7 Christmas Photography Tips – How to Capture the Magic

As I write this, it is four weeks until Christmas, so I present 7 Christmas Photography Tips – How to Capture the Magic

Christmas is a fantastic time to take some pictures. It’s a season of lights and color, and a time when people are happy and relaxed. It’s great to have some pictures to remember Christmas by, and there are plenty of opportunities for more serious photographers to test their skills.

Santa on Main Street

Santa on Main Street, Huntington Beach, CA

The following tips will help you to get the best results from your photography at Christmas.

Be prepared.
Cameras and batteries should be charged ready for the celebrations, and memory cards should be clear so there’s plenty of space for new pictures. Don’t overload yourself with equipment, but makes sure the essential items are at hand. Speedlights may be needed for indoor shots, and a tripod is great if you want to use a self-timer and get in some shots yourself.

Capture the preparation stages.
The preparations for Christmas are as important as the day itself, so take some shots to capture some of these moments. Pictures of children dressing the Christmas tree and wrapping presents are a great example. These will become very precious memories in years to come. Try to capture the whole story of your family’s Christmas, taking a range of shots throughout the season.

Capture the details.
Close-up pictures of table decorations and details on the tree say as much about Christmas as shots of family groups. Fill the frame for impact, and use a macro lens if you have one. A skilled photographer can pick out the details which other may not notice, and these make great pictures.

Shoot food shots.
Food is an important part of Christmas, and it’s important to capture this side of the festive season. Food can also be used as a prop in family portraits and show each person’s contribution to the day. For example, take pictures of mom baking the Christmas cookies and dad carving the turkey.

Take some family groups.
Christmas is a time for family, so make sure you get some good family group shots. If possible, arrange everyone around the tree for a fantastic family picture. If this isn’t practical, include some decorations or other festive items in family shots to give them a festive atmosphere. Make family shots fun, and get everyone in the mood for a happy picture to remember the day by. Funny hats, Christmas jumpers and party streamers can all be used to lighten the mood and get everyone smiling.

Be ready for action.
Opening presents on Christmas day can be a hectic time. Children are very excited, and rip into presents in seconds. The photographer needs to be ready to capture facial expressions, and to take lots of shots very quickly. Shooting in automatic mode is the best way to capture the action, and means you can concentrate on capturing the right moment in every picture.

Go outdoors.
Going outdoors is a great way to take some Christmas pictures. If you’re lucky, there may be snow, and this is the perfect backdrop for some festive shots. Pictures of houses decorated in Christmas lights are a great way to capture the color of the season. Shots of family outdoors in their winter clothes have a real festive feel. Also visit you local downtown of shopping malls and capture some of the local decorations and activities.

The above picture was captured with an Olympus OMD-EM5 and a Zuiko 9mm Bodycap Lens, using the Dramatic Tone filter, last Christmas season.

Take as many pictures as you can at Christmas time and you’re sure to capture the magic of the season.

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