It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Our time is spent enjoying our favorite foods and spending time with family. There are traditions and memories waiting to be captured and the season is filled with magical stories to tell. You don’t have to look very hard to find joy fill moments that unfold right before your eyes. It can be somewhat overwhelming and hard to know where to start when photographing your holiday season. That’s why I’m sharing 5 Holiday Photography Tips to make sure you capture the most magical season ever!
Every time the seasons change, I feel a sense of panic set in that I won’t have time or inspiration to photograph everything I want to remember. As a storyteller, I want to capture EVERYTHING. From the hustle and bustle of the holidays to all the little details. Capturing these moments not only helps to remember them, but also helps you slow down and shoot with intent. The best way to make sure you are ready and don’t miss a beat, is to make a list! I’m talking pen to paper, good old fashioned list making. First, think about your annual family traditions and add them all to the list. Second, break those down even further. What perspectives can you try? What shots of your activities do you not want to miss? Next, browse Pinterest or Instagram and find your favorite photographers and see if they inspire you to try to capture the season in a whole new way!
Making a shot list seems simple. But the activity of giving your holiday photos some critical thinking not only helps you commit it to memory, it also ensures that you are on the lookout for shooting opportunities as they unfold.
A lot the holiday magic is captured in low light situations with a beautiful warm glow around a lit Christmas tree, or outside at night admiring the beautiful lights. Additionally, indoor shooting or shooting around Christmas lights can give you tricky mixed lighting and color casts GALORE! Knowing how to shoot best in low light, and how to fix things in post processing can make or break your holiday shot list!
Lens choice: Make sure you are shooting with a fast lens! Fast lenses will give you an aperture of f 2.8 or wider. Being able to shoot wide open is key in low light situations because it will allow more light into your lens. Also, choosing a wider angle lens helps in low light photography because it allows you to be closer to your subject and the light will hit your lens faster! A wider lens will be easier for your camera’s auto focus system to focus on your subject, or your eyes to see what’s in focus if you are focusing manually.
There is no better time to get creative with post processing than the holidays! I say, the more bokeh the better! Whether you are shooting bokeh in camera, or adding it in post processing with an overlay, that extra touch of holiday sparkle is the perfect finishing touch! If you want to learn how to capture bokeh, my section of the 2022 Holiday Collab course gives you best tips on shooting bokeh in camera. But I also go one step further and show you how to make and use your own bokeh overlays! Plus, I give you 10 free bokeh overlays to keep! What a fun gift!
Okay. I’m the first to admit I’m TERRIBLE at this one. I have my camera working overtime capturing all the family activities and festive fun. But I’m much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. Trust me, get in some of the photos. Your children will want those memories some day. And you will too! When the kids are all grown and out on their own, looking back at their childhood holiday memories and how you were involved will fill your heart with so much joy!
A great and easy way to make sure you are in the frame, is to set your camera up on a tri-pod and use your camera’s self-timer or an intervalometer. Laura Froese goes over what kind of intervalometer you need and how to set it up in her part of the 2022 Holiday Collab! Trust me… its simple and SO worth it!
If you don’t get all the shots on your list… don’t stress! If every images isn’t technically perfect, who cares?! You can only do so much, and adding the pressure to do everything and capture it perfectly can get overwhelming. It’s more important to be happy and in the moment than anything else.
Also, as your images pile up, don’t worry about staying on top of editing. If you can edit that’s great. But there is a lot to be said for saving it until things calm down. I’ve been known to keep my images and edit them almost a year later. And you know what? Looking back on the memories makes editing them even more special!
I hope you enjoyed these 5 Holiday Photography Tips and they help to make capturing your holiday season fun and memorable!