Are you tired of taking dozens of similar looking photos with your family in front of the Christmas tree year after year? I’m a huge fan of family photos, especially during the holiday season. They have a special warmth and emotional value. However, they can get boring if you simply recreate the same photo each year. That’s why I think we should make this year’s family photography more fun. If you’re like me, you probably would like to see some creative Christmas family photo ideas.
Before we start…
With your loved ones near you, all you need for nice Christmas photos is a phone or a digital camera. However, if you want to make amazing photos that your family will be proud to share, you’ll want to know this:
- Keep your flash off at all times if you want to capture a warm, holiday atmosphere.
- Avoid choreographed photos. Try capturing spontaneous moments. Those are the ones you’ll cherish the most when you look back at them in a few years.
- Remember that your mission as a photographer is to tell a story through the photos.
- Have some spare batteries with you!
- Focus more on people’s faces, not the Christmas decorations.
- Most importantly – Don’t get obsessed with taking the photos, make sure to actually spend some quality time with your family as well.
6 awesome Christmas family photo ideas
When it comes to family photos, there’s a plethora of opportunities and ideas that you can make use of. I will share 6 of my favorite ideas for this year, which I hope will help spark your creativity.
1. Family ties
This is one of this year’s most popular Christmas family photo ideas. It’s both funny and cute, and many people make variations of it, especially families with small children. The basic idea revolves around parents being tied by their children with Christmas lights or other Christmas decorations.
These family photos are attractive because they show the challenge that parents face during Christmas in a fun, exaggerated way. Parents can be tied unintentionally while children make a mess out of the Christmas decorations.
The photo that got my attention goes a bit further; the parents are both tied and kept silent with tangerines in their mouth. You can either capture a real, spontaneous moment from the “struggle” with your children, or use it as inspiration. I guarantee that with these types of photos, you will get lots of laughs with your close ones every time you open the family album.
2. Santa’s elves
There’s a lot of work to be done during preparations for Christmas. No matter how much you enjoy cleaning and decorating, it causes stress to some extent, especially if you have small children in the house.
Why don’t you try making the hard work more fun this year? You will get all the family members to help and create unique Christmas photos! It’s a win-win situation. Tell everyone to dress up in Christmassy clothes and delegate tasks related to the preparations for Christmas Eve. You can even buy elvish clothes for the children to make it even more fun.
3. It’s all in the details
When we talk about Christmas family photo ideas, we tend to think about the ways we can photograph our family. And that’s good, because Christmas brings the family together. But, there are also ways to create photo memories of that togetherness without including smiling faces beside the Christmas tree.
Choose an activity that your family likes, like wrapping presents, making DIY decorations, or baking Christmas cookies. Put on some music and start the activity.
Take some “making of” photos by setting your camera to shoot automatically at a set time interval. As soon as you finish your project, take a close-up photo of the final product. Then, you can share the photos with friends and show them what a talented family you have, or even use the photos as Christmas cards.
4. The magic of light
If you’ve done a bit of research on Christmas family photo ideas, you have surely come across the popular Bokeh technique. It adds some special magic, making photos aesthetically more appealing. Your Christmas photo album just won’t be complete without a few Bokeh photos.
But, why don’t you try adding some more magic light? Take a gift box and put some kind of light in it (try candles or a flashlight). You can also take off the bottom of the box and place it over a light bulb. The point is to get real light over your subject’s faces.
Photograph your family members as they are looking inside the box, and then edit the photo. With so many photo editing apps and programs today, you won’t need special skills to do this. Just add some sprinkles around the box and you’ll get a truly magical photo that you’ll be proud to share with others.
5. Up close and personal
I often say that candid photos are the best photos. There’s no camera shyness, no awkward facial expressions, only pure and honest emotions. And I think that Christmas dinner is one of the best occasions for such photos.
Wait for people to get comfortable, turn off the camera shutter sound and start taking photos. You’ll be surprised by the results. You’ll capture some genuine smiles, looks, hugs, and holding hands. For this, you’ll need to take a few test shots before everybody arrives, just to make sure that you have good lighting above the dining table.
Don’t forget to turn off the flash, of course. Otherwise, you may freak out people and end up with photos of funny, over-exposed faces. Also, try taking some photos with a faster shutter speed. Wait for a moment that has the potential of becoming an interesting piece in your photo story, and shoot!
6. The morning after
You’re not entirely happy with the photos you made on Christmas Eve? Try the morning after photos – you’ll be surprised by the warmth and happiness they can capture. You won’t need special preparations – just tidy up the area where you usually have your morning coffee or tea (preferably close to some Christmas decorations). Don’t dress up, keep your pajamas on. The point is to capture the real morning moments with your family.
Use a tripod if you have one, or just place your phone or camera where it would be stable to take photos. Set it to automatic shooting in a time interval that suits you, depending on the time your family is willing to spend in front of it. You may also skip telling your family that the camera is on, and take candid, spontaneous shots.
Where to store and share your Christmas photos
Once you have all of your awesome photos captured, I encourage you to check out Sherish as a way to securely store and share them with loved ones. Sherish is an all-in-one photo storage, sharing and organization app that focuses on privacy and ease-of-use. It has unlimited storage space and we’ll never compress your photos just to save some space.
Sign up for a free trial and check it out for yourself.