The holiday season is already here! I love this time of year and it always seems to fly by and before I know it I’m looking at pictures from years ago and wondering where the time went. I’m sure I’m not the only one, but sometimes getting family photos is a challenge — especially when I am trying to get two kids to sit still and smile! And then, if the photo doesn’t turn out, repeating it all over again is next to impossible. That’s why Coco Moon compiled this list of quick tips for getting the best family photos this holiday season. Keep reading to learn how to capture memories that last a lifetime!
1. Getting all of the siblings to pose together
This may be the biggest feat of them all when it comes to taking family photos during the holiday season: getting the siblings to pose together. Whether there are 2, 3, or 4 siblings, getting a nice, posed picture can prove to be a challenge. While we don’t have a magic fix that will give you the perfectly posed photos, we have a few tips that might help. Most importantly, make sure your kiddos are fed and feeling good! If your child is tired and hungry, the last thing they’ll want to do is pose for a picture (even tired and hungry adults don’t want to do that!). A newborn photographer we’ve spoken to in the past recommends bribery, especially for your younger children. Enticing them to sit and smile nicely if they get a reward afterwards is almost always sure to work. And lastly, get them excited about it! If you’re excited to take this picture, your child is anticipating a treat afterwards and they get to wear their fun Christmas clothes, they will probably already have a big smile on their face!
Lighting is one of the most important things when taking family photos this holiday season. High quality lighting can make or break your photo, but good news, it’s not too hard to find good lighting! The best advice we can offer (straight from a professional family photographer) is to find natural lighting that is NOT direct. If it’s direct it can make the photo look harsh, and odds your kiddos can keep their eyes open are slim. Natural lighting in an indirect spot is the best way to go.
3. Keep it simple.
Another helpful tip is to keep it simple. Less is more, especially when you’re coordinating children (and adults!) to get a nice shot of everyone. We know how fun adding in presents, lights, and other Christmas accessories can be, but it just adds more moving pieces to the big picture. And at the end of the day, when you’re looking back on these photos, you won’t care about the lights and presents. You’ll only care about how sweet and small your little ones once were!
4. Capture some candids
Ahh, candid shots are such a great way to go! Christmas time is filled with cookie decorating, tree decorating, wrapping presents, playing in the snow (or sand), I could go on! All of these moments will be some of your children’s most treasured memories, so capturing them while they’re living them is sure to be a family photo you’ll love to look back on. And bonus tip: if you’re capturing these candids on an iPhone, try holding down the camera button to capture a ton at once, you’re sure to capture at least one good one that way!
5. If you have an iPhone, try using portrait mode
Taking a step away from the candids, if you’re using an iPhone, portrait mode is a good way to get that high quality look without the high price. Portrait mode will focus on your family’s faces while blurring out the background — leaving you with a beautiful family photo that’s completed with those perfectly blurry, twinkling Christmas lights in the background. But you definitely want to make sure that the person who is taking the photo keeps it in focus! Otherwise, you’ll be left with a blurry image that won’t give you the effect you’re looking for.
We hope these tips help you capture the best family photos this holiday season. And while we all love to capture these memories, don’t forget to live in the present and enjoy them! And to the person reading this and gearing up for this busy, wonderful season, don’t forget to get in some photos yourself, too.