6 ways to improve your festive photographs

6 ways to improve your festive photographs

With Christmas now in full swing (dancing around the kitchen to Last Christmas is a daily ritual!), it's a great time to think about how and when to take those festive photos of your children.

Below are some of my top tips for how to take some Christmas photos of your children that you will treasure for years to come.

Rocking around the Christmas tree

In our house, decorating a tree is a family event, but photographing this can be challenging as it tends to be done after school when it's dark.  

If it's darker, you'll need to let more light into the camera and there are a couple of ways you can do this. If you have a DSLR or bridge camera, ideally you want to increase your ISO and keep your aperture as wide open as possible. The more light you can let into the camera, the less likely you are going to get blurred images.

Secondly, where you photograph from can make a big difference, Ideally you want to be stood as close to a window as possible and you want the kids facing towards the light. As you can see from the diagram and photo below, when taking this I was standing as close to the window as possible.

Twinkle twinkle

One of the shots that we all want to get is of our little ones in front of some gorgeous twinkly fairy lights. The trick here is to put the lights as far behind your child as you can. The further away they are, the blurrier they will appear.

You can the difference between the 2 shots below. The first is where Mummy and baby are right next to the tree, the second is where they are about a metre in front. Again, you want to keep your ISO high and your aperture as wide open as possible to let in as much light as you can.

First Christmas

I remember my own first Christmas with my son and daughter and how excited I was to capture their first Christmas. If you have a newborn, I often find it easier to photograph them with Mum or Dad so they are upright and supported. Also you want to have them facing towards the window so they are well lit. It's also a great opportunity to get them into a super cute festive babygrow! 

If your baby is old enough to sit or push up onto their tummy, you can place them in front of some Christmas lights to get that lovely, light-filled background again.

Photograph the fun

My final tip is, as well as photographing the lovely Christmas moments, keep the camera to hand to capture those unplanned moments. Why not take a photo of everyone around the Christmas table, watching the favourite family movie or why not capture the excitement of the big unwrapping? 

Nina Mace is an award winning child photographer who also trains beginner parents and professional photographers. Her work has been recognised by the Guild of Professional Photographers when she won Children's Photographer of the Year. Her work has also been featured in magazines and blogs including Child Photo Contest and Vogue. To see more of her work visit Nina Mace Photography