Exploring Photography Christmas Finale: Family Photography

Christmas day wouldn’t be the same without finding the perfect spot around the Christmas tree to capture a family’s festive spirit. Christmas Photography can highlight the importance of relationships over the holiday season, the bond between a father and son, a mother and daughter, a toddler and grandfather and so on.


Expressing relationships are amplified during the ‘giving’ season, family emotion, beaming smiles and laughter burst out of every frame. Snapping a couple standing beneath the mistletoe for a holiday kiss, or even the grumpy uncle watching Scrooge for the umpteenth time slumped over an armchair, opportunities are endless.

Expressing Relationships at Christmas – camera setting Shutter Speed: 1/10 Aperture F/3.5 ISO Speed: 100 Flash: Fired

Christmas Expression | Christmas Family Photography

All about the eyes

To capture the gleam in one’s eyes, it’s critical to compose the image with as little headroom and dead space surrounding the subjects – being the faces and eyes. The rest of the décor will filter into the image on its own. To achieve the best results when focusing on more than one person in the frame, all the eyes would need to be in the same plane. This is effective for this kind of photo as it shows a subtle unity among the family. You can opt to use a flash with most indoor Christmas photos, but a detachable/angled flash would allow the light to bounce off the ceiling. Don’t let the ambient light levels of Christmas lights and you need to be cautious that the vibrant colours washed out by the flash.

Focus on the eyes at Christmas – Shutter speed: 1/30 Aperture: F/7.1 ISO Speed: 100 Flash: Fired

Focus on the eyes | Christmas Family Photography

Family Portraits

Group family portraits normally fall after the unwrapping extravaganza, a belly full of mince pies at Christmas lunch and an afternoon nap just after the Queen addresses the nation. A tripod is an essential bit of kit for a group shot, so you can set a timer and get in the shot! Before you set your timer you need to set your exposure values (shutter, ISO and aperture – see below), compose your frame and then press the shutter.

Family Portraits at Christmas – Shutter Speed 1/160 Aperture: F/13 ISO Speed: 200 Flash: Fired.

Christmas Family Portrait | Christmas Family Photography

That concludes our Christmas Exploring photography series, you can still find out the best ways to photograph the outdoors and Christmas lights and ornaments on our blog.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at The Social Picture.