For many of us, family portraits are part of celebrating the holidays. Some prefer to do it ahead of time so they can have it printed as Christmas cards to send out to friends and family. Others do both indoor and outdoor shoots, especially if their locations are perfect for a Winter Wonderland-themed set.
Whichever the case, if you’re the designated photographer of the family or are thinking of offering holiday portraits for your clients, we have some tips and inspiration ready for you! Pro photographer David Flores breaks them down in the timeless video above for B&H Photo Video.
Set the scene
Wherever you’re shooting, it’s important to set the scene with elements that give a “special nod to the season,” as nicely put in the video. Decorate or choose a location with all things that scream Christmas — holiday lights, evergreen trees, snow, warm colors and cozy items. This way, you’re choosing a space that “means something to you and yours” and give it a warm, personal touch.
Keep it simple
Don’t go overboard with the decorations, props and even wardrobe when planning for the shoot. “Avoid the temptation of adding things that you don’t need,” as mentioned in the video. No need to be strict about matching wardrobe for everyone, or make elaborate setup for the location where you’re shooting. The focus of the family portraits should be your subjects and the personal, touching moments they share as a family.
Include black and white snaps
Christmas and holiday scenes are the last things that come to mind when it comes to black and white photography. The season calls for festive colors and cheerful scenes, which would typically be dampened by shooting in black and white.
However, we shouldn’t be underestimate the classic look of monochrome. Whether you’re doing it in camera or in post, black and white photos will add a timeless quality to your holiday snaps.
Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun! The goal is to make the experience fun for everyone and immortalize it. Plan the shoot around activities like meals, playing outdoors, decorating the home for Christmas or traditions of the family during the holidays.
It doesn’t matter what time of the day you do the shoot, as long as you’re able to capture and celebrate what the season means for the family.
If you found these tips helpful, make sure to check out the B&H Photo Video YouTube channel for more tips and tricks from top photographers!