Tips to Photograph Your Family's Holiday Celebration

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The holidays are coming. Aside from giving each other presents, most of us share our love and presence with our dearest ones. Celebrating the last pages of the year with our families is indeed one of the best ways to connect with them.

Whether pictures are meant for greeting cards, photo albums, scrapbooks, or framed prints, taking photographs has become a big part of the holiday season for many families. Like baking cookies and decorating the holiday tree, documenting holiday memories is a shared activity. In line with this, I compiled several helpful tips you can follow when freezing precious moments that will surely warm your heart.

1. Plan ahead.

While everyone loves keeping and looking at pictures, not everyone feels relaxed being in front of the camera. Holidays should be fun. A family photo session will be smooth only when everyone involved is prepared. Orient the squad and compromise with a plan. The key is respecting one another's wishes and agreeing with a shot list to manage expectations and keep comfort to the maximum.

2. Choose a location and an activity that everyone loves.

Photographs are about storytelling, and one of the most crucial elements is the backdrop. Pick a spot with excellent weather and impeccable lighting conditions. The place could be indoors, in your holiday decorated home, or outdoors, at an ice skating rink or an enthralling Christmas tree farm. Just make sure it is someplace where your family will be pleased and can do what they love. This way, you will get beautiful candid shots full of excitement and smiles.

3. Harmonize your wardrobe choices.

In telling a cohesive story, photoshoot outfits also play a decisive role. Juggle this with letting family members' individual personalities shine by coordinating outfits. Curate a family wardrobe where all colours, textures, and layers go together.

Keep pieces simple and classic for a timeless quality. Outstanding colour choices include white, black, red, green, and gold. Steer clear of metallics and overwhelming patterns because these may distract the viewer from your faces or the story as a whole. Lastly, whether you decide to shoot in the snow or someplace warmer, ensure everyone is cozy and warm in their fits. When it comes to props, keep them low-key as well.

4. Practice your poses.

As mentioned, not everyone will feel natural as a subject, but this does not mean they do not want to do well in photographs. Avoid blockings and stiff poses by practising poses! Remember, waving hands and raising the arms may block another person’s features. Instead, opt for hugging, holding hands, or resting your arms on each other. This way, interactions will appear more natural in the shots.

5. Be subtle with lighting.

For outdoor shoots, avoid direct sunlight as this can wash out the photo. Optimize lighting that is not too bright and find shady spots for optimal visuals. I do not suggest campfire shots because framing and positioning groups around a fire can be tricky. Moreover, flame and smoke can block your face from view. If you plan to shoot indoors, turn on the holiday lights and take advantage of your aperture for the stunning bokeh effect. Also, use flash to leave shadows and yellow tinges out of snapshots.

6. Mind the framing

When taking photographs, not only should you follow the rule of thirds, but you must also leave enough empty spaces on the sides. This way, there will be enough room for the frame. Moreover, make sure family members do not stand or sit too close or far apart in posed photographs. This allows enough room for breathing and avoids communicating stiffness and distance. For indoor sessions, on the other hand, tight shots can highlight the interactions and chemistry among your loved ones, which can add up to the story.

7. Keep your camera close.

Always keep your camera within reach even if you do not plan to take shots at certain times. Some of the moments you would want to capture, such as your family’s sweet interactions, can happen unexpectedly. These candid, perfectly imperfect in-between moments are the most meaningful and worth being treasured and shared in the years to come. Hence, always be on the lookout!

8. Enjoy the moment.

Even if you made the best plan, nothing goes 100% as perfectly as you intended it to be. Trying to get the quintessential shot can get out of the way of your having an incredible time and may even make you miss taking an even better one. While managing your family is a good thing, try to keep the photoshoot stress-free. Capture the posed and challenging shots at the start of the shoot, then let go and allow life to work its magic and give room for its surprises later on!

9. Involve everyone.

Make the family holiday photoshoot more fun by giving members a role. Some can set up the Christmas tree, while others can wrap gifts or make a snowman. Capture them in those moments. You can also have children choose their own outfits, play the model, or assist you with the shoot. If possible, allow your loved ones to use the camera, too. Remember, no one should be left out, not even you!

Taking photographs of each other can make the holidays more exciting for your family. You never know one of you might have a talent for it you can cultivate! But if you want your complete family in most of the shots, you can always rely on me for a photoshoot where everyone feels relaxed and at ease. As a newborn and family photographer, I have worked my way into catching joys that are worth cherishing for a lifetime. We also offer services like newborn photography Gold Coast, maternity photography Gold Coast and cake smash photography Gold Coast.

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