Hi loves! Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner? It snuck up on us so quickly…like it does every year 😅 Do you ever find yourself scrambling to find a photographer to take a few Christmas portraits of your family? If this is you (like it is so many of us currently running around in chaos), here’s a few tips on how to take “pro” looking photos of your family this year—using just your phone!
A few perks about being your own photographer before we begin!
- Location: A backdrop makes ALL the difference! Thanks to the holidays, you have the perfect backdrop, your cozy family Christmas tree! 🎄
- Timing: Since this is done in your own home, on your own time, YOU get to set the schedule. Kids feeling sick? Try again another day! This DIY shoot can work into any busy schedule 🙌
- Budget: Set your own budget babe! You truly only need your phone, good lighting, and a preset though! Use that money spent on a gift for yourself this Christmas 😘
Are you ready to take the perfect Christmas photo now? Grab your family (Christmas jammies optional haha), your phone, and gather around the Christmas tree. Let’s do this!
Think of the lighting!
- Our #1 tip is to take advantage of natural light if possible (this goes for any time of the year, not just Christmas)! Midday is typically the best time to avoid harsh sunlight/shadows that happen during sunrise/sunset. Midday when the sun is above your house, not shining through the windows, will give your photos beautiful soft natural lighting. Let any additional holiday glow come from the Christmas tree, not the unflattering streaks of light from the window blinds.
- You’ll also want to turn OFF all indoor lights (except for the lights on your Christmas tree). Light sources vary in hue/warmth, and too many temperatures in a photo can make for weird hues on peoples’ faces. If you need EXTRA light, fully open up a window or door to let more natural light into your photo! So turn off those lamps, the overhead lighting, and pull up those window shades!
- Have the fam face your light source! The subject/people in your photo need to be placed between the Christmas tree and your natural light source so that you’ll have light source in front AND behind! ✨ Just remember this little emoji sequence 🎄👨👩👧👦📷☀️
- Last but MOST IMPORTANT!!! Do NOT 🚫 use flash! It will completely negate any glow from your Christmas tree lights!
Ready, set, pose!
- Don’t overthink it ☺️ Your family will be comfortable since you’re in your own familiar space so keep your poses natural! Try sitting in front of the tree, a few shots standing in front of the tree. Interacting with presents, just have fun with it!
- Don’t forget your angles! The angle of your phone camera lens can make any pose look great! Keep your phone slightly above eye level for adults (do negate those cute double chins). You can play with the angle of your phone for different perspectives too: little toes under the tree, eyes peeking through the tree, etc.
- A popular trick is to have the kiddos (or precious sleeping babies) lie down under the tree, with the soft glow of Christmas lights above them! Just make sure the lights aren’t too close to their face, so that they have a nice soft even glow.
- Clean your camera lens. If you have a dirty/smudged camera lens on your phone, your photos will all look smudged and blurry.
- Try taking a few videos to pull photos out of. Sometimes photos don’t capture those candid moments, but if you take a 1 min video, you can pull candid moments from it!
- Similar to the above tip, turn on the Live Photo option (if you have an iPhone), this way you can choose the best moment from your snap!
Tools that would be helpful:
- A handy tripod (Amazon has a great selection)!
- A phone attachment for your tripod
- A shutter for your phone’s camera, or if you have a smart watch, you can use it to snap photos!
Edit your photo, like a pro!
- I use Lightroom for all of my edits! I use my presets on every single photo for a quick ONE TAP edit.My personal favorite (and the preset used above) is Stardust ✨If you’re going for a “barely there” edit, check out our No Filter Filters!For a curated bundle of our all-time favorite filters from our library at DiGiPresets, with a mix of true-to-color and stylized presets, grab our DiGi Faves preset pack!
- You can also adjust the exposure, highlights, shadows, and temperature if needed to fix any funky lighting!
That’s it! You’re all set and ready to take your DIY Christmas portraits! No more worrying about finding a photographer, setting a time that works for the whole fam, or crossing your fingers and toes that all the kids have clean noses for the shoot. You’ve got this, friend!
Can’t wait to see your Christmas pics this year!
Be sure to tag us @digipresets!! #digipresets ❄️
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