6 tips to take great pics at Christmas

By Photobox on 29 November 2023

Looking for great Christmas photography tips? Discover how to play with lighting, set up beautiful portrait shots, and even create your own DIY photo booth in our six simple tips to take your Christmas 2023 photography to the next level.

With so many great photo opportunities over the festive period, it makes sense that you want to take the best pics you can – especially if you’re considering turning them into more of our photo products in the new year. Whether you’re using your smartphone or a DSLR camera, here are our best six Christmas photography tips.

1. Get the lighting right

Natural light is one of the best things for a great portrait photo, and the winter sun can be one of the most effective lights you can use. Just make sure you’re not shooting directly into the sun or that your subject has to squint. If you’re inside, try to ensure there is some natural light in the room or if it’s at night, make sure to use an adjustable light to get the right effect.

Our top Christmas photography tip: Adjust your exposure to let more light in if you don’t have enough natural light. An anglepoise lamp is an excellent way of lighting your photograph at night.

2. Take great portrait shots

Use a shallow depth field to elevate your portrait snaps this Christmas. This will ensure that the background is blurred, giving more focus on your subject. Doing this, especially if the background is Christmas lights or decorations, will give you a proper portrait rather than a typical Christmas photo. Alternating between posed pictures and grabbing candid shots to capture the best moments is also a great idea.

3. Use a tripod for your Christmas family portrait

The Christmas family photo is a great tradition, and the best tip is to ensure everyone’s in the shot – don’t let anyone hide behind the decorations. Make sure the taller people are at the back and the grandkids are at the front but try to mix up the generations where possible. Give the picture some Christmas context by taking the photo around the tree, by decorations, with everyone in Christmas sweaters or even around the Christmas dinner table.

Christmas family portrait tip: Increase your depth of field to somewhere in the mid-range (f4 to f5.6) to ensure everyone will be in focus – even if you have more than one row of people in the shot. Avoid having people right on the edge of the frame when taking a wide-angle shot. Because of the wide-angle lens optic, things on the edge of the shot can warp slightly. ”

4. Make a DIY photo booth

Create a DIY photo booth with festive props and backdrops for a fun, interactive way to capture Christmas memories. This is also a great way to get the more camera-shy members of your squad involved. Easily make your own cardboard frame from a large box and decorate it with wrapping paper. Place it in a corner of the room that will see the most Christmas guests, add a few silly hats and Christmas props, and voila! Your DIY Christmas photo booth is ready.

5. Capture the details before the chaos

Make sure to take a moment before the family all pile in to take a picture of all the decorations in perfect condition. When it comes to food, try to get a view of the table in all its glory with all the dishes before the family tuck in. As with the other photo tips, try to arrange the lighting so it’s not too harsh and has fewer shadows. Try to work out what sort of angle will make the food look best – should it be shot from above or from a lower angle?

Christmas food photography tip: Make sure your photos have a hero in them to focus the eye – if it’s too busy, it might feel cluttered. Place complementary objects in the foreground and background to help tell the photo’s story.

6. Take candid shots

Capturing an authentic moment always makes for a unique photo. Use your phone to snap some candid shots over Christmas, whether it’s the kids opening up their presents on Christmas Day, your best friends laughing at something hilarious, or your other half hard at work on the festive feast. If you don’t have one already, create a group on WhatsApp or Facebook to easily share all of your best silly festive snaps of each other.

Remember to sit back and relax. While you’re gearing up for the best family Christmas ever, get in touch if you have any questions about the delivery process, or head over to our FAQ page. All that’s left now is to have a fantastic family time together.