They are everywhere this time of year — lights. Big, small, all sorts of colors, in windows, on trees and illuminating the world around us for the holidays. It’s a great time to get the camera out and play.

Here are a few ways you can get creative taking photos of the holiday lights.

Funky 3D filter glasses

These are so much fun to play with. I still have ideas to try with them, like going to a busy road and setting up to make all the headlights look like reindeer or candy canes. You can get them on Amazon — this one is a 12-pack. I see a penguin, so I just might have to buy more as I don’t have that one!

Lensball (or orb)

These are always a great tool to use to get creative and to see things in a different way. Take photos of your tree all lit up or the local town’s decorated tree. Make some abstract images with them. Let your imagination go wild.


This is a given I think with all the lights. There are many ways you can have fun with bokeh. Fancy wine or cocktail glasses add to the festiveness of an image in front of tree lights. For more ideas on creating bokeh and getting that holiday feel with bokeh, check out Erin & Julie’s articles.


Another option that is just fun to let loose with. The sky is the limit here, there are no rules. Create what you want. Move the camera, turn the camera, create shapes as you move and see what happens. Motion abstracts are fun to create as well.


This time of year there are so many reflective surfaces. Ornaments, display pieces, fancy serving ware along with other usual surfaces such as railings and garbage cans. What? Yes, garbage cans. The lamp post image was taken using the reflection on the top of a garbage can.

Get everyone involved and don’t forget to get photos with you in them. The holidays are the best time to put away the stress of getting the perfect shot and focus on friends and family. Just have fun with techniques and try things you don’t normally photograph. Record the memories and moments that make up your holidays.

Have a wonderful holiday season!