This Christmas season take on a new challenge or simply have a little fun with your camera with 20 creative holiday photography ideas!
1. Christmas light shape bokeh
Shape bokeh is a classic for the holidays. In my opinion, it’s not overdone and never gets old. If you own a prime lens, you have to try shape bokeh. I always go for a star shape at Christmas, but don’t feel limited to this option.
2. Kids in front of the Christmas tree with bokeh background
You’ll wow your entire family with a stellar photo of your kids in front of the decorated Christmas tree, blurred as a beautiful bokeh background. Practice with a doll or stuffed animal, so you can get the shot of your kids in just a few takes.
3. Kids sitting in Christmas lights
How adorable is a baby or young child sitting among colorful or bright white Christmas lights? You can position the kiddos behind holiday lights or keep the background plain.
4. Pets dressed up for Christmas
I’m not above dressing up pets for the holidays even though I have a kid now. Pet holiday photos are adorable and make a fun addition to the family Christmas card.
5. Reflection in an ornament
When executed well, a scene in reflection, as opposed to a scene straight on, adds visual interest to a composition. Of course, a Christmas scene in reflection is a natural choice. But you may be able to create a funny, ironic, or just unique image of a non-Christmas scene in an ornament reflection.
6. Still life Christmas light experimentation
I love playing around with Christmas lights for different holidays. Light strands are inexpensive and available in so many different colors. For the above image, I wrapped a strand of green lights around a clear glass milk bottle and placed it in front of the Christmas tree.
7. Candy canes forming a heart
Two candy canes forming a heart is such a sweet pose for a kid or a couple. I love the idea of including this type of shot in a holiday engagement shoot. When you’re taking a picture of a couple, have them stand back so the candy canes and hands are in focus with the rest of the image blurred, such as this example in Style Me Pretty.
8. Family action shots (i.e. baking cookies, picking out a Christmas tree)
Instead of trying to create a perfect posed moment, get a few shots of an activity you always enjoy during the holiday season. Professional photographers are happy to capture these moments in a desired location of your choosing.
9. Holding letters or a sign
There are so many fun holiday letter/sign tutorials as well as pre-made letters/signs for purchase. Bring along a sign to your family photo shoot or make one for an impromptu session at home with your kids.
10. Snuggled under a blanket
When you’re taking family or couples pictures in an outdoor location and you know it’ll be chilly, bring a blanket. It’ll make for a few cozy shots.
11. Nativity figures or other miniatures in front of the Christmas tree/bokeh lights background
I love creating scenes with small figures for different holidays and seasons. I purchased the above nativity set here and will be using the image I created with it for our Christmas card this year.
12. A Christmas scene in reflection
Capturing a scene in reflection adds visual interest to the composition. You may wish to capture the full scene with the reflection or just the reflection.
13. Alternatively, create a Christmas or winter scene in reflection with a LensBall or similar reflection piece
A Lensball is an ideal photography tool to mix up your regular routine. Bring it along on your holiday excursions and experiment with a few shots.
14. Reading a holiday book together
Choose a favorite holiday book and stage a shot with the kids curled up in bed, on the couch, or in a favorite outdoor spot.
15. Kid bringing home a Christmas tree on a Cozy Coupe car
I am a sucker for the iconic Cozy Coupe and think that this is just about the cutest kid Christmas image you can create.
16. Blow snow or glitter
Yes, the blowing snow or glitter shot is a little overdone, partly because it’s so easy to create this effect in Photoshop (and pretty simple to create in real life, too). However, I think it’s still a sweet shot for the holidays.
17. At your favorite outdoor lights display or other holiday display
A beautiful local lights display is the perfect excuse to bring your camera. Again, there’s something so special about capturing your family enjoying one of your favorite activities at the holidays.
18. Wrapped in Christmas lights
Getting wrapped up in Christmas lights makes for a bit of a corny shot, yes, but it’s fun for the holidays.
19. Write with light
Gather a group of friends to draw a Christmas tree or write the new year or a new year intention with flashlights or sparklers. If you’re new to long exposure writing, watch Toby’s tutorial.
20. Re-create a retro holiday scene
Nothing brings out a little nostalgia like a retro holiday recreation.
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Did you try one of these creative holiday photography ideas?
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