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Tips for the Perfect Holiday Photo Shoot

Tips for the Perfect Holiday Photo Shoot

The holidays are here, and it’s the perfect excuse to capture some amazing year-end portraits. It can be a really busy season, but scheduling some quality time with your family and your camera is a must. Whether you’re looking to get some fun shots for social media or taking photos for your Christmas cards, here are the best tips for nailing your holiday photo shoot.

Find The Perfect Location

Think of the places that have the most meaning to you or your family and let it be the backdrop for this year’s shoot. Great ideas for outdoorsy locations could be your favorite park, the Christmas tree lot, a hiking trail, or a picturesque field. You could also take more natural-looking photos on the streets of your city, in front of your favorite coffee shop, or even in your own home. Whatever location means the most for this specific year is ideal.

Invest in Some Handy Equipment

If you’re doing this photo shoot yourself, you’ll need some key equipment. For a really simple setup, a tripod from is essential. That will allow you to stabilize the camera and set the scene before you start shooting. You’ll be hands-free and ready to pose. Another great piece of equipment is a wireless remote for your camera. Instead of setting a timer, you’ll be able to press the remote’s button to capture the shot when you’re ready.

Get in the Photos Whenever and However You Can

Get in there! Use a self-timer and jump in. Hand your digital camera from over to a friend or neighbor, or do variations of family photos in which you get in them, too.

Tips for the Perfect Holiday Photo Shoot

Shoot at the Ideal Time

Planning your photo shoot around the perfect light scenario will save you a lot of headache in the editing process. To make sure there's plenty of good light, schedule your photo shoot for a golden hour- an hour after the sun comes up or the hour before it goes down. These times are when the light is at its most picturesque.

Bring Some Props

Think about the different props you could bring to accent your photo shoot. Consider bringing along some mistletoe, reindeer ears for your pup, or plan to decorate a Christmas tree. Even if you don’t have a solid theme, simple things like a large picture frame (without a photo in it), a handmade sign, blankets, or chairs could really add interest to the final photos.

Capture Personality

Some of the best shots are the candid ones, where individual personalities shine! A photo that captures a crinkly-nosed laugh or a stolen kiss can be better than a staged, stiff portrait. To best capture personality, have fun while you’re shooting and randomly hit the capture button instead of counting down to the snap.

Tips for the Perfect Holiday Photo Shoot

Embrace Bokeh

Taking your photos in front of a lit-up Christmas tree? When you focus on your subjects in the foreground, those Christmas lights will blur into beautiful bokeh in the background! Try this look on your portraits for a hint of whimsy.

Tips for the Perfect Holiday Photo Shoot

Include Your Pets

Let’s be real, your pets are part of the family. Instead of leaving them at home on photo shoot day, bring them along. They’ll lighten the mood for sure, and their presence will most likely lead to some awesome candid shots.

Tips for the Perfect Holiday Photo Shoot

Be Creative with Your Angles

You never know what you’ll see. In terms of Christmas trees, angle up or down, so your loved ones will be able to see the scope and size of your tree!

Play with Lights

Have fun and be creative by swirling and zooming Christmas lights. Set your camera to a slow shutter speed then purposefully move the camera while taking the picture. Controlled camera movement and a slow shutter speed are meant for light pictures! Use a tripod to play. The holidays are ultimately a time to be together with your loved ones. Here are tips to take perfect holiday photos of these memorable times together.

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