With the invention of social media and people choosing to run their own social accounts, we are all more interested than ever in imagery and how to stage the perfect picture. Advancements in technology mean there are so many different devices and filters that help and many take inspiration from their favorite bloggers and influencers alike.
In advance of Christmas Day, we caught up with mum Nicole - @nicoledc_photography - professional events photographer to get her tips on how to shoot the perfect festive images for the family album.
Nicole is a mum of nine-year-old identical triplets and between them, they manage @triplets_in_my_kitchen, dedicated to making quick and easy meals and treats.
"The yearly Christmas photos are such a special tradition. They are a beautiful keepsake for years to come. Below are some of my suggestions to ensure you get the perfect Christmas photos."
Location & lighting
It is important when photographing that you have the best light you can possibly achieve at home. Therefore, your photoshoot location should be as near to a large window as possible. That way, the natural light can filter through your windows and light your scene and your subjects perfectly. For great photos, it is best to allow space for whoever is taking the photographs to stand between the window and your Christmas scene. In these photos, the main door was behind me, and my daughters were facing the door. This allowed their faces to be correctly lit by the natural light coming through the door.
I photographed on quite a dark day and had to have the door open to allow as much light to come through. In some of the photos, I have used a light pointed at the ceiling. This adds some soft light to the scene. If you do not have a light you can use to bounce off the ceiling, perhaps you have a flash which can be pointed at the ceiling. Please note that this only works if your ceiling is white.
Add lights or other Christmas decorations to the background if needed. As I had my stairs in the background, I placed lights and baubles along the railing. I also added a smaller, ready lit tree as well as a star light which further added to creating a beautiful background. Our Christmas tree was our main feature for the photoshoot and we photographed in front of it, next to it and behind it.
Feel free to add any festive props to your scene. Allow space around your tree to place Christmas presents, and any other ornamental Christmas decorations to add to your festive scene. I added a cactus which I placed baubles on, and some candles in a vase. Wreaths and garlands are wonderful background props too.
Play around with furniture as it might be a lovely addition to your Christmas portraits. I used a pink velvet loveseat for the girls to sit on for some of the photos.
A fireplace is a wonderful feature to include in your Christmas photos if you have one. Place candles and greenery along your fireplace mantle to create a cosy look.
It is a good idea to get everyone to wear colours that look good together. If your children are all wearing the same colours, then I would advise against parents wearing the same colours. Instead wear something that will complement your children’s clothes.
Make sure your clothes are timeless. I would suggest steering away form any bold prints that could date. You would like to look back at your photos and be pleased with your clothing choice. Smaller prints or solid colours usually tend to work best.
My girls wore a gilet for some of the photos and removed it off for some of the photos. This way, I have more variety when it comes to deciding which photos I prefer later.
My top tips for taking Christmas photos are
1) Ensure your lighting is good.
2) Add lots of Christmas lights to add sparkle to the background of your photos.
3) Make sure your scene looks festive. Place props in front of, and around you subject if possible.
4) Try different poses and different locations around your scene. You will see that I took some photos of the girls sitting and standing in various areas of my scene.
5) Take some posed ‘looking at the camera’ shots and take some more natural shots. Get your kids to chat to each other and try get them to laugh so that you get a more relaxed look. Giving them gifts to hold and look at are great distractions. I got my girls to talk about what they wished their gifts could be.
6) Photograph your kids admiring the Christmas decorations.
7) Photograph in both portrait and landscape. This will make it easier when you are deciding on framing, or which photos you would like to include in an album.
8) Ensure you take some close up photos, and some photos of the wholescene for variety.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas x
All images by @triplets_in_my_kitchen
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