Taking Better Holiday Photos

Better Holiday Photos

You can’t have a photographer around all the time, and really, who would want to?  Having a photographer around on the holidays would be nice though.  These are the times we cherish most of all, and we want to capture those moments.  Unfortunately many people grab their phone to start taking pictures.  They don’t stop to think about how to get the best shot possible.  They simply point and shoot.  This method doesn’t capture the moment in a good light.


With a few simple changes, your photos can change dramatically.


1. Open the blinds.

By opening the blinds in your home, you are automatically going to have better photos.  The natural light will do wonders for your photographs!

2. Get on their level.  

I often see images in which the parent is standing and pointing their camera down at their children.  If you will get bend down or get on your knees, the image will be much better.  I love to lay down on the floor when my kids are laying and playing.  Changing up your angle will make your photos ten times better.  I promise!

Get on the Level of your Subject
My sweet little Jacob at 9 months.

3. Fill the frame.

This is along the same lines as tip two.  When you stand too far away from your subject, you will end up with a ton of background noise.  Fill the entire screen, or close to it.  If you have some great photos on your phone or camera, but you didn’t fill the frame, no worries.  You can go back and crop the images.  See the example below.  I sent out a plea to my Facebook followers, asking them for holiday photos.  The one below comes from one of my very good friends in Alabama.  All I did with this image is cropped it.  I did this in Photoshop, but you can easily do this with your phone/camera editing software.  My eye is immediately drawn to the white truck in the background in the first image.  The second image however, only shows the family!

Un-cropped Family Photo  Simple Cropping



Here is another example…

Baby's First Birthday Un-cropped  Char2edit

I have no idea who the kid is on the left, there is a head in the bottom left corner, and a hand in the bottom right corner.  In the cropped image, all you see is the birthday girl.  Again, this was done with Photoshop, but you can do this with any photo editing software.  A huge thanks to Charlotte for the images!

4. Don’t get frustrated.

I cannot say this one enough.  Relax.  Have fun.  Let your kids and family have fun.  Don’t worry if they don’t look directly at the camera.  Sometimes, you end up with a shot that showcases their curiosity like the one below.  I kept trying to get my little one’s attention.  Fortunately for me, he didn’t pay me a lick of attention.  I love the look of excitement and curiosity that he has on his face!

Unposed Photography


I love the pictures of my kids with Santa as much as the next mom.  I have been known to get in  a few fights with the “elves.”  My husband is normally ready to crawl out of the store by the time I am done.  Pictures are a HUGE deal to me, and I want them to be perfect.  The likelihood of both of my boys looking at the camera with a smile is slim to none at this point in life.  I love the picture below though.  The youngest has his finger up in true shy fashion, and I can tell my oldest is mid sentence.  This is real life people.  Embrace it!  When my oldest was one, I refused to have the picture of him screaming on Santa’s lap.  Instead, I talked him into giving Santa a high five.  I paid $25 for a picture of my son’s hand high-fiving Santa.  I’m pretty sure his face was not even in the picture.  Think about where your kids are in life.  Let that show in the pictures.  If every photo you have is of them cheesing for the camera, your camera roll is probably pretty boring.  (Yeah, I said it.)

Unposed Photography- Talking to Santa at Bass Pro Shops


5. Get out from behind the camera.

This is the hardest tip for me.  I am always the photographer.  I have this control complex, plus, I really enjoy taking pictures.  I also want my boys to have photographs of me.  I look forward to the days when they sit down with the family photo albums and make fun of my crazy mom hair on Christmas morning.  Have someone else take over the camera for a while and/or set the self timer.  Even iPhones and Droids have kits you can buy on Amazon that will allow you to be part of the group shot.

Get Out From Behind The Camera
Me showing my sweet baby his new gift. I love this photo, and I am so glad my hubby picked up the camera to capture this moment.
Beasley Family Selfie Christmas Morning 2014
This may not be the best picture in the world, but it is great because we are all in it. As a side note, notice the blinds are open. Our natural light helped out a ton in our dark house!

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