The holidays are fast approaching, and this time of year is the perfect excuse to capture some amazing year-end portraits. It can be a really busy season, but scheduling some quality time with your family and your camera is a can’t-miss festivity. Make it a yearly tradition, you won’t regret it!
Whether you’re looking to get some fun shots for social media or taking photos for your Christmas cards, here are our best tips for nailing your holiday photo shoot:
Find The Perfect Location
Think of the places that have the most meaning to you or your family and let it be the backdrop for this year’s shoot. Great ideas for outdoorsy locations could be your favorite park, the Christmas tree lot, a hiking trail, or a picturesque field.
You could also take more natural-looking photos on the streets of your city, a lovely park or resort or even in front of your favorite coffee shop, or even in your own home. We have loads of beautiful photos taken in the home around the Christmas tree as the setting.Whatever location means the most for this specific year is ideal.
Invest In Some Lovely Photo Props if the Shoot will be in your home.
Many families build up a huge store of Holiday decorations over the years as their children grow. Some may have even began collecting before their family was even started. The key is to visualize the desired setting and to create a concentrated fun backdrop for the children.
Your hired photographer will probably have some great ideas and can usually give you ideas to have the set up done before photographer arrive. Quick changes can usually be made during the session. The outcome will be beautiful photos and memories to be cherished for generations to come.
Shoot At The Ideal Time
Lighting is everything in photography, and planning your photo shoot around the perfect light scenario will save you a lot of headache in the editing process. To make sure there’s plenty of good light, schedule your photo shoot for a golden hour – an hour after the sun comes up or the hour before it goes down. These times are when the light is at it’s most picturesque.
Want to enhance the sun in your photo? Try adding one of our realistic-looking Lens Flare effects! You can even do this with lovely inside photos to add a dramatic effect. You’ll mimic the look of a sun-drenched appearance in just a few clicks.
If you live in a sunny state, the harshest light is going to be broad daylight, where the shadows are the most evident. Not the best for portraits. If the day is overcast though, you’ll get a big window of time for your shoot. Overcast skies diffuse the light naturally, so any time before the sun goes down will be ideal.
If you are shooting at location or in Studio... Bring Some Props
With the theme of your photo shoot in mind (if you have one!), think about the different props you could bring to accent it. If the theme of your photo shoot is truly Holiday, consider bringing along some mistletoe, reindeer ears for your pup, or plan to decorate a Christmas tree. Any personal items from your home or cache will personalize the shoot and increase personal memories attached to the photos.
Even if you don’t have a solid theme, simple things like a large picture frame (without a photo in it!), a handmade sign, blankets, or chairs could really add interest to the final photos.
Some of the best captures are the candid ones, where individual personalities shine! We believe a photo that captures a crinkly-nosed laugh or a stolen kiss is loads better than a staged, stiff portrait.
To best capture personality, have fun while you’re shooting and hit the capture button at random instead of counting down to the snap.
Taking your photos in front of a lit-up Christmas tree? When you focus on your subjects in the foreground, those Christmas lights will blur into beautiful bokeh in the background!
If there’s any sort of light source in the background, even if it’s the sun shining through the trees, bokeh can happen whenever you focus on your subjects and blur the background. Try this look on your portraits for a hint of whimsy.
Want the look of Bokeh but can’t capture the look with your camera? You can add Bokeh effects to your photos in a Photo Editor! Just head to the Textures tab, select the Bokeh category, and preview the effects on your photos. You’ll create a magical look in a single click!
Include the Entire Family and Pets
Let’s be real, your pets are part of the family. Instead of leaving them at home on photo shoot day, bring them along.
They’ll lighten the mood for sure, and their presence will most likely lead to some awesome candid shots.
Think About Your Wardrobe
Sure, we’ve all seen the matching sweater photos – they make for great awkward family shots! But if that’s not the look you’re going for, plan outfits that compliment one another. That means if it’s a dressy shoot, you can’t have one person in sweatpants.
Choose colors that work well across the entire photo instead of letting everyone pick their own outfits, and choose clothing that best represents the vibe you’re going for.
Let It Snow
Is there snow on the forecast? Embrace it! It’ll make for magical holiday photography. If you want the look of snow but don’t have any inclement weather on the forecast, you can always add snow to photos. It makes for a cozy, seasonal addition to your shots!
Ready to schedule your holiday photo sesh? With these tips in mind, plus the ease of BeFunky’s Photo Editor, you’re gonna get photos that you’ll enjoy for years to come.
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