It’s the most wonderful time of the year to take family photos. A Christmas photoshoot is the best way to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones. Lovely family pictures can turn into wonderful Christmas cards and cherished mementos.
Today, we are discussing everything you need to know about planning Christmas photoshoots. We will go over all the essentials to creating frame-worthy photos. From classic family portraits to amusing Christmas scenes, we will also offer some picture-perfect ideas for any theme you can imagine. Let’s dive right in and deck the halls with festive photos for Christmas.
Table of Contents
Family Christmas pictures
First, we must begin with the basics of taking stunning Christmas pictures. A crucial part of family Christmas pictures is the setting and the decor. Holiday themed decorations will help set the scene for the photoshoot. Twinkly Christmas lights and soft burning candles keep the room aglow. Lots of neatly wrapped presents, a decorated tree, and hanging stockings are a must for that idyllic holiday scene.
While aspiring for those perfect holiday photos is understandable, controlling things too much will make your family look stiff and staged. Relax and act natural. Collaborate with your professional photographer to ensure a successful photoshoot. Sometimes, candid snapshots of genuine laughter and affection shared amongst your family members can become the standouts in the camera roll.
Cute Christmas pictures
Want to know the secret behind making cute Christmas pictures? Kids and pets. Who can resist those delightful images of smiling children and adorable animals on social media? It’s an irresistible combination. Take pictures of your young ones while they join in on all the fun of the holidays.
When working with young kids and animals, be patient. No one wants to deal with fussy children or anxious pets. And their sour mood or nervous energy will be visible in the photos.
Distracting the little ones with fun activities is an awesome and easy way to capture your subject in motion. For example, snapshots of kids baking cookies for Santa are especially sweet. And pillow fights in pajamas will also look charming. If you were lucky enough to receive a white Christmas as a gift, let your little ones and furry friends play in the snow for a bit. Sledding down a hill, catching snowflakes and building snowmen make precious photos for those Christmas cards. Does your family live in a warmer climate, where snow is scarce? Why not build a “sandman” at the beach?
And if Fido wants to join in on those reindeer games too, consider dressing your pet up in a holiday inspired costume. Your local pet shop is bound to have Santa hats and reindeer antlers. Don’t forget to bring extra treats as a reward while photographing animals. Snapshots of children and pets celebrating the holidays will make anyone say “Aww.”
Funny Christmas photos
Want to add humor to your photography session? Keeping things light hearted and fun is a memorable way to stand out in a pile of Christmas cards. The key to funny photos is arranging comedic scenarios within a single image. This is a perfect theme for families with outgoing, jolly personalities. Research other funny Christmas photos online and rehearse the comical concept with your household ahead of time.
Tree decorating gone wrong? Did your family get tangled up in ribbons or lights? Capture the hilarious hijinks of the holidays. Also, try twisting the meaning of iconic Christmas phrases. What’s your family’s definition of a silent night? Who is on Santa’s naughty or nice list this year? If all else fails, pull silly faces at the camera or catch genuine laughter shared with your loved ones. Funny Christmas photos will bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Christmas photo ideas
Looking for some inspiration for your next Christmas photoshoot? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. From couple pictures to snapshots of the little ones, the possibilities are endless when it comes to Christmas photoshoots. Let us help you brainstorm ideas for any type of photography session you can think of.
Family Christmas photo ideas
Gathering the whole family together is what the holidays are all about. Let’s just right into a couple of family Christmas photo ideas. First, coordinate outfits with a holiday color scheme. Matching pajamas or complementary winter wear are your best bets. Everyone dressed in silly Christmas sweaters works well too. Next, find a steller location. Pick somewhere that screams merriness, like a lot of evergreens or decorated living room. Even a snow filled yard can make a wonderful backdrop.
Then, try choosing a Christmas activity you and your loved ones can participate in. Try taking pictures while wrapping presents or adorning the tree with ornaments. The photography session will feel more at ease and natural this way. Need even more family Christmas photo ideas? Everyone holding up season’s greetings, in the form of a banner or individual chalkboards, is an easy to execute concept. Also, catching your family’s reflection in a round tree ornament offers a cool visual effect.
Outdoor Christmas picture ideas
For a beautiful outdoor photo session, cross your fingers for snow. What’s more beautiful than a white Christmas? Naturally falling snow is just so whimsical and magical to look at. Grab your winter coats and play in the snow with your family for a bit. Whether you are catching snowflakes or building a snowman together, snapshots with snow always look stunning. Children sitting on a sled will look adorable as well.
Another location to consider is a local landmark that has been decked out for Christmas.
Choose a spot, like a weathered red barn or an arch adorned with a wreath of holly, and pose with your family in front of it. Keep the background simple and uncluttered so members of your family ae highlighter in the picture. To truly fit the outdoorsy feel of the photos, coordinate outfits featuring festive colors paired with denim pieces. Hope you use some of these Outdoor Christmas picture ideas for your next photoshoot.
Christmas on the Beach
Have yourself a merry little Christmas on the beach. If you are off on vacation for the holidays or live in a warmer climate, you will have to bring the holiday spirit to the beach. Here’s how you can celebrate Christmas on the beach during your next family photo session. Want a pro tip? Find a clear space on the shore, without beachgoers in the background. A scarlet red color really stands out against a beachy background. In terms of what to wear, sticking with crisp white and muted beige outfits is a safe choice. Or, you can grab your swimwear and don Santa hats for a humorous Christmas photoshoot.
A classic concept is bringing a miniature Christmas tree, preferably a fake tree, to the beach. Adorning the tree with beach themed ornaments is also a nice added touch. One suggestion is to have the little ones pose with a red wagon. This is a great concept for kids, as they can either sit in the wagon or pull the handle. Another idea is to build a “snowman” out. Collect items found on the beach, like seashells or starfish, to decorate and have your loved ones pose beside your sandy creation. Just because you are celebrating the holidays in a warmer climate doesn’t mean you can’t bring a little white Christmas to the beach.
Funny Christmas photo ideas
As mentioned earlier, it’s all about creating a humorous scene for the pictures. Here are some funny Christmas photo ideas. Since decorating for the holidays can be a hassle, exaggerate the hijinks that come with decking the halls. Get tied up in stringed lights or gift bows. Or, for a play on Silent Night, stick the tape onto the mouth of one of your chatty relatives. Take your family photo to the next level and create a pretend police lineup, to determine who belongs on the naughty list this year.
Another funny idea is wearing costumes. If there is a Christmas comedy your family loves, like a Christmas story or How the Grinch stole Christmas, dress up as characters from that film. Also, wearing cheesy pajamas or “ugly” sweaters is a hilarious option too. Give the gift of laughter with the next Christmas card you send to family and friends.
Christmas family portrait
Searching for a less cheesy photoshoot concept? Try a more modern approach. Think about snapping a few pictures in black and white. This will give the image a simplistic aesthetic and highlight the text on the card. In addition to the monochrome display, have your family decorate the Christmas tree during your next photography session. Let the warm glow of the tree provide all the lighting for the shot.
Depending on how religious your family is, incorporate holy imagery and sayings into the card image. The steps of a church, or the courtyard outside, can make great backgrounds for photos. Also, standing or hugging your loved ones in front of a fully decorated Christmas tree is a safe bet. Work together with your photographer to guarantee your next Christmas family portrait will be frame worthy.
Toddler Christmas photo ideas
Holding up charming signs with holiday themed messages is an excellent choice. Playful and festive notes like “North pole or bust” or “Santa… I can explain” will make anyone smile. Another suggestion is to give your little one a classic Christmas tale to read. Can’t go wrong with ‘Twas the night before Christmas’. Your toddler sitting in strings of lights is a bright idea too. Just be watchful of the child touching electrical outlets.
Be patient when working with toddlers. Another concept to consider is posing your toddler doing Christmas activities. For example, if your child has a toy car they play in, tie a small, plastic tree to the roof of the car for an adorable picture. Hope you use some of these toddler Christmas photo ideas for your little one’s next photoshoot.
Christmas picture ideas for couples
Next, let’s think about a few Christmas picture ideas for couples. Photoshoots are all about showing the love, right? What could be more romantic than a kiss under the mistletoe? Give your significant other a smooch with a sprig of mistletoe hanging above your heads.
Have some leftover peppermint candy? Another sweet idea is holding two candy canes in the shape of a heart. Cuddling up on a sofa with warm blankets and hot cocoa is a lovely set up too. If you work with a professional photographer, they will help guide you and your partner with intimate poses that look fantastic in Christmas cards.
Baby Christmas photo ideas
Without question, the birth of a baby is the most miraculous gift one can receive during the holiday season. Need help brainstorming for your baby Christmas photo ideas? Consider placing the infant inside a small gift box with no lid. The bundle of joy will look like a present under a decorated tree.
If you can find Santa, try catching photos of old Saint Nick cradling the infant in his arms. Another suggestion is to have the newborn snuggled up in cozy, wool blankets or a fluffy white mat that resembles snow. The simple white background will aim a spotlight on the sleeping baby. Celebrate a newborn’s first Christmas with an adorable photo session.
Family Christmas picture outfits
You and your loved ones will want to dress to impress at the next Christmas photoshoot. Here are some festive fashion ideas for your next professional photo session. In keeping with the holiday theme, bold shades of scarlet and emerald greens fit this desired color palette. For example, wearing a red flannel is an excellent choice, and looks great on anybody. Also, creamy beiges and off whites look stunning for this Winter theme. Choose only two or three colors and dress in multiple cozy layers. Arranging a holiday inspired color scheme is the key to picture perfect outfits.
If you want to take your family’s holiday spirit to the next level, try coordinating cheesy sweaters or wearing Christmas inspired headwear. Donning Santa hats, elf hats or reindeer antlers are fun options as well. Plus, matching pajamas for your entire family suit the theme of a Christmas photoshoot.
Christmas photo props
Incorporating whimsical props adds a nice touch to any image. Gift boxes and neatly wrapped presents are a safe bet as well. Another sweet idea is using holiday treats, like candy canes and gingerbread cookies, for a sugar filled photoshoot.
Also, you can take a trip to your local craft store and find those large wooden letters. Have your loved ones hold up letters and spell out holiday themed words like “Joy” or “Love”. Think about using Christmas photo props during your next session.
This the Season to be Photo Ready
Christmas photoshoots are all about bringing your loved ones together and celebrating the holidays. Candid snapshots with genuine expressions tend to make the best images. Don’t stress about achieving perfection and just have fun within.
Remember to center around a concept and theme that suits your family’s personality. Scope out the perfect location ahead of time, someplace that has those joyful holiday vibes. Plus, be sure to dress to impress with those expertly coordinated outfits.
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Whether you choose a traditional or comedic look for your holiday photos, festive family photos will become heartwarming Christmas memories that will last a lifetime. Also, do check our comprehensive blog post on the family photoshoot, where we cover all aspects such as ideas, poses, outfits, etc to get the perfect family photograph.
For a Christmas photoshoot, wear multiple layers of winter wear such as coats, sweaters and hats. Try adding cozy wool pieces, like a wool scarf, for that warm and toasty vibe. Stick to a festive color scheme, with scarlet reds and emerald greens. Creamy eggnog colors are beautiful as well. Incorporate holiday colors into your family’s outfits. Additionally, red plaid is perfect for a Christmas photoshoot and looks great on anyone. If you are looking for a bit of humor in your holiday card, wear adorable Santa hats or plush reindeer antlers for a light hearted touch. Festive pajamas and “ugly” Christmas sweaters work too.
In short, anywhere that’s bursting with that Christmas spirit will make a beautiful backdrop for a holiday photoshoot. Anywhere that features festive decor for Christmas is an excellent setting. Check around town for local spots that have decked the halls for the holidays. Find a beautiful wreath, boughs of holly, or even a lot full of evergreens. On the other hand, your own living room could be the background for a family photo. Try snapping some photos while you and your family are decorating the Christmas tree. Or, if Santa brings a white Christmas as a gift, take fun family photos while playing in the snow. Any of these options will make for frame-worthy holiday cards.
This is a common challenge found among skilled photographers when working with bright lights. One of the most important rules of photography is balancing the light. The solution depends on whether the Christmas lights are displayed indoors or outdoors. If you decide to snap pictures of house decorations outside, schedule to shoot shortly after sunset. However, if you are taking pictures indoors, remove the flash from your camera, to capture the warm glow of the holiday decor. The goal is to have the exposure level of the natural lighting and the Christmas lighting to be equal. Take test photos beforehand and experiment with the balance between light and dark.