, and you shoot directly at the windows, your photos will come out dark. A good idea is to change 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 morning

Most of my favorite Christmas morning photos are from my son’s point of view. Capture moments that 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 you and your family members.

6. Get down low:

tips for taking photos on christmas morning

Get on a child’s level is the best way 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 morning

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. Especially for photos of everyone in front of the tree, a destroyed living room after unwrapping gifts, and Christmas lights with your cell phone camera.

9. Get in the photo:

Use your tripod, set your camera on a stack of books or on the coffee table! Remember, YOU WERE THERE. Document it! A good idea if your camera has it is to set your interval timer! Set it and forget it and get yourself in the photos.

10. Put down your camera:

This is one of my most important tips for moms on Christmas morning! 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 top tips for the best photos on Christmas Morning help you to capture all the details and joy that come with that morning! Have so much fun!

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Monday 11th of December 2017

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!



Wednesday 21st of December 2016

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!