6 Photo Tips for Decorating the Christmas Tree

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

This year we set our tree up early just so that I could prepare 6 photo tips for decorating the Christmas tree for you!  Using these simple tips you can capture great shots of your family decorating the tree this year!
1. Turn off the flash. Decorating the tree during the time of day that your house has best lighting helps you capture these images without using your flash.

2. Using AV mode on your camera, set your aperture as wide open as you can. For most of my images, I used a f/2.0 or f/1.8. This not only allows more light into my images, but also creates that blurry, buttery background (or foreground) we all love.

6 photo tips for decorating the Christmas tree

3. Compose with Care. When thinking about how to capture your image, make sure everything in the image has a purpose. Use these two shots for an example. The image on the left has a lot of background that does not add to the story I want to tell of my son hanging the first ornament on the tree. The image on the right, however, I got in closer and focused on his hands. Do you see how a little change improved this image so much?!

6 photo tips for decorating the Christmas tree

4. Try a new angle. Shooting from above or below your subject can help add interest to the photos your capturing. When trying to capture Milo decorating the tree, I noticed that his arms were often in the way of what I wanted to capture. But having Derek pick him up and me staying on the floor, shooting up, I was able to get a better angle and the shot I wanted!

6 photo tips for decorating the Christmas tree

I also tried shooting from above and loved that look too. Try a few angles and see which ones you like best.

6 photo tips for decorating the Christmas tree

5. Focus on the details. Decorating the tree is all about the lights on ornaments. Once the tree is set up, try composing with care, getting in close and focusing on just the ornaments. If you’re like my family, ornaments have special memories, like the Eeyore and Tigger ornament Santa brought Milo last Christmas. What other details of tree decorating could you capture?

6 photo tips for decorating the Christmas tree

6.Turn the lights out. After the tree is set up, try using just the lights of the tree to illuminate your subject. Remember the above tip, turn off your flash. It doesn’t have to be completely dark outside, but you don’t want the sun (or gray skies if you’re in Seattle) blaring through your window either. You will need to set your ISO to 1600 or higher to capture a similar shot.

6 photo tips for decorating the Christmas tree

Now it’s your turn.

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