IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
If you're looking for some Christmas photography tips to capture your family festivities then you're in the right place. Because I adore Christmas. What I love most about this festive season is the tradition of it. I love all the sights, sounds and smells that remind me of my childhood Christmases. From the tree ornaments that my parents have had since before I was born, to the Frankfurters we had for lunch on Boxing Day. Christmas is a time for honouring old family traditions and creating new ones as we grow up and have families of our own.
It is your family's own special blend of traditions that your kids will remember, just like I do. And today it is easier than ever to capture those moments. Be it on a camera or smartphone, so you can look back on them fondly.
So here are some of my favourite Christmas photography tips.
DECK THE HALLS
I have such fond memories of putting up the decorations. We used to do it two weeks before Christmas on a Saturday afternoon after my grandparents had gone home. We'd listen to the Phil Spector Christmas album. Wait patiently whilst my mum got annoyed trying to the get the lights on the tree just so. And then we'd dig about in the boxes full of shredded cellophane for our favourite baubles.
When it comes to Christmas photography tips, trimming the tree is a lovely moment to capture. But don't forget the details too. Like the kids gazing at an ornament you've had forever. Or playing with the tinsel. Or like my brother used to do, sticking a fairy light between the folds of wrapping paper to try and see what lies beneath.
T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
A new tradition we have is the Christmas Eve Box. It contains a pair of pyjamas that my parents buy. As kids we always had a pair of Christmas pyjamas to wear on Christmas Eve. And it's a tradition my parents are continuing for their granddaughter.
The box also contains the 'Santa Stop Here' sign and Santa's magic key. Although we have a fireplace in our new house so he won't need the key anymore! And invariably it contains some Christmas shaped chocolates, as well as a small but beautiful copy of 'The Night Before Christmas' which my husband reads to her. I imagine her one day reading that beautifully illustrated book to her own children on Christmas Eve.
We also have special plates for leaving Santa and Rudolph their treats. These are lovely moments and details to capture as they really are fleeting - they don't believe for long.
THE STOCKINGS WERE HUNG BY THE CHIMNEY WITH CARE
Opening the stocking is also a lovely moment to record for posterity. As kids, ours were hanging on the handles of the living room door. I wouldn't have gone to sleep if I thought Santa was actually going to come into my room (out of fear, not excitement!).
We would go and retrieve them (at about 4am usually) and take them back upstairs to open in my parents bed. We do this with our daughter too and it's a nice, relatively quiet moment to take a few snaps before the chaos of the day begins.
WITH LOGS ON THE FIRE AND GIFTS ON THE TREE
As much as we might like to pretend otherwise, for kids Christmas is about the presents! After opening the stockings upstairs it would be time to head downstairs and see what else Santa had left. To this day when I walk into the lounge and see the Christmas tree in darkness, before the lights have been switched on, I think of that moment on Christmas morning when we opened the door to see what had been left for us.
Whilst it's nice to get photos of them opening their presents it would be a shame to spend all of it behind the camera - remember to enjoy the moment too.
THE CHRISTMAS TABLE
Christmas is also about the food! We all love taking and sharing photos of food, so no list of Christmas photography tips would be complete without mentioning that meal you've slaved over for half the day and the beautiful table it's served at. Don't forget = those sitting around it either.
THE MOST IMPORTANT OF THESE CHRISTMAS PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS IS THIS...
Family snaps at Christmas probably won't be perfect. We don't have an abundance of natural bright sunlight at this time of year but that won't matter when you're looking back at them in years to come with your grandchildren.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
If you enjoyed these Christmas photography tips, why not master photographing your kids in front of the Christmas tree, or taking a magic Christmas book photo?
If you want to know more about booking a family photography session, please do get in touch. I'd love to hear from you.