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cat with ornament

5 Tips for Christmas Morning Photos

1. Forget Perfect

Prerequisite: Accept that there will be playful chaos.


Don’t worry about being perfect. Let there be wrapping paper everywhere and bed head and cookie crumbs and pre-coffee drowsiness. Let the puppy run around with your new cashmere scarf. Let the cat get all up in your tree. It’s all good.

2. Pajamas!

My parents allowed us to open one gift on Christmas Eve when we arrived home from our traditional feast at my grandparent’s house. And it was always matching pajamas.


I remember so many of them: the candy-cane striped nighties that came with a pom-pommed night cap, the blue floral oh-so-ruffled nightgowns that made me and my little sister look like Hollie Hobbie, all the way up to last year when I was graced with a fleece full-on onesie that has Grinch heads for feet – and check out these seriously cool Winnie-the-Pooh numbers we’re rockin’.

Matching pajamas might be the one way to keep some sense of planning in the morning frenzy! And don’t forget the dog jammies – or if you’re really brave, you can match the entire family, pets included!

3. Get in the Photos

I know you have bed head but guess what… in 20 years you won’t care what your hair looked like. You’ll only look at the photo – and probably at people and pets that are long gone – and remember how perfect the moment really was.


In a world of oversharing we can sometimes forget that these photos are for us. They are not for public consumption if we don’t want them to be. So get in those photos no matter what you think you look like. Print them out, keep them in your secret drawer or hidden box and revisit them when you need to smile.


Grab an inexpensive tripod for your camera or phone and get everyone in the pic.

christmas selfie
4. Watch the Light

Although you don’t want anything too formal, try to notice the lighting especially since it could be quite early! Ideally you want your subjects on the floor, facing a window, with the tree behind them. This will allow natural light to to fall on your subjects and will give you a nice background of tree lights.


If there is crazy harsh sunlight, consider hanging a sheer white curtain over the window to soften the light and reduce shadows.


If the window is behind them, you will likely need to use your flash to avoid silhouettes.

Cute girl with dog sitting near the Christmas tree. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
5. How Low Can You Go?

When taking photos, get on down to eye-level with your subjects. Avoid a bunch of photos of the tops of heads by getting on your knees – and sometimes on your belly (hello shih tzus!) – in order to be level with your subject.

cavalier king charles spaniel

Are you thinking of giving the gift of photography?

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