Photo Tip : Capturing the Magic of Christmas at Home

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Much like my photography journey this story starts with my girls... like me, they LOVE tradition. We celebrate birthday months not days (kinda easy for me since all 4 of us are in September - but PHEW, what a month!!). When we go on vacation, we like to visit the same places and (try) to stay in the same rental homes and hotels. But nothing compares to the Christmas season. We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Christmastime! Year round you can catch my girls humming or singing Jingle Bells and reciting lines from from our all time favorite Christmas movie, Elf! Aside from watching our fave movie on loop, our holiday season is filled with tons of holiday traditions. To help inspire you to document some of these sweet childhood Christmas moments, I've come up with a short (and easy) list of Christmas photo tips for capturing the Magic of Christmas at your home...

Christmas Photography Tips for Capturing the Magic of Christmas at home

Tip 1 - Baby it's Dark outside. Definitely wait until right before bedtime to snag shots like the one above. After a warm bath, snuggled in cute cozy jammies (holiday themed is my preference). If your tree is in front of a window, open the curtain and turn off any outside light so all you see is darkness in the window.

Tip 2 - Lights. Camera. More Lights. The only lights on in the room are the ones on the Christmas tree. For ambient light and to add to the coziness factor, you can light the fireplace (if you have one - if not, it's really just for ambiance and to avoid the fireplace looking like that black box in the photos). I prefer all warm white strand lights (LED's are efficient, no doubt, but they tend to have a blue cast - just FYI). I even added two strands to my tree to make it brighter - over 500 lights on that tree, my friends! Did you just call me Mrs. Clark Griswold? No shame in my Christmas game. LOL!

Tip 3 - Get Low and Back Up. As in kid level. On your belly even! Get down there and shoot up (well, be careful not to shoot up their noses, ewwww). Try to get the whole tree in a shot - it documents just how small they were at that stage. You probably will need to back up some in order to capture the whole scene. Then move closer for those detail images of their tiny hands reaching for an ornament or ask them to point to the tree topper.

*iPhone users - Did you know your iphone camera allows you to choose the focus of your pictures? Once you've got your camera app open, tap the screen. A nifty yellow box pops up and that is your focus button, people! Move that box to your kiddo(s) and snap the photo. You can reset the focus every time you take a new shot. Check out my post about Taking Better Photos of your Kids using your iPhone for even more useful tips! 

Last little tip... just start somewhere. No, these images aren't going to be technically perfect - you probably don't have the expensive equipment and know-how to tinker with ISO, exposure and shutter speed (photography geek out moment) but they are adorable memories (maybe even a tradition) you've captured of your sweet family.

And of course, if you'd prefer to leave the photo-taking to me, you can check out my Capturing Christmas at-home sessions. 

P.S. Wouldn't Grandma just love some of these images for Christmas!? ;-)