Christmas Photography

Shoot the Best Christmas Ever!

Christmas means snow, the tree, lights, Santa, colorful hangings, mistletoe, boots, and most of all, gifts!

Want to shoot every scene that can happen on Christmas Day? This is how:

White Balance

Be it indoor Christmas or outdoor Christmas, you just can’t take chances with the lighting. Set your white balance on studying the sort of light you are shooting in. If you have a camera that shoots in RAW, then you can save the adjustment and editing for later.


A photo booth

Instead of hiring a photographer or a photo booth for the party, set up one on your own. Have a stall so that you can set up your camera and people can come over to get their picture taken. Set it up on a tripod and have the auto-shot mode on so that people can come and keep clicking their own photos at all times during the party. Make sure you position it in a well-lit place and before a nice background that will show that the picture was taken during Christmas time. Have a red background with Christmas decorations around the edges. Leave Santa hats and tinsel people can wear and pose with. This will be a hit!


Use the aperture

Change the aperture depending upon what you are shooting, but shoot in the aperture priority mode. If you are shooting a piece of decoration on the tree, then select a large aperture of f/2.8 to reduce the prominence of the background. If it is an entire group of people having dinner, then choose a smaller aperture of f/8, f/11 or more, so that you get the depth of field while having everyone in focus.

Diffuse the flash

Flashes that are too bright might spoil the images by making them look like featureless figures in a bright background. Use a flash reflector or diffuser that will mellow the light down. Bounce the light off the ceiling or the walls by using an external flash with a long cord that can be conveniently moved and positioned. Also, try switching the camera to the night mode or slow sync mode. This will reduce the shutter speed and the flash will still light. This will give you a softer light by making use of the ambient light and freezing the subject. If you end up with some wacky shots in this operation, then enjoy them too!

Shoot the different stages


Capture every stage that is gone through while preparing for the party.

– Preparation of delicacies
– Decorations
– Gift-wrapping
– Children getting forced to dress up
– Setting the table

The people are at their calmest selves while preparing for the party before actually getting in the zone.

Series shots

Set up a web camera in one corner of the party room and focus it on the Christmas table. Set it off every 5 minutes and get a series of really unique photographs that capture every little event in the room.

Macro shots

Try capturing the little things present around you. Photograph small elements, like tree ornaments and decorations, food items on the table, a nativity scene on the mantel piece, a little child, or a small gift held by somebody, or even a little pet. Check out the Macro Hacks for compact cameras.

The gift-opening sprees

Shoot the people who are opening the gifts and those who are giving them. This will give you a variety of expressions on the faces of the people actually opening the gifts. This is an opportunity like no other. If there are children around then capture some really funny as well as emotional moments. Set the camera on the continuous or burst mode which will click a series of shots and you capture the entire transition of moods right from the anticipation of what will be inside, till the excitement while opening and finally the joy or disappointment on seeing the gift.

The group picture

Set the place up for clicking a group picture as soon as all the guests have arrived all fresh and dressed up; and one more when all the celebrations are over and everyone is looking their worst. The group photo just cannot be excluded as it shows how grand the fiesta actually is! Decide where you want to click it and how you want to position everybody.


Shoot post-party

Don’t leave out the situation after the party either. You shot preparations and the party itself, why leave out whatever happens after the celebration? Don’t stop clicking until later!

Look around you!

Christmas means so many activities which involve the entire neighborhood, including every member from every family and all this means ample photography opportunities! Be it houses with the wreath on the door, Christmas trees at home and at the church, Christmas Carol groups, malls full of festoons, ribbons and so much activity, just grab your camera and go out there for this is the best photography time of the year!

~Zahid Javali

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