10 tips to take the best Christmas photos

Christmas photos are special because we want to eternalize through images a night full of emotions and very strong feelings. Follow these tips to avoid failure.

Last update: December 21, 2021

We are reaching the end of the year and the Christmas gatherings are filling the last pages of the agenda. In addition, the decoration of this special time is seen in every corner of any city and town in the world. This is why we want to share with you some tips to take the best Christmas photos.

Lights, ornaments and trees everywhere invite you to take pictures that immortalize the moments. The experiences that remain to be felt and shared are perpetuated in a good image.

Tips for taking the best Christmas photos

The good news is that you don’t need to be a photography expert for your Christmas photos to be perfect. You will only need to start your imagination to use all the resources that this time of year offers you.

On the other hand, we anticipate that it will not be easy to gather everyone for a group photo. There are those who prefer not to appear in the snapshots because they do not feel comfortable. In this case, other types of gadgets will have to be used to motivate them to participate.

1. Get your team ready

To get started, we suggest that prepare your equipment and accessories that you might need. Whether you have a professional machine or your cell phone, there are elements that cannot be missing:

  • Batteries: try to bring the battery to 100% and an extra one.
  • Memory card: take one too many, since it is not known how many photos can be taken in one night.
  • Others: tripod, lenses and cleaning cloths.

2. Use the Christmas lights with care

So that the pictures of the Christmas lights look good, use spot metering mode and open the aperture all the way. Ideally, you should use the tripod as many times as possible to gain stability.

On the other hand, do not abuse photos with bright lights and decorations, as you can fall into the cliché image and lose originality. You can take shots in which the face and the human figure are the protagonists and remove the presence of the lights with some effect that makes them blurry.

This technique is known as bokeh. A blur effect is used in a part of the image that is out of depth of field.



3. Take photos outside

Streets, sidewalks and private gardens are dressed for the occasion and offer you incredible shots. In the northern hemisphere, the cold and the white background of the snow also make their contribution.

For example, night photos are very special because the snow increases the light level and the result is excellent. Here, the shutter speed could be slower than 1/15, which will require a tripod. Bright accent lights that contrast with the blackness of the night sky will also give professional-looking photos.

What is the best time to take photos in open spaces? At sunset, once the sun has gone down. There is a perfect balance between the brightness of the decoration lights and the shadow left by the recent absence of the sun.

The blur effect with Christmas lights can produce professional-looking images.

4. Regulate the use of the flash

In relation to the previous points, when you are not using the flash, the shutter speed should be slower than usual. The flash can illuminate faces in certain contexts in which the surrounding light is not enough.

However, if you take photos of people next to the Christmas tree, the lights are sure to brighten the image. The great thing about digital photography is that you can see the result on the spot and give yourself a second chance.

5. Capture the spontaneity of emotions

The posed photos are the most common and the ones that attract the least attention. Our proposal is that you appeal to the spontaneity of a smile, of a tantrum, of the complicity between two people.

Let us remember that they are very special dates that awaken different feelings. The ideal is to capture them just at the moment they arise.



6. Make friends with the “night mode”

Professional cameras and cell phones offer the option of night mode. Once you have selected it, turn off the flash to make the Christmas decorations shine. If you turn it on, the holiday lights will not be visible and the focus will be on the objects closest to the lens.

7. Turn off white balance

This function neutralizes those colors that are very strong and gives them, instead, a digital color. In the case of Christmas photographs, the lights could get quite dim if you don’t disable this tool white balance that some cameras have.

8. Photograph the fireworks

There are some tricks to capture the magical moment when the sky fills with colors due to fireworks. If you come across your cell phone, use burst mode and HDR. In this way, you can take many photos at the same time. In the case of the professional camera, the ISO sensitivity must be high (more than 200).

To photograph fireworks, you have to shoot bursts to capture different moments.

9. Look for the detail

Many times, a detail may seem insignificant, but it turns into a precious photograph that has managed to capture the essence of the moment. A Christmas ornament, a manger figure, an accessory. You are sure to find your favorite details.

10. Select and edit photos

This is one of the tips for taking the best Christmas photos that can be exhausting. But it is a necessary post process.

After the evening is over, The selection part and the photo editing are here. There are different programs that will help you manage the theme of Christmas lights, shadows, and colors. Also, there are common filters that can be applied.

Stay focused with these tips to take the best Christmas photos

We hope you can enjoy great evenings at these parties, together with your loved ones. Our final recommendation is that you do not lose focus of what really matters..

You may not get a photo of the entire group together, but you will capture expressions of affection among those who meet you. The idea is to perpetuate the emotions that summon us on that special night.

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