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Blog: Blog2

Holiday Photo Advice for People who aren't Photographers

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

Take great Christmas Photos this year

The only thing we like better than a great family photo around Christmas time is sneaking away to eat cookies when we're supposed to be taking a family photo. The start of winter is a great time to take family photos - everyone comes home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and there's lots of fun activities to capture. If you'd like to up your photography game this year and have great captures of great memories, check out our tips below.

make it fun, not perfect

Have fun! Life isn’t perfect – and your photos shouldn't be either. Remember to enjoy time with your family. Wouldn't you rather show everyone's authentic personality instead of copying the same formal poses everyone else does?

A few notes on clothes: set a theme if you want. But if you aren't the kind of family to wear matching clothes normally, then think twice before breaking out identical sweaters for everyone. Unless that's your tradition. Then go for it.

Six people wearing plaid shirts stand in front of a large wreath hanging on a red barn.

scope out the scene

Choose a background that isn't going to distract from your family. Walls, piles of wood, and forests all provide clean backdrops. Pay attention to colors and distractions that might show up in your photos. Take advantage of Christmas decorations to set the mood. (Hint: a tree farm can be a great place to take some family photos). If your phone or camera has portrait mode, you can pay less attention because your camera will auto-blur the background and keep your family in focus.

Three girls wearing winter coats pose with a fake caribou

get the light right

Natural light will make your life easier. If outdoors, try to avoid harsh afternoon light. Overcast days, mornings, and evenings will make better photos. If you have to take your outdoor photos in bright sunlight, try taking the photo on the shady side of a building or under a tree. Take indoor photos near windows to take advantage of natural light, or make sure there are plenty of bright sources of light that aren't shining directly overhead onto people.

A women and man holding a black dog stand behind a small Christmas tree.

take a lot of photos

Most people will take their photos on a digital camera and can take a lot of photos. Keep your finger on that shutter. Especially with a large group, this will help you capture a photo where everyone has their eyes open.

Start taking photos before everyone is in place and ready to go. This will help you capture natural photos before everyone gets stiff and forces a fake smile.

Five people and a brown labrador stand in front of a red barn with green wreaths hanging on it.

keep it lighthearted

You're having fun, right? Photos don't need to be a formal event. Let it be goofy and show off your personality. Capture experiences and fun moments. Most likely you've got a phone in your pocket right now, so whip it out and catch the mess in the kitchen after making sugar cookies.

A women holding a wreath stands in front of a red barn. Two dogs run and jump in front of her.

share the joy

Get it made into a family Christmas card. Show off facebook. Print it, frame it, and put it on an end table or on the mantle. You took the time to make a great photo, so you might as well show it off.

Want to enter the bonus round? Enter your photo in our Holiday photo contest on instagram, facebook, and tiktok. Use #myvermontchristmas and tag us in your social posts. People who do not use social media can email us entries. We'll choose our favorite entries on December 10th and mail out prizes to our five winners. HINT we're looking for fun Vermont Christmas photos, not perfectly posed family portraits.

The backs of three people and two dogs wearing Christmas hats  sitting in front of a frozen lake

Remember, your family photos don't have to be perfect to be great.

Until next time,


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