Regardless of how many or how few humans (or pets) you have to wrangle, getting a good holiday photo can be a stressful endeavor. It takes a lot of skill to coordinate everyone’s smiles and blinks. Smartphones have made it easier to take great photos. Let’s get started by getting out our phone or camera.


  • It’s best to stick to two or three colors. You can use neutrals with pops of color in a scarf, tie, vest, or hat. Your photo will look old if you match outfits. For a more authentic photograph, let people show their personalities.


  • Taking your photo shoot outside will give you the advantage of natural light. The warmest light is golden hour, which is an hour after sunset or sunrise. Everyone should be facing the sun.
  • Check your background, making sure there aren’t trees coming out of anyone’s head.
  • If you want to get fancy, some nurseries or orchards offer a photo setup for free or a small fee.
  • Indoor photos work best if you position everyone facing a window that offers indirect sunlight.


  • Set up a tripod and use your camera’s self-timer feature if you want to be in the photo. If you need help, ask a neighbor.
  • To avoid some faces being blurry, line up your group so everyone is on the same plane. Imagine that there is a window in front and everyone is touching it. )
  • Place your group a distance away from the backdrop, and turn on portrait mode for a dreamy, blurry background.
  • Zoom with your feet. Instead of using digital zoom to zoom in, move closer to your subjects. This will prevent pixelated photos.
  • If your subjects are prone to blinking at the wrong time, tell everyone to close their eyes and open them on your command.
  • Laugh! Enjoy the moment and laugh with your loved ones. Do not let the search for the perfect photo stop you from enjoying the joy of the moment.