Quick Tips for Holiday Portraits and Christmas Family Photos

The end of the year brings with it one of the busiest times of year for portrait photographers. For Christmas cards and photo albums alike, many families use the holidays as an opportunity to get their pictures taken with their loved ones. How can you make the most of the season as a photographer? David Flores from B&H offers some tips for better holiday season portraits:

Choose a meaningful space

Regardless of age, gender, or background, your models will feel most at ease in an area that they’re familiar with. Living rooms and backyards will yield more natural results than a studio lacking personality. If possible, try to include elements that evoke the feeling of the season; evergreen branches and bright strings of lights can take you a long way.

family photo familiar setting

Don’t overcomplicate

It’s tempting to dress up holiday portraits with lavish decorations and details. But before you start decking the halls, keep in mind that busy backgrounds and an overabundance of props can take away from the people you want to focus on. Try not to add anything you don’t need.

Get candid

Sure, it’s important to give your subjects a bit of guidance as far as posing goes. However, you should always keep an eye out for the little organic moments that pass by in the blink of an eye. A brief embrace or a shared laugh often offer the best pictures of all.

holiday portrait candid moment

Convert to black and white

Whether you add the effect in-camera or during post-production, black and white processing offers a timeless look that’s hard to resist. Black and white images are a great option for Christmas cards, as they can be incorporated into just about any color scheme or design.

Make it fun

Try your best to get your subjects engaged with their surroundings. Organizing an activity around their schedule can result in dynamic, exciting pictures that really capture everyone’s unique personalities.

holiday group portrait

What are your best family portrait tips?

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current: