Nix the stuffy family portraits this holiday season with memorable but simple family picture ideas for Christmas.
6 Simple Family Picture Ideas for Christmas
The holidays are a great time to take family portraits, but oftentimes, these can be so run of the mill–boring–and, well, rather stuffy, to be quite honest.
Sure, it takes some finesse to take one-of-a-kind holiday photos that captures one of the prettiest times of the year.
But you’ll be amazed at how simple it is to take amazing family photos when you know how, with these simple family picture ideas for Christmas.
Camera or Phone
The bottom line is this: most folks don’t have access to professional grade cameras or photographic studios. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take great holiday family photos.
You just need the right equipment to start with.
The best advice I can offer and one that I’m sure it goes without saying is that you want to make sure that you get the best camera that you can afford.
Also, you want to have access to a camera that has wifi capabilities so that you can easily share your pics with friends and family. Otherwise, all that will happen with your photos is that they’ll be stuck in “camera storage limbo” without ever being appreciated.
Photo Note: Many basic mainstream cameras might also be a great option as an alternative. You’ll just have to try them out to find out which one works best for you.
Natural Lighting is Best
Opt always for natural lighting whenever possible. Flash has a way of drowning out the nuances that natural lighting catches. Also, don’t take your photos in front of a window. Otherwise, you’ll find that the background will outshine–literally–those family members you want to capture in your pic.
Posed or Natural
The answer might surprise you: both. The fact is both options are great if you want to take holiday family photos. Both are great ways to freeze-frame your favorite moments. Try this: Vary the poses and don’t worry so much about whether your gang is posed or acting naturally. It’s more fun that way.
Do you still feel like you need a bit of direction for taking the perfect family photo?
Here are six more tips and tricks for taking great holiday pics:
1. Be a Deliberate Shutter Bug
Let’s be honest. It isn’t enough to just snap a picture and that’s that. The idea for taking a holiday photo is to consider your subject(s) and what you are trying to convey with the image.
Sure, you can click your way through frame after frame, but without a plan for your family photo, all you’ll get is randomness.
So the next time you are ready to press the shutter button, pause for a moment and think about why you are taking the picture and how can you make it more special.
Photo Tip: Consider what else you want to include in the image. Is it the decorated Christmas tree? Your bedecked fireplace? Sometimes it’s more interesting if you shoot your family slightly off center, while allowing the background to add to the story of your pic.
2. Avoid Clutter
Sometimes as photographers, we want to include everything, and I mean EVERYTHING in the photo. Truth be told, sharing too much in an image is, well, too much.
Generally speaking, your camera’s focus should be on your subject(s) at hand. And, the best way to do this is to keep the background simple.
That’s not to say, however, that you should forego any background image. It is a holiday pic after all. Rather, balance the image you want by highlighting your family with a touch of the season in the background.
Photo Tip: Try highlighting your family member(s) in the photo and blur the background. (See below.) Doing so, you will find it a lot easier to alleviate any “noise” in the photograph.
Photographs are memories captured in the moment. Keep it simple.
3. “Get down to their level.”
According to Anne Geddes, it’s amazing what you will notice when you get down to a child’s level. And, she’s right. There’s a lot of nuances and such that you would only see if you shot from the level of your subject rather than from above.
Also, don’t be afraid to take different angled shots. Sometimes shooting your pics from an alternative angle will make for an even more memorable photo.
Photo Tip: Kneel down and take your photo from your child’s eye view. It’s a beautiful thing!
Photographic Tips from Anne Geddes (Video)
Get the whole gang in on the shot. Grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, these are the special people in your life right now, and they will be remembered for years to come. Try this: Go for a panoramic group shot of all of your whole family. Make it serious, make it silly. Make it a lasting image of what it means to be family.
4. Think of Photographs as Memory-Keepers
What do you want to glean from the pic you are taking? Photographs are memories captured in the moment. So it’s always good to consider the long-term joy of someone viewing your photos many, many years from now. Perhaps even your kids or grandkids!
5. Celebrate Your “Kodak Moments” with Simplicity
This cannot be overstated: simplicity is necessary when you want memorable photographs. It’s as simple as breaking down your “Kodak moment” into it’s simplest form and shoot.
And, of course, don’t make it a prerequisite that every photo must be posed. According to PC Magazine, think of ways to add “physical connections” for your family members like holding hands or gifts. This makes for a more interesting pic, by far.
Photo Tip: Making connections is as important in real life as it is in photos. Get close and don’t worry about posing for the camera.
6. Don’t Forget to Include the Person Behind the Camera
Moms and dads are notorious for missing out on all the fun, especially when it comes to holiday family photos. Sure, someone has to capture those momentous occasions, but there’s another way to get everyone in the pic.
Truth be told, it’s all well and good to take photographs of our kids, but we parents also need to include ourselves into the photographs, otherwise, it truly isn’t a family photo.
The answer: tap into your camera’s or phone’s photo timer.
This handy device allows you to set the amount of time needed to get back into the photo frame without breaking a sweat. Try it out a couple of times and see how easy it is to truly make your shots, one-of-a-kind, gorgeous.
And, with a little practice you too will be able to set the timer, press the shutter button, zip into place with your family, and say “Cheese!”