I dropped the ball on hiring a professional photographer for our family Christmas holiday photos. We were simply too busy, broke or sick to do so. Last week, I decided to hire myself as our family photographer and my husband as my assistant to get Christmas holiday photos for our cards.
I will say I am impressed with how the photos came out and I didn’t have to shell out the big bucks to get great photos.
Here’s the deal: if you invest in yourself and a good camera you can do the same and say goodbye to spending hundreds on photographers.
How You Can Take your Own Christmas Holiday Photos
I used photography equipment that is great for beginner/immediate photographers. Remember, you are investing in your family’s photos long-term.
- Canon EOS Rebel T3 Digital SLR Camera
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 -Great lens to use for portraits and to make your subject clear and crisp with the blurry background)
- Note: I started out using a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens and it worked quite well. It’s cheaper than the lens I now have, but it’s a great beginner lens for getting the blurry background look in photos!)
- Tripod (optional, best if you have a shaky hand)
Time of Day:
We shot this photo at 10 a.m. when she was well-fed, not cranky and not tired. Also, the weather was overcast which is perfect for lighting. I would not recommend shooting at noon when the sun is directly above your photo subject beaming down.
I went to Michael’s and took advantage of a 50% off holiday decor sale to purchase the props. I knew I wanted huge ornaments for her told and when I found the basket and wood art I hit the jackpot. Find props that make sense for your photo. You can also use items found around the house, garage sales, or thrift stores if you are looking for budget-friendly options.
Bring your spouse, friend or family member that your kids are comfortable with. They can help with props and entertaining your toddler. You will be too busy to do all of these tasks. If you can bring someone along do it. My husband did a great job helping out!
Grammy found this beautiful dress at Bealls and it’s the perfect Christmas dress. I love red clothing in Christmas photos because it really pops in pictures. Bonus: She actually let me put a bow in her hair.
Finding a location can be tricky as you don’t want to trespass on someone’s property. You can ask for permission or you can find a nearby field that you think will be safe. (That is what we did). I know there are great spots you can reserve, but again they cost money. Nearby parks, gardens, and public trails are good options for photo shoots.
Photography Technique and Suggestions:
You can have the right equipment, you can have the cutest props, and you can have the adorable kid, but if you don’t know how to use your DSLR camera a great photo is not guaranteed.
It has taken me a long time to get comfortable taking my camera off the ‘Auto’ setting. Don’t be scared of the advanced settings. Do your homework and get to know your camera. Experiment and play with lighting, composition, and shutter speeds.
Pinterest is a great resource for finding blog articles to help you learn how to use your camera. I am not skilled enough yet to go completely manual, so I use the Aperture Priority Mode (AV setting) for taking portraits.
I simply adore these photos and the memories we made creating them. I look forward to learning more about my new found hobby and sharing more photography tips with you!
I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas! How did your Christmas Holiday Photos look this year?