How to capture the perfect Christmas family photo, according to an expert – Mamas & Papas UK

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How to capture the perfect Christmas family photo, according to an expert

How to capture the perfect Christmas family photo, according to an expert

Whether you’re shooting your very first family Christmas card, want to celebrate your little one’s first Christmas with a snap you can frame and gift, or you just want some festive photos that are grid-worthy, these clever hacks and insider tips from photographer and mama Emily will help you capture the magic in the moment.


I LOVE the Christmas festive season, so I always try to do a small festive shoot with my children Joy and Matty around that time. Here are a few tips, that I hope you find helpful in taking beautiful Christmas shots of your children…

1. Find natural light

I try to use natural light in all my images. Whether I’m outside or inside, I always use natural light. If you’re outside, try to go out either in the morning, or in the evening. The light is much softer around these times, which ensures crisp, clean photos. If you’re inside, try to place your child in front of, or beside, a big window. Open the curtains up wide and wait for a time of day where the light is at its brightest in the room.

2. Use your surroundings

It doesn’t have to be fancy! If you want your festive images to be taken outside, head to some woodland, and find some pine trees. These can create a festive feel, without too much effort. If you’re inside, set your scene on your bed, or if you have your Christmas tree up, in front of your tree.

3. Include some Christmas props or festive decor

For me, if this is inside, I simply grab the fairy lights, some Santa hats and a few Christmas tree decorations. If you want to go all out, find a red throw, or some festive pillows. I find that Christmas decorations are a wonderful distraction for children, and they’re usually so excited to hold and look at them, that they don’t even notice you taking a sneaky shot of them. If you’re outside, you could take a red blanket with you, or even a Christmas sled. Perhaps, even some candy canes for a special treat at the end! If they’re like my kids, they’ll eat them through the shoot, though!

4. Dress them in Christmas Clothing

Whether that’s a Christmas jumper, a Santa hat, or a red shirt. Any clothing in Christmas colours helps to make your image look Christmassy. If we’re inside, I like to dress them in Christmas Pyjamas. If you’re shooting outside, try Santa hats. My children LOVE wearing them, and it makes the shoot so much fun.

5. Get Creative with Photoshop

To create a fun Christmas flare to my images, I’ve been adding snow overlays to my images over the last couple of years. In England, you never know when it’s going to snow, and usually if it does snow, it’s too cold to take photos of your child outside. So, my solution is to either add a snow overlay on photoshop, or to use a phone app, like PicsArt to add in your snow over the top of your image. If you’re adding it in on Photoshop, I’d recommend looking for a fun snow overlay first on Etsy. You can also add in extra fairy lights, or bokeh lighting with PicsArt as well, which comes in handy, if you don’t have access to any fairy lights.

And finally…

To create a fun Christmas flare to my images, I’ve been adding snow overlays to my images over the last couple of years. In England, you never know when it’s going to snow, and usually if it does snow, it’s too cold to take photos of your child outside. So, my solution is to either add a snow overlay on photoshop, or to use a phone app, like PicsArt to add in your snow over the top of your image. If you’re adding it in on Photoshop, I’d recommend looking for a fun snow overlay first on Etsy. You can also add in extra fairy lights, or bokeh lighting with PicsArt as well, which comes in handy, if you don’t have access to any fairy lights.

And finally…

6. Have fun!

I hope you all have fun photographing your children this year at Christmas. Do tag me on instagram @athomewiththevdbs, as I’d LOVE to see your festive shots!