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16 Tips to Photograph Christmas Morning
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I found this great website with 8 tips on photographing Christmas morning. Be sure to check them out because they are great! I love all the tips but have a few more to add.

how to photograph Christmas morning

*This post contains affiliate links. Thanks in advance for supporting Click it Up a Notch.

  • No.
    01
    Set your white balance.

    Don’t waste your time fixing it in PP when you can set it on your camera. Use a gray card, ExpoDisc, or Kelvins.

  • No.
    02
    Keep your shutter speed at least at 1/125.

    Unless you are going for a shot with motion blur in it, you want to make sure your photo isn’t blurry.

  • No.
    03

    The odds are your room may not have enough light that early in the morning (depending on what time your kids wake up). Don’t be afraid to raise it!

  • No.
    04
    If you are photographing more than one person, check your aperture.

    Remember lower number less in focus and higher number more is in focus.

    DSC_0476

  • No.
    05
    Charge your battery the night before!

    Or go ahead and treat yourself to an extra battery or even better a battery grip as an early Christmas present.

  • No.
    06
    Be sure to stand by the tree when the kiddos come around the corner.

    You want to make sure you capture their faces when they see everything and not be walking behind them.

  • No.
    07
    Don't forget to re-read Creating a Photo Essay so your pictures can tell a story.

    It’s important to use your images to tell a story. Isn’t that why we take these images? To tell the story of Christmas morning.

  • No.
    08
    After you have captured all the photos you want, put your camera away and enjoy your family!

    Studies show that you remember more of an event when not viewed through a viewfinder. Take the pictures you need to remember the moment. Then put your camera down, sit back and soak in all the joy around you.

30 Comments
  • Cassie
    December 22, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    Great tips! Thanks! Merry Christmas

  • December 22, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    Cute photo. Thanks for the tips.

  • December 22, 2010 at 11:51 PM

    Emma is so tiny!!

    Thanks Courtney. I just told Sam I need to go back and re-read your white balance post, as I just can’t seem to figure it out.

    Plus, I always set my SS by looking through the viewfinder, which means I am constantly adjusting it, but still end up with blur. Is that the best way to do it or should I try to set it permanently at 1/125?

    I really don’t want to shoot on Auto over Christmas, but I also want the pictures and don’t feel confident enough to shoot in manual with so much stuff going on. ARGH….what to do!?!?!

    • December 23, 2010 at 8:30 AM

      Oh, that is a tough one :O) Auto or manual? It definitely depends on your comfort level :O) If I’m shooting in a low lighting situation, then yes, I set my SS at 1/125 and move all the other settings to make it work. Hope that helps!

    • December 23, 2010 at 2:36 PM

      Not to butt in, but that’s my major hassel with shooting in Manual…always adjusting the shutter speed because it changes even if the light changes just a bit. I always thought when you shot in Manual you got the same exposure in every shot as long as you stayed in the same location. But, even if you do stay in the same area the light can shift just a tiny bit…haha. I’m looking forward to trying AE lock and see what happens. I just have to remember to hold down that button, instead of adjusting my shutter speed dial (I’m not that quick).

      I have a post sitting on my blog waiting for the next I Learned post :)

      Merry Christmas!!! Adorable pic with Santa!!!

      • December 24, 2010 at 2:31 PM

        Just to clarify, the AE lock does not lock in your settings. It only helps to lock on what you are focusing on. Make sure you change it in your menu settings as well :O) Yes, sometimes shooting in the same room but moving around does affect the light. For example, if a window is behind your subject and then you move so the window is to the right. You will need to adjust your settings. You’ll get quick about changing your SS. Just takes some time :O) Have a Merry Christmas!

  • December 23, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    Great website! I found you through Marah’s Diary of a Devil Dog Wife. I look forward to your future posts!

  • Biffy
    December 13, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    These are great tips! I can’t wait to use them!

  • December 24, 2011 at 4:15 AM

    Found you on pinterest! I love this! Thanks for posting it! =)

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  • Mary
    October 13, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    It always seem too dark in our house to shoot without the flash. I often have the ISO set at 1600+, the smallest my aperture goes is 3.5 and that’s all the way zoomed out at 18mm. Any other suggestions? I can barely get a picture at 1/60 let alone 1/125. It probably doesn’t help we don’t have much overhead lighting as our house is 100 years old.

    • Courtney
      October 15, 2012 at 3:05 PM

      That is tough! Do you have another lens besides your one that goes at low as f/3.5? You may want to look into a 50mm f/1.8. That lens would allow more light in with the wider aperture. Do you have a lot of windows in your house?? If you do, I would suggest encouraging your kiddos to play by the window where there is more light.

  • Anna Johnstone
    December 12, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Are these settings for any camera, or those fancy Cannon 400 dollar cameras?

    Because we have a point and Shoot, and I am looking for tips for that type of camera.

    • December 17, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      Hey Anna!

      You can use these settings on any camera where you are shooting on manual mode. A lot of point and shoots allow you to use manual mode. I do have a DSLR though so all the images on my site are taken with that type of camera. I am planning on adding some more tutorials in 2013 that are specially for point and shoots.

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    November 16, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    #4 *than… not then

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