7 Tips To Take Better Christmas Family Photos

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How To Take Better Christmas Family Photos
By Dayton, Ohio Family Photographer Ashley Lynn Photography

Christmas Family Photos are one of the best opportunities to capture new photos of your family, but it is often easier said than done. Not everyone loves to be in front of the camera, kids just want to play, and more often than not, someone in the group has very high expectations (Me, this person is me.) These factors can all make family photo time a less than pleasurable experience.

Here are some top tips to ensure everyone has a good time and you get the photos you are hoping for.

1. Make It Fun!

When family Christmas photos don’t come across as too serious, more family members are willing to participate. Make the day about having fun and spending time together, not capturing the perfect photos. Plus, photos are easy to fit into the day if you approach it correctly. Does the family have a favorite Christmas tradition? Maybe you cut down you’re on tree or always drink cocoa around the tree in your pjs. Incorporating your traditions in the photos can be a really special and make things easier!
Get everyone to pose for a quick group shot before you head out to cut down the tree. Better yet, capture a candid shot of everyone sitting around the tree instead.
Tripods & self timer are perfect for this.

Carl and Dorothy Young's

2. Respect People’s Wishes

Sometimes, people just don’t want their photo taken. It’s important to respect this if you want to maintain peace during the holiday season. If it’s your children who don’t want their photos taken, respecting their wishes will help gain their trust, making it easier to ask for photos later in the day or on another day. Once they see everyone else getting photos taken they may want to join in.
Or maybe just try to get some candid pictures of them if they’d rather not stand and pose for a photo.


3. Choose Your Location Wisely

Your family should feel comfortable during any photo session, so choose your location wisely. If you won’t be taking photos at home, choose a location that will allow everyone to stay engaged and relaxed. Consider the lighting when choosing a location for your family session as this can make a big difference to the end result.

Taking the photos on your phone? Get more of my tips on taking better phone photo in my free guide below-
Take Better Phone Photos- Free Guide!



4. Prep your Family

Not everyone in your family has necessarily been involved in a shoot before, so it helps to prepare them. You will, once again, need to find that balance between keeping it light-hearted and ensuring they know what to expect. Tell them more about the activities you have planned and what they should and shouldn’t wear. Your outfits don’t need to match but they should ideally be coordinated. Try picking 3 colors and have everyone stay in those color scheme.  Knowing a bit about what to expect can help participants feel more relaxed.
Check out more tips on what to wear at at the link below-

What To Wear Tips


5. Let Everyone Be Themselves

Your family photos should highlight everyone’s unique personalities. Remember, you are not working with models, so temper your expectations. Allowing everyone to be themselves results in genuine shots. I like to tell kids that if they smiles nice for a few then at then end we can do some silly faces. This usually gets the kids to corporate.


6. Get Them Involved

One way to get family members excited about a photo session is to get them involved in the creative process. Let them have a say in where you take photos and what you should wear. When the shoot becomes a group effort, it feels less forced.


7. Include Everyone

Nobody wants to feel left out, so you may want to plan your shoots out in advance. Taking a shot of grandma and all the grandchildren? Don’t forget to take the same shot with grandpa. It’s especially important that all children feel like they were equally included to avoid issues after the session.

The above tips can be used regardless of whether you are hiring a professional photographer or using your smartphone or DSLR to capture some photos. There are very few times in the year when most family members are in the same place, so take advantage of this opportunity.



Did I miss anything? Tell me in the comments if you have any ideas on how to get great family photos this holiday!


xoxo, Ashley

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