Christmas is a magical time of year especially when you have young children. Nothing compares to seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child. I want to soak in every moment before I blink and they are grown up. One way I do that is by taking photos of them experiencing the magic of the holidays. When I saw holiday photos that Mandy Hall Photography took I had to do the same with my kids.
Today, I am going to share how you can take photos of your kids in front of the Christmas tree with these simple tips.
Let me start off by saying I am NOT a professional photographer, but rather a mom who is learning how to use her DSLR to the fullest potential. There are so many things to learn! Don’t let your camera scare you from trying new things. If I can do it, you can do it!
Don’t have a DSLR? No problem! You can take beautiful photos with your iPhone using these tips.
How to Take Photos of Your Kids in Front of The Christmas Tree
Here’s how you can take the same photos with a DSLR. If you can use a lens other than the lens kit, the better. I used two different lenses: a 50 mm 1.4 lens and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens. The EF 50 1.8 mm lens also does the job just fine and it’s budget-friendly.
Settings: I forgot to turn on the RAW setting. You can leave it on JPEG like I did and still get great photos. RAW will allow you to edit more in Photoshop if you are advanced. I did not do that so don’t feel bad if you don’t know how to edit in RAW.
Lighting: Turn off all the lights except for the tree. If you can put more lights on your tree, the better. I did not have time to do that but it still turned out great.
Get off AUTO and don’t look back: Put your camera on manual mode.
ISO: Boost ISO as much as you can.
Shutter Speed: Don’t go below 1/200 shutter speed unless you use a tripod.
Aperture: Keep aperture between 1.2-2.2
White balance: Auto or kelvin.
Exposure: Meter off your child’s face.
Editing: I uploaded these photos to Photoshop and sharpened them a tad. I didn’t want to mess with the Exposure too much. I added a touch of vibrance and clarity to each photo.
Helping hands: If you can get the help of your spouse or friend to stage the kids it can make all the difference. He was there to move them and keep them engaged while I snapped away.
Pajamas: Dress your kids in the cutest Christmas Jammies!
Tradition: Take these photos year-to-year to watch your children (or pets) grow until they won’t let you anymore!
Enjoy! Be sure to share them because they are so cute and need to be seen! Feel free to tag us in! I would love to see them.
Practice, Practice, Practice: Don’t get discouraged if your photos are perfect because this is not what this is about. It’s about seeing the magic of Christmas right in front of your face. The more you shoot with your camera and play with it the more comfortable you will get.
I hope this tutorial was helpful! Again, I am sure I am missing some super duper photography tips in this post, but I am just a mom standing in front of her kids with a DSLR trying to figure it out.
Enjoy this time and capture every moment you can. Merry Christmas!