How To Photograph Friends and Family This Christmas

Christmas Day is only a week away, and, if you’re anything like me, that means you’ll be seeing lots of family and friends – the perfect chance to get some lovely photos! Taking better shots of those people closest to me was actually the main reason why I got into photography in the first place – so I thought I’d share some tips and tricks on how to get some photos you’ll savour for years to come.

toys are enjoyed by all ages at christmas

Toys are enjoyed by all ages at Christmas!

Go For The ‘Candid’ Shots

I’m not a fan of the group photo stereotype – we all know the one; a badly-lit, flash-blasted montage of the whole family around the sofa, with 2 out of the 5 people choosing to blink or suffer from the worst case of red-eye-itis. Posed photos just don’t cut it! So, like in the photo above, where I caught my father- and -brother-in-law playing with their new toys on Christmas Day, try to take natural, ‘candid’ shots of your family and friends – they just look so much better.

Some examples of Christmas-y situations that are great for candid shots include:

  • Opening of the presents (catch your child’s joy when they unwrap their gift, and then your partner’s look of dismay as the little one plays only with carboard box).
  • Playing with the gifts – both young and old alike!
  • The preparation and cooking for the Christmas meal – perhaps you can catch a shot of your Mum downing a glass of sherry or two…?
  • The meal itself. Lots of full mouths and action-chewing shots.
  • The aftermath. Uncle Charlie asleep on the sofa. Your Dad asleep on the sofa. Hmmm, not too much action then – should be easy to get some sharp photos at least!
  • And lots more besides…


On to part 2: Using a zoom lens to take natural photos —>

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  1. Thanks for all the great tips… any tips on how capture kids who just keep moving at all times?

  2. Hi Luna. Inside, I would probably use flash (bounced off the celing or walls) which would help freeze their movements. Shooting in drive mode/continuous auto focus tracking would also be a good idea, so your camera is continually focsuing on them as they’re moving around, and you’ll also be taking lots of photos a second – increasing your chances of getting a good one as they move!

  3. chaos133 /

    Hey Luna, another way to capture the kids moving is to set your ISO higher, this will make your shutter speed quicker and will prevent the pictures becoming blurry.

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