4 Ways To Prepare To Photograph Christmas Day

if you are like me, you are equally excited for christmas each year, yet get that anxious feeling in your stomach when thinking about all there is to do. among wrapping gifts, preparing food, decorating and attending all the christmas events, there is the list of photos in your mind that are nagging to be taken.  my mind always goes crazy during the holidays as i think about capturing that beautiful christmas tree light bokeh and christmas cookie crumb faces.  and then there is christmas morning.  and we all know…as soon as it starts, it seems like it is over.  and all those pictures you wanted to take…you missed.  as you prepare to photograph christmas day this year, keep these 4 things in mind as you prepare to help you get the photos you really want, yet enjoy yourself as well.

not sure what to ask santa for this year?  be inspired with my 10 gift ideas for photographers.

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4 Ways To Prepare To Photograph Christmas Day

4 Ways To Prepare To Photograph Christmas Day | Bethadilly Photography

when you think about how you will photograph christmas day, keep in mind that being prepared and organized will make or break your success.  by keeping these 4 things in mind as you prepare to photograph christmas day, you will help to make sure you are ready to go as soon as those little ones wake.  and they always wake up so much earlier on christmas morning, don’t they?  do these 4 things to make sure you are ready!

1.  Prepare A Shot List

as you plan to photograph christmas day, think about what photos you really hope to capturing this year and write them down.  i am serious, write them down.  make a little list and place it next to your camera.  writing down a shot list will help keep you organized on christmas day and reduce your stress because you won’t be scrambling for ideas and trying to remember all the moments you wish to capture.  things you may want to write down on your list could be: child(ren) waking and coming down the stairs, opening a particular gift, eating christmas breakfast, a family photo in front of the tree or the floor covering with wrapping paper.

for more ideas on how to capture the christmas season in photographs, check out what 25 family christmas pictures you must take.

2.  Photograph Ahead of Time

there are certain pictures that you may want to take ahead of time to reduce the time you spend behind the camera on christmas day.  the pictures that simply contain the details of christmas, and aren’t necessarily time specific, can be taken the week before such as: the hanging stockings, the christmas tree, making cookies, etc.  think about what photos you can take ahead of time to still capture the christmas season, but reduce the number of photos you take on the actual day of christmas.  if you really want a photo of your children in front of the christmas tree, but know they will be overly excited and disinterested in cooperating with you on christmas day, by all means, dress them up before christmas and get the photo.  trust me, you won’t care that you didn’t take it on the actual day, you will simply be happy you have it.

3.  Limit Yourself To One Picture An Hour

whether it is one photo an hour or two pictures an hour, try and limit yourself so you can enjoy christmas too.  after you get the photos on your shot list, try and put your camera down and only pick it up once an hour throughout the rest of the day.  by only taking one photo an hour, you are allowing yourself a variety of photos throughout the day, while giving yourself some time to enjoy your family in real life instead of from behind the camera.

also, be sure to dedicate a “home” for your camera on christmas morning.  this could be a coffee table or a shelf.  determine a place to put your camera when it isn’t in use.  doing this will allow you to grab it instantly when you need it, without scrambling to find it when the moment strikes.

4.  Prepare Your Gear The Night Before

as you are setting out your christmas cookies and milk for santa, set out your gear too!  christmas morning is hectic enough as it is without you having to say, “wait, i need to grab my camera!”  on christmas eve, i plan to set out my tripod, my nikon d750, and my sigma 24mm f/1.4 lens, a wide angle lens to help capture more details within the frame.

as you think about how you will photograph christmas day…breathe.  it is all going to be okay and your photos are going to be beautiful.  let go of all your expectations of photographing the perfect photos with the perfect composition and simply focus on photographing the moment.  christmas day is more about photographing the moment and documenting the time, and less about award winning photos.  by all means, if you have the time to get those perfect shots, do it!  but don’t let it stress you or your family.

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4 Ways To Prepare To Photograph Christmas Day | Bethadilly Photography

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