16 Digital Photography Tips for Christmas - Digital Photography School

16 Digital Photography Tips for Christmas

christmas-photography-tips

It’s just a few days until Christmas so I thought a quick tutorial on the topic of Christmas Photography might be appropriate. Hopefully this will give you some good Christmas photo ideas.

Here are 16 Christmas Photography tips and ideas to try that come to mind for digital camera owners wanting to capture the big day:

1. Prepare – Making a List, checking it twice….

Christmas-Photography

Making sure you’re ready to capture any planned event is part of the key to a successful shoot. Getting yourself ready but also the location of your shots is worthwhile.

  • Pack the camera – goes without saying? I forgot mine last year in the rush to get the car packed.
  • Make sure your batteries are charged and you have extras and/or the recharger packed.
  • Pack extra memory cards – have them empty and ready to fill up
  • Put someone on ‘photos’ – our family has someone on drinks, main course, dessert – why not put someone on ‘photos’ so that in the craziness of the day they don’t get forgotten.
  • Consider the light in the room that you’ll be photographing in. Is there enough light? Will you need a flash? Are the backgrounds too cluttered and distracting?

2. A White Balance Christmas

Here in Australia we often celebrate Christmas outdoors, but many people around the world do it inside in unnatural lighting. Pay attention to what type of light you’re shooting in and set your white balance settings accordingly. Alternatively, if you’ve got a camera that shoots in RAW you can shoot away and set your white balance later.

3. Set up a DIY ‘Photo Booth’

photobooth.jpg

While you probably can’t afford to hire a photo booth for your party you can set up a ‘portrait zone’ of your own where you’ll take photos of your guest.

I did this a few years ago and set up a little place where I asked everyone who came to sit for me so that I could take a nice shot of them.

I photographed everyone as they came in and then left the camera (a point and shoot) set up on a tripod and set to a short self timer time so people could photograph themselves during the rest of the party.

I set it up in a well lit position with a red velvet curtain looking background with a few Christmasy decorations around the edges. I left a few Santa hats and tinsel for people to decorate themselves with.

The shots were great – people went back to it throughout the party and the photos got crazier and crazier as time went on. It was the hit of the party.

4. Capture the preparation stages

Christmas-Ornaments

The actual Christmas meal or party is obviously the best part of the day, but there are other photographic opportunities, particularly in the preparations stages of the day.

  • Food preparation
  • Putting up decorations
  • Wrapping gifts
  • Kids throwing a tantrum while getting dressed in their Christmas outfits
  • Setting the table

The shots before the event starts properly are often great because they show everything at it’s best before everyone descends on your party zone.

5. Before and After Shots

Speaking of shots before the party starts, why not set up some before and after shots both of the place you’re holding your party and what it looks like afterwards. Make sure you take the shots from the same position.

6. Time-lapse Christmas series

I have one friend who set up his computer with a web cam in the corner of the room with the camera looking down on the Christmas table. He set the camera to go off every 5 minutes over the day and ended up with one of the most wonderful series of shots that I’ve seen for a long time.

Christmas-Lights

7. Christmas Lights

Photographing Christmas lights is something that can be tricky to do. David Hobby from Strobist has put together a great tutorial on how to do it. Check it out at How to Photograph Christmas Lights.

8. Find a Point of Interest – but just per shot

All good shots should have a focal point that holds the attention of those viewing your images. The problem with Christmas is that there can often be too many competing focal points in shots with people, color, decorations, food in every shot. Work hard and de-cluttering your images. Check out this post on minimalism which contains some tips on de-cluttering images.

9. Fresh Group Photos

One of the most common types of shots at Christmas is the ‘group photo’. It’s usually taken at the end of the evening or day when everyone is looking at their worst. For a ‘fresher’ shot take it once everyone has arrived. Also think before hand about how you might pose everyone and where you might take the shot. I’ve posted 12 tips for taking a great group photo previously.

By Tom Bricker

10. Opening Gifts – Shoot in Continuous Mode

There are certain moments during a Christmas gathering that are filled with all manner of photographic opportunities and the opening of gifts is like no other in that it is filled with an array of emotions, facial expressions and excitement – especially if you’ve got kids around. Switch your camera to burst mode (sometimes called continuous shooting mode) and take lots of shots at this time of the festivities. You’ll find you end up with some excellent series of shots when you do this that capture everything from the anticipation of getting the wrapped gift, through to the excitement of unwrapping to the joy (or occasionally disappointment) of seeing what’s inside. Don’t forget to shoot the reactions of those who GIVE the gift as well.

Chrismas-Photography

 

11. Fill your Frame

One of the most common mistakes I see in Christmas photos (or any party/even photography) is that people often end up with shots of their subjects off in the distance on the other side of a room with lots of space around them. Fill your frame with your subject either by using your zoom or getting up and moving yourself closer. While this is one of the simplest tips I ever give it is one that can have the most profound impact on your shots.

12. Diffuse/Reflect Your Flash

– Another common problem with Christmas shots is ending up with shots where the flash is so bright that subjects look like rabbits in a spotlight with harsh shadows behind them. One way around this is to use some sort of a flash diffuser or reflector. If you’re lucky enough to have an external flash try bouncing it off walls or the ceiling. Another way to reduce the impact of your flash and to create some interesting effects is to switch your camera into ‘night mode’ (slow sync mode). This will tell your camera to choose a slower shutter speed but still fire your flash. In doing so it’ll capture some of the ambient light of the room as well as freeze your subject. Be warned, you can end up with some wacky shots doing this (but they can also be lots of fun).

13. Go Macro

Most digital cameras come with a macro mode and an increasing number of DPS readers are buying macro lenses so flick to that mode, attach your lens and photograph the smaller things around your party. Ornaments on the tree, table decorations, sweets in the bowl on the table, a nativity scene on the mantle piece, holly above the doorway – sometimes it’s these small things around your party that are the real ‘money shots’. Don’t forget our Macro Hacks for compact cameras.

Christmas

14. Watch Your Aperture

I quite often shoot in Aperture Priority mode on a day like Christmas and am constantly changing the aperture depending upon my subject. For example when taking shots of a Christmas decoration on the tree I’ll select a large aperture (a small number like f/2.8) so as to throw the background out of focus, but on a shot taken from the end of the table of everyone sitting down eating I’ll choose a small aperture (like f/8 to f/11 or more) so as to have a larger depth of field and keep everyone in focus.

15. Explore Your Neighborhood

If your neighborhood is anything like mine there is an almost unlimited number of photographic opportunities presenting themselves all around you. Christmas carols services, houses covered in Christmas decorations, shopping malls filled with busyness etc. Get out there with your camera and capture it. What a wonderful time of year to practice using your camera. Have fun!

16. Related Reading:

Also check out our crazily popular How to Take Beautiful Bokeh Christmas Lights Images (with 31 great examples).

Christmas Wishes from DPS

Lastly – let me wish all Digital Photography School readers a very happy holiday period. It’s been a great two and a bit since we launched this blog and while I’m looking forward to a few days off over Christmas I also can’t wait to get back to DPS and to take it to the next level in the new year. Have a great holiday period and we’ll see you in the new year!

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • http://www.KellymanPhotography.com Chris Kellyman

    I agree that this article was very helpful. Sometimes we work so hard at capturing the right image or at the right settings that we forget the little things that matter most. Happy Holidays to you all from http://www.KellymanPhotography.com .

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/tnh97/ TNH

    This article is brilliant!! Thanks for all the helpful advice! :)

  • Elaine Jones

    Thank you Darren for a wonderful year of tips and tutorials. Enjoy your outdoor Christmas on the other side of the world. Here’s the coming New Year and the wealth of knowledge you’ll be sending our way.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

  • Scottc
  • Jason

    Excellent tips and tricks, I’m very new to the photography world so have found your information so valuable. I used to be a point and shoot photographer, I’m finding I’m using Manual everything so much more. Excellent and have a good xmas

  • Kristen

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love the ideas and the basic information (such as which aperture to use for which scene) is invaluable to me. Had to pin this article!

  • Rosemary

    I have followed this website now for over a year. It’s the best one I’ve come across in a while. Even the purchased items have been great Nice work.
    Merry Christmas and all the best for the new year.

  • Ian

    I used Continuous shoot on a Canon EOS Rebel to capture my daughter’s 1st birthday gift-opening back in May. It worked great, I captured many moments that I otherwise probably would have missed. I absolutely endorse tip 10 in this article for Christmas gift-opening.

  • Fotofanatix

    Once again thank you Darren for a wonderful set of tips, DPS has truly been an inspiration for me and throughout the year my photography has definitely gone from strength to strength. Here’s hoping you and yours have a wonderful xmas and may 2012 bring you all the joy, happiness, health and wealth you so richly deserve.
    From my family to yours … MERRY XMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
    ciao4niao
    Alan

  • Linda

    For all your work to put together an amazing web site, insightful and invaluable information each and every week, I wish you a Very Merry Christmas, and all the best for a wonderful, creative, and photographically amazing 2012!

  • peter awyong

    Thank you for the advices for the past year. It has been very useful for a novice like me.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

    Cheers

  • Magda

    so many ideas and things i haven’t thought of … you keep shooting until the party is gone , at the end x-mas it’s only once … wonder if you keep doing this and stay all focused in taking pics u will not have time to open your gift :: how photographers gets ready for x-mas?
    Merry x-mas to you all, don’t forget to bring me something on the way back !!!

  • http://cvanholstein.blogspot.com Corina

    Thank you very much for these great tips!
    And a very merry Xmas to you too!
    kind regards from the Netherlands,
    Corina

  • Lisa

    Happy Holidays! New to canon, bought an sx40 powershot. Seems great so far, not an slr but has a 35 x zoom. Any tips on taking great shots with this type of camera, settings etc…. Love taking pics, great site!

  • Adriana

    Thanks for sharing these tips with us. They are of extreme value to me, as I am a novice photographer and want to soak everything up concerning photography, like a sponge. These were some excellent tips. The wyll give me more confidence in creating better shots this holiday season.

  • http://www.facebook.com/potzphotography Alain Corpuz

    Thanks you very much Darren, hope everyone would have a very merry Christmas and a photofantastic year long to celebrate and reminisce warm and happy thoughts of life through quality images taken with help from DPS.

  • http://www.whitepetal.co.uk White Petal Wedding Photography

    Nice article, even though I’ve read it a little late for Christmas! Mind you, much of this advice could be applied to many ‘party’ type situations. Thanks.

  • Amabone

    Just acquired my first DSLR Nikon D3200, currently not really any good in using the camera i went out taking some photos in XMAS fair, some photos i liked some not very (i guess even a monkey can own a dslr but cant be a good photographer) right so whats ideas of what i should use, i have been taking photos on AUTO mode mind u this was at night and it was dark (very) but with all the xmas lights on, i tried to switch to Manual and put Auto White balancing.
    Any suggestion what mode i should use,
    NIKON D3200, NIKON DX 55mm – 200mm lens

  • helpwithmyphotos

    Love the photo booth idea – will try it for Christmas and birthday parties! Great tips- thanks!!

  • Barry E Warren

    I wish all of you at DPS a Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays.and Thanks for the 16 tips..

  • Barry E Warren

    I agree on the Photo Booth idea also . It would add a little more to the party,

  • peter hamlin

    Capturing holidays pictures specially in Christmas eve is the most beautiful feeling. I have learn lot of Photography techniques on line on internet. I always want to add new innovations in photography every day.

  • Dave

    If we take photos of Christmas decorations outside homes, is it OK to post to Facebook or a website without the home owner’s consent? It would not be for commercial use or monetary gain – just to highlight the beauty in the neighborhood at Christmas.

  • Jeff Henry

    I like all of the advice except for #11. I’ve taken this advice before and it is a hard habit to break. Fill the frame in post processing by cropping, not zooming. Zoom in to focus only. The trouble begins when I need an 8×10 and it’s not possible to do so without cutting out some of the photo.

  • Lorna

    Wishing you the best in this Holiday Season and thank you for all your tips!

  • Christine Webb

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    Thanks for all the tips on Photography – I certainly learn heaps

Some older comments

  • Amabone

    December 9, 2012 09:06 am

    Just acquired my first DSLR Nikon D3200, currently not really any good in using the camera i went out taking some photos in XMAS fair, some photos i liked some not very (i guess even a monkey can own a dslr but cant be a good photographer) right so whats ideas of what i should use, i have been taking photos on AUTO mode mind u this was at night and it was dark (very) but with all the xmas lights on, i tried to switch to Manual and put Auto White balancing.
    Any suggestion what mode i should use,
    NIKON D3200, NIKON DX 55mm - 200mm lens

  • White Petal Wedding Photography

    January 11, 2012 05:09 am

    Nice article, even though I've read it a little late for Christmas! Mind you, much of this advice could be applied to many 'party' type situations. Thanks.

  • Alain Corpuz

    December 26, 2011 01:31 pm

    Thanks you very much Darren, hope everyone would have a very merry Christmas and a photofantastic year long to celebrate and reminisce warm and happy thoughts of life through quality images taken with help from DPS.

  • Adriana

    December 24, 2011 07:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing these tips with us. They are of extreme value to me, as I am a novice photographer and want to soak everything up concerning photography, like a sponge. These were some excellent tips. The wyll give me more confidence in creating better shots this holiday season.

  • Lisa

    December 23, 2011 10:24 pm

    Happy Holidays! New to canon, bought an sx40 powershot. Seems great so far, not an slr but has a 35 x zoom. Any tips on taking great shots with this type of camera, settings etc.... Love taking pics, great site!

  • Corina

    December 23, 2011 09:50 pm

    Thank you very much for these great tips!
    And a very merry Xmas to you too!
    kind regards from the Netherlands,
    Corina

  • Magda

    December 23, 2011 01:43 pm

    so many ideas and things i haven't thought of ... you keep shooting until the party is gone , at the end x-mas it's only once ... wonder if you keep doing this and stay all focused in taking pics u will not have time to open your gift :: how photographers gets ready for x-mas?
    Merry x-mas to you all, don't forget to bring me something on the way back !!!

  • peter awyong

    December 23, 2011 12:50 pm

    Thank you for the advices for the past year. It has been very useful for a novice like me.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

    Cheers

  • Linda

    December 23, 2011 11:54 am

    For all your work to put together an amazing web site, insightful and invaluable information each and every week, I wish you a Very Merry Christmas, and all the best for a wonderful, creative, and photographically amazing 2012!

  • Fotofanatix

    December 23, 2011 10:49 am

    Once again thank you Darren for a wonderful set of tips, DPS has truly been an inspiration for me and throughout the year my photography has definitely gone from strength to strength. Here's hoping you and yours have a wonderful xmas and may 2012 bring you all the joy, happiness, health and wealth you so richly deserve.
    From my family to yours ... MERRY XMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
    ciao4niao
    Alan

  • Ian

    December 23, 2011 09:32 am

    I used Continuous shoot on a Canon EOS Rebel to capture my daughter's 1st birthday gift-opening back in May. It worked great, I captured many moments that I otherwise probably would have missed. I absolutely endorse tip 10 in this article for Christmas gift-opening.

  • Rosemary

    December 23, 2011 08:53 am

    I have followed this website now for over a year. It's the best one I've come across in a while. Even the purchased items have been great Nice work.
    Merry Christmas and all the best for the new year.

  • Kristen

    December 23, 2011 08:15 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love the ideas and the basic information (such as which aperture to use for which scene) is invaluable to me. Had to pin this article!

  • Jason

    December 23, 2011 06:26 am

    Excellent tips and tricks, I'm very new to the photography world so have found your information so valuable. I used to be a point and shoot photographer, I'm finding I'm using Manual everything so much more. Excellent and have a good xmas

  • Scottc

    December 21, 2011 08:57 am

    I like number 14.....

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/5231325215/

  • Elaine Jones

    December 21, 2011 08:06 am

    Thank you Darren for a wonderful year of tips and tutorials. Enjoy your outdoor Christmas on the other side of the world. Here's the coming New Year and the wealth of knowledge you'll be sending our way.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

  • TNH

    December 21, 2011 07:35 am

    This article is brilliant!! Thanks for all the helpful advice! :)

  • Chris Kellyman

    December 21, 2011 01:18 am

    I agree that this article was very helpful. Sometimes we work so hard at capturing the right image or at the right settings that we forget the little things that matter most. Happy Holidays to you all from www.KellymanPhotography.com .

  • XposurePro Lightroom Presets

    December 20, 2011 10:18 pm

    Here's my Christmas photography tip ....

    At some point hand the camera to somebody else and enjoy being an actual participant rather than experiencing it all through a little peephole. 30 years from now you might want to actually see yourself in the family albums every once in awhile LOL

    That's what I'm doing this year. :)

  • Pang

    December 20, 2011 04:41 pm

    Nice post, learnt something new from you!!

  • raghavendra

    December 20, 2011 04:21 pm

    This is an interesting article for christmas
    it covers all tips for christmas!

    http://raghavendra-mobilephotography.blogspot.com/search/label/best%20shots

  • ccting

    December 20, 2011 11:06 am

    Great article. But

    "I quite often shoot in Aperture Priority mode on a day like Christmas and am constantly changing the aperture depending upon my subject "

    This may not the case for noob like me who owns the widest aperture f/5.6 @55mm. This results in extreme slow shutter speed which cause camera shake - image blur, motion blur etc. Unless you have preset the minimum shutter speed with auto ISO adjustment. That lead me use only manual mode, to control over ISO, shutter speed while having the widest VARIABLE aperture with my VR kit lens.

    That's why noob like me prefer professional lens that have fix widest aperture.

  • John Carter

    December 20, 2011 09:54 am

    Don't bother trying to catch Santa in the act - he works at the speed of light!

  • bycostello

    December 20, 2011 07:39 am

    some great tips thanks...

  • Allie

    December 20, 2011 05:25 am

    Happy Holidays to you all. I got a new camera very recently (T3i) and I can't tell you how helpful this site has been. Thanks so much for this photo booth idea. Brilliant! And for the link to the how to photograph Christmas lights post elsewhere.

  • Erik Kerstenbeck

    December 20, 2011 03:24 am

    Great tips indeed!

    Don't forget to capture the Holliday Cheer with a bit of Firey Bokeh!

    http://kerstenbeckphotoart.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/raise-a-glass-san-diego/

  • Carole-Ann

    December 20, 2011 02:01 am

    Hi there,

    Thanks for this helpful article. So excited about putting some of these tips into action.

    C.A.

    PS I've tried my hand at the bokeh technique. Works a treat.

  • Stirling

    December 19, 2011 10:08 am

  • Alyson

    December 12, 2011 10:34 am

    Am looking forward to trying out ur tips for this year.... by the way MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! (for when it comes) <3

  • Rhonda

    November 30, 2011 10:37 am

    Merry Christmas to you too and thank you for a very insightful article. Many of the items are on the all to often forgotten list.

  • melanie

    November 21, 2011 09:22 pm

    it is always good to see kids enjoying the night of christmas.
    nice photos.!

    looking forward for new photos you'll be posting...

  • MyKidsPaparazzi

    November 4, 2011 12:37 am

    Great tips and LOVE the photo both suggestions! I just got a Nikon DSLR and want to make the most of it with the upcoming holiday season. I've just been basically using point-and-shoot with the auto function. I've got some great 'lucky' shots but it's time to expand my knowledge, break out the manual and do a few test shots with holiday lighting and be prepared.

  • lens_girl

    January 10, 2011 06:11 am

    Loved the article....really interesting and useful tips....have got so many lovely pictures now :)

  • Janet

    December 24, 2010 11:53 pm

    Thank you so much for your wonderful newsletter. I enjoy all the wonderful articles.

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas,

    Sincerely,
    janet

  • Alvin

    December 24, 2010 10:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Happy Holidays.

  • johnny A

    December 24, 2010 07:01 pm

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnnyseye/5287694886/' title='The lights of Christmas' url='http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5121/5287694886_42b6e297a5_z.jpg']

  • johnny A

    December 24, 2010 07:01 pm

    I shot this photo at the winter wonderland in St. Augustine, FL

  • Tito Texidor III

    December 24, 2010 12:20 pm

    These are some awesome tips!! Thank you very much. My family is having a Christmas Eve party tomorrow night and I will definitely be walking around with my Canon capturing the moments. Thanks again for this wonderful advice!

    Happy Holidays!

  • Tito Texidor III

    December 24, 2010 12:20 pm

    These are some awesome tips!! Thank you very much. My family is having a Christmas Eve party tomorrow night and I will definitely be walking around with my Canon capturing the moments. Thanks again for this wonderful advice!

    Happy Holidays!

  • Jacquie

    December 24, 2010 10:24 am

    I just finished taking a quick peek at the tips for Christmas photos - superb ideas! I have my camera packed and am off to a family 'open house' - I hope I get some good shots!!

  • Barb

    December 24, 2010 07:59 am

    Great points to remember, thanks Darren. Last year I took photos of the table before and after we had eaten, and was shocked at the mess we left behind! Must have enjoyed the meal though, not many leftovers!
    I also took pics of friends when they arrived and were fresh and sober - then took more pics frequently during the course of the party, showing our deterioration as the evening went on - they were hilarious to look back on (and embarrassing for some of us lol)!

  • Chris

    December 24, 2010 07:54 am

    As Scott D at the top said, the two strobes at opposite corners works for great even 3D lighting. But Manual works fine too. Just set some time for test shots (fwiw, I trigger the remote flashes (sb600s) with my sb900 on cam, but set levels manually from the sb) seems to give more consistent results IMO.

  • Sophie

    December 24, 2010 06:31 am

    Thanks for the great tips, I'll be having fun this x-mas with my new nikon d7000, Santa came early this year :) Happy Holidays to all at DPS and thank you for all your hard work.

    Sophie

  • silver

    December 24, 2010 05:15 am

    This is a great advise. Thank you very much.

  • John B

    December 24, 2010 04:37 am

    Love your blogs Darren, but I thought I was going Ga Ga when you said 'see you in 2010. Are you a year behind in Oz?, Puzzled to say the least. Merry Christmas 2110 and a Happy New Year 2011!!!!

  • Mel Noir

    December 24, 2010 03:27 am

    One thing I'd disagree with is the idea of having one person assigned to taking photos. If you have just one person, then they won't be in any of the pictures, and you'll be looking back on them thinking, "oh, was Bob even here? Oh yeah, he was behind the camera!"- I'd say having two people might be a little better if you're someone who likes pictures of people :)

  • peter g. martin

    December 24, 2010 03:17 am

    Don't. I REPEAT. DON'T take photos during XMAS. Do you know how many accidents happen during XMAS? Forget car accidents. CAMERA ACCIDENTS ARE SERIOUS MAN!! DON'T DO IT! ... usually with a car accident... there's another party... Camera accidents... well (let's face it) sure it could have been the guy in the red Ford, but WE BOTH KNOW... you forgot the ISO, or the flash level. IT'S OK. It was the punch. But that's just you and me that knows. For god's sake don't show it to anyone else.

  • Peg

    December 24, 2010 03:17 am

    Darren,
    Thank you for the wonder tips, ideas and sharing them with us!
    Hope you have a very Merry Warm Christmas!
    Can't wait to see your photos!

  • Mark

    December 24, 2010 02:13 am

    Darren - A merry Christmas to you and your DPS staff...I look forward each week to your tutorials, they have drastically improved my skills. Keep up the good work, we appreciate it!

  • Clover

    December 22, 2010 01:55 pm

    I am a "skilled amateur" photographer with an SLR camera. I came across your blog and love the tips! I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your insight with others who have the shutterbug!

  • Nikki Johnson

    December 22, 2010 03:15 am

    Gosh, I'm in love with this site. I'm new to the DSLR family, but have been a lover of good photography for some time. It's my turn to create my own masterpieces. I'm taking a class now, but what I gain from this site really compliments what I am learning. Thanks Darren for this opportunity. This site is a WINNER. Happy Holidays to all. Nikki

  • Scott

    December 21, 2010 03:40 am

    Merry Christmas to you as well!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/5277209197/

  • Anna Patrick

    December 21, 2010 02:40 am

    With the merry atmosphere, a lot of snow and dazzling lights, what better time to strike original photos? These tips are just great!. You can see here some experiments of painting with Christmas lights and other fun Christmas photos http://www.photographymojo.com/2010/12/christmas-light-painting-and-other-dazzling-christmas-photos/

  • Jordan

    November 22, 2010 10:10 pm

    Thanks for this. I'm getting a Nikon d5000 for christmas so what better time to experiment with it!

  • Jack

    September 8, 2010 01:03 am

    Some really good info here and notice that most of these tips are for indoors. Any tips for outdoors or a link to one of the posts you might have done for outdoors christmas photography. I am particularly interested in capturing pictures for Christmas Markets that I am considering to go to this Decemeber? Thanks

  • Bill

    January 10, 2010 06:15 am

    The Photo booth idea was incredible, and I tried it this Christmas... The family loved the idea even if they were too well be haved.... Next time we need more alcohol!

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/billda25/4216174657/' title='Davies Christmas Photobooth 2009' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2698/4216174657_6fc96b5990.jpg']

  • Carmina

    January 9, 2010 03:41 am

    Hi Darren,

    I took photography in the snow. The sky was white. The whole scene was white. The photography went out very badly. Can you give me any tip to take photos when the sky and the snow are white?

    Thank you so much,

    Carmina

  • Jon

    December 31, 2009 07:29 pm

    Haha. I wish I had read this last week. Again really great ideas. I'm glad that I started following this site. The photo booth idea is a great idea. I just told my fiance about it and we are thinking of incorporating it into our wedding as an idea as part of the guest book

  • Brian

    December 28, 2009 06:39 pm

    Don't forget to hang on to those 'not so perfect' shots that may seem to have too much noise or be a little out of focus at full size. Those same pics can be used in a smaller size to make an album and be perfect. I personally carry two cameras around during holiday parties, one small point and shoot for those quick impromptu photos and the DSLR close by for the staged shot whenever you can fit one in.

  • sameer

    December 28, 2009 04:30 pm

    nice photography tips..........

  • gene

    December 25, 2009 08:28 am

    thanks for the great tips, i'll be useing them tonight.

  • Joel

    December 24, 2009 06:01 pm

    This article is a life saver ! I'll be boarding the plane to my in-laws in a few hours and they sure do expect some good photos. Thanks, Darren.

    I'll post them on my blogs at:
    http://www.shutteria.com
    http://www.jjsolomon.com

  • Ray

    December 24, 2009 10:44 am

    great tips, thank you very much

  • Susan

    December 24, 2009 07:50 am

    really helped thanks

  • bethwex

    December 24, 2009 05:28 am

    What a great post! These tips are great for any party! Happy Holidays!

  • Reijo

    December 22, 2009 07:53 pm

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone

  • Hampers

    December 22, 2009 05:51 pm

    Nice blog and thanks for sharing the 16 Digital Photography Tips for Christmas. It was nice going through your blog. It is informative and helpful. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  • scott e. detweiler

    December 22, 2009 02:14 pm

    I normally throw up two lights in the opposite corners of the living room where the family opens gifts. Point them at the ceiling (assuming it is white), with the defusers in place. Using Nikon CLS I can then happily shot whatever I want and not have to worry about exposure or anything else. Gotta love the TTL they have in cameras today.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lightshootedit/

  • Jason Collin Photography

    December 22, 2009 12:44 pm

    I like the idea of shooting food macro, especially gingerbread men!

    What about a from behind the Christmas Tree perspective of things? Or shooting from under the tree in the perspective of the presents?

    If your camera can do time lapse, Gorilla pod it to the top of the tree and time lapse the present opening process.

  • Jonathan

    December 22, 2009 12:15 pm

    happy Easter all!

  • TreeFrog Studios

    December 22, 2009 11:44 am

    Thanks for all the great ideas! I too love the DIY photo booth idea. There's so much more you can do with Christmas photos than forcing your kids to sit in the front of the tree for the yearly sad, staged Christmas photo. I just wrote a blog article for my clients to encourage them to be more creative with their holiday photos.

    http://treefrogkids.com/2009/12/have-yourself-a-merry-little-christmas-photo-album/

  • Mei Teng

    December 22, 2009 10:49 am

    Great tips for holiday shooting! And I love the gingerbread man. Merry Christmas to everyone!

  • Sebastian

    December 22, 2009 06:39 am

    Great post! I´ll read this twice and keep the tips in mind for the Christmas family meeting!

    Thanks and Merry Christmas to DPS and all readers!

  • Mallory

    December 21, 2009 05:35 am

    I love the DIY photobooth idea... my friends did something similar for their wedding reception recently. They had two friends of ours who are professional photographers doing the photos, but they had fun props for guests to use (like funny animal masks and a fake gun)... Some of the pictures ended up being pretty hilarious thanks to those props, like a Charlie's Angels style photo of the groom!

  • Ger Kirwan

    December 18, 2009 04:24 am

    Thank you sooooo much ! I am now going to plan and make sure that I am totally prepared to take those shots on christmas day.

  • Tiffany

    December 12, 2009 05:03 am

    I wrote a post about memory gifts using photos… great for Christmas gift ideas. http://www.simplymodernmom.com/2009/12/fridays-5-at-5-memory-gifts-using-photos/

  • Chris Montague

    December 9, 2009 02:54 am

    So far this tutorial site has really helped me and others to bring forth the best pictures we have ever taken. Our trip to Niagara Falls, Canada was really interesting with the Xmas lights over the falls; very colorful.

  • Iris

    December 8, 2009 08:51 am

    Hey - a friend recomened you site and I'm really pleased I followed that particular link. Thank you for putting all this together in bite-size pieces never assuming we know what you're talking about (like when you said [
    I’ll select a large aperture (a small number like f/2.8) so as to throw the background out of focus, but on a shot taken from the end of the table of everyone sitting down eating I’ll choose a small aperture (like f/8 to f/11 or more) so ]) that is exatcly the sort of thing that makes your articles a real delight for a SLR newbie like me.

  • James Reinier Lino

    November 23, 2009 07:27 pm

    Thank you here in the Philippines we are known to be the country with the most longest season in celebrating christmas surely this will be helpful. :-)

  • Menard Ambat

    November 20, 2009 01:50 pm

    Wow! This is great. Thanks!

  • Flek

    November 15, 2009 01:59 am

    OMG! what an article.

    From ma childhood I have interests on photography. Unfortunately I became a software engineer. But I worked for a studio when I was stuying.

    Thank you very much for the post, though its not going to help me by profession, personally its really going to help me.. :P

  • mymoen

    July 15, 2009 10:58 pm

    Photographing Christmas lights is something that can be tricky to do.

  • brian

    December 27, 2008 06:33 am

    Thanks Darren, to you and your team at DPS, for an inspirational year! Wishing you all the best for the New Year. I can't wait to see the new look at DPS that you promised us.

    Keep up the good work!

  • rodrigo b. fermin

    December 27, 2008 12:17 am

    merry Christmas!!!!
    Thanks for the needed tips for this season, especially!

  • AussieSunset

    December 26, 2008 04:19 pm

    Thanks you so much for these great ideas. I used the photo booth idea and we had a ball with it and got some great shots and memories as well.
    Thank you all.
    Happy holidays to all :)

  • Nick Rao

    December 25, 2008 02:56 am

    I wish to thank you for your contributions to good photography. I enjoy your newsletter and have shared it with others. Keep up the good work. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  • Sashi

    December 25, 2008 02:24 am

    Also, a couple of my own:
    Take lots of pics of kids in action. These will bring out the smiles big time.
    Make candids a part of any event and you'll be well rewarded. Capture the emotions and moments.

  • Esther

    December 25, 2008 01:45 am

    Fantastic tips. I'm off to start implementing them right away (just realised my spare battery needs charging). Thank you and merry Christmas!

  • charles

    December 25, 2008 01:29 am

    these tips are instructive and easy to comprehend. you guys are simply wonderful thanks. While wishing u a merry Christmas and prosperous newyear in advance continue in ur great job of educating us.

  • Rajesh

    December 25, 2008 12:56 am

    Great & Useful Article.... Thnx....

  • Shari Smothers

    December 25, 2008 12:01 am

    Great tips in time for me to practice for tomorrow. Thanks as always.

  • dr,loy

    December 24, 2008 08:43 pm

    It's a warm gift this season. Families and friends will enjoy the gift of photography. Thank's!

  • Sherine

    December 24, 2008 02:58 pm

    Thank you for the great tips; short and to the point. Wish you a merry Christmas.

  • Murali

    December 24, 2008 02:10 pm

    simply great. thanks for the tips. expecting more and more from you.
    Regards

    Murali
    Dubai

  • Carlo

    December 24, 2008 02:03 pm

    Check out my Christmas photo at Orchard singapore

    http://allrockphotoblog.blogspot.com/2008_11_01_archive.html

  • Steve

    December 24, 2008 09:55 am

    Great article! Thanks!

  • K.B.

    December 24, 2008 08:16 am

    I had heard of renting a DIY photo booth for a party & considered it for my wedding but it seems awfully expensive to do. But I like the idea of busting out the macro lens for some detailed images.

  • Rook

    December 24, 2008 07:47 am

    Thanks for the tips their very helpful.Wish I was in Australia for Christmas.....got 40 cm of snow so far in my part of Canada.

    Bah Humbug
    Happy Holidays to all.

  • Olivia Bell

    December 23, 2008 11:56 pm

    You know what... you're psychic! I was actually going to scan DPS for some Christmas advice and low and behold, guess what I get through my email box! :D

    Happy Christmas to you, Darren!

  • Andrew Culture

    December 23, 2008 11:28 pm

    This is a great idea for this season, if only so I can actually enjoy the party rather than spending all night being pulled pillar to post to take photos of some drunken fool doing something 'hilarious'.

  • Reznor

    December 23, 2008 12:38 pm

    "I go into a fit of involuntary twitching whenever I hear the bit about “shoot away and set your white balance later.” Yikes."

    You need medical attention. Now.

  • Dave

    December 23, 2008 08:40 am

    "I would love to see some photos of how Australians celebrate Christmas outdoors… sounds like a blast!"

    Christmas comes during the Australian summer because we are in the lower hemisphere, so you could just imagine having Christmas in your July then You're pretty much there, except it gets a lot hotter over here (usually 35-40 degrees C).

    While having Christmas outside with the family is always nice, I'd much prefer a 'white' Christmas any day.

  • jamshad

    December 23, 2008 05:11 am

    Happy holiday to you too, and thank you so much for creating such an inspiring community.

    http://www.bathayon.com/category/54-Christ-mas.html

  • Eric Shafer

    December 23, 2008 05:03 am

    Tracked back to from here: http://www.presidiacreative.com/web-picks-2-2/

  • Rick

    December 23, 2008 03:34 am

    With a new Rebel XTi this year, it looks like I'm the photographer at our upcoming family get together. These are some great tips and I'll definitely put them to good use. Thanks!

  • romrom

    December 23, 2008 02:06 am

    I think you can get great christmas feelings with all lights that are generally shown a bit everywhere. Using wide apertures like in some of the examples above can achieve awesome blurry results.
    See also mine http://www.flickr.com/photos/romrom/3085136562/ ;)

    Merry christmas you all !

  • Travis Price

    June 12, 2008 11:18 am

    Canon's digital Elph series has a time lapse mode that takes an image 1 or every 2 seconds. It writes out .avi files.
    It is super fun and a great momento.

  • Kathy

    February 26, 2008 12:02 pm

    Nice site! Big thanx to webmaster!

  • James

    December 23, 2007 05:32 pm

    I would love to see some photos of how Australians celebrate Christmas outdoors... sounds like a blast!

  • Mandy

    December 23, 2007 09:30 am

    Christmas is just so hectic, the past couple of years with having little children I have struggled to take hardly any photos.

    But this year I have promised myself it is going to be different.

    This post is fantastic and full of information. It has inspired and helped me to form a plan and make this year a success - when it comes to photographs anyway. There are loads of ideas that I just haven't thought of before. Like shooting the preparation.

    Maybe I should take a before (completely frazzled) and after (completely exhausted)shot of myself!

    Thanks and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

  • ALAN JENKINSajjnks@msn.com

    December 21, 2007 03:18 am

    I have 2 digital cameras a Canon IXUS 750 and a Sony Cyber-shot even so I am finding your information and tips very helpfull and they are certainly improving my photographs with ideas.
    MANY THANKS

  • Gerry Vrbensky

    December 21, 2007 12:43 am

    I applaud all of the fantistic tips you've shared with us over the year. Keep up the great work. Merry Christmas and best wishes to you and Yours.

  • Hilde

    December 20, 2007 04:12 am

    Happy holiday to you too, and thank you so much for creating such an inspiring community!

  • Sule Bryan

    December 20, 2007 01:27 am

    Thanks, very helpful. The only hard part is getting the time to take photos in the middle of the craziness that is 'christmas day'.

  • macdane

    December 20, 2007 12:20 am

    I go into a fit of involuntary twitching whenever I hear the bit about "shoot away and set your white balance later." Yikes.

  • SheyMouse

    December 19, 2007 09:43 pm

    What a brilliant article. You have given me some great ideas for my Christmas shots.
    I think point four on capturing the preparation stages is probably the most overlooked of the lot. People (including me) often don't even switch the camera on before the food is ready. I will definitely keep that point in mind this year.

    SheyMouse

  • Lilia

    December 19, 2007 05:19 pm

    Heh I like the idea of the DIY booth! and how the images get more "adventurous" over time haha.
    Great ideas.

  • Jono

    December 19, 2007 08:05 am

    As the designated "family photographer" this christmas, this is a very helpful article

    Thankyou

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