Christmas is a magical time of year when you have a growing family. Full of great memories to look back on in years to come. Alas it is also a frantic times for Mums and Dads, meaning all too often we end up with a few quick snaps that never seem to quite capture the full spirit of the season.
Saving those memories need not be another stress though. Follow this quick guide, to the photos you really need to take. Make sure this is a Xmas you will love to remember.
All it takes is a few well chosen moments that scream Xmas to tell your families seasonal story.
1 Dressing The Tree
For many of us putting up the tree and decorating it is the official start of Xmas, so of course that is the first photos to take is of excited little ones ‘helping’ to prepare the tree . Usually by burying it in tinsel! Make sure you have a few things like chocolate decorations that the kits can hang safely. (but if you have a dog remember too chocolate is toxic to them. So make sure they are moved out of reach later)
2 The Finished Xmas Tree
You spent ages decorating it with the kids. (Probably more time gently tweaking their over exuberant efforts later.) So before settling down for a sneak nibble of Santa’s mince pies and a taste of that wine the children left out for him, make sure to take a photo of the tree with all the presents round and the lights on.
Pro Tip. Try turning out the room lights, then prop the phone on something stable and use the built in timer to fire it. This will avoid blurry images from camera shake. If needs be cut something like a large potato into a temporary stand!! – you can still add it to the pot after!
3 Close ups of presents
You spent an age lovingly wrapping them only to be ripped apart in seconds come the morning. Grab some close up photos of them now, so all that hard work is not forgotten.
Pro tip. Get down low and close. Tilt the camera at jaunty angles to get more dynamic photos. Remember, you can use two fingers on the screen to zoom in closer. If you are getting bad shadows use a white pillow or a sheet of cooking foil to make a reflector.
4 Santa’s Treats
Part of the ritual is leaving out mince pies, sausage rolls and perhaps a glass of something to say thank you to Santa. This Xmas make more of it with the kids in the way of a festive tray of goodies. Then take a nice photo before Santa eats it all. If you are clever you may even be able to catch a photo of Santa’s hand reaching for one of those pies!
5 Early Morning Dash to Presents
OK I will confess I never quite managed to beat the kids down in the morning! But if you are determined to be there to see their excited faces then make sure you have memories of the moment.
The stairs are a perfect spot to stage an Ambush and insist on a photos of your excited hoard before they are allowed to see what Santa has brought them. The other option is to wait near the presents so you can capture those excited faces as they come into the room, instead of just their backs.
Pro tip: Remember to have the lights on ready. Consider swapping out the rooms bulbs for more powerful ones over the Xmas break.
6 The Carnage
Being nice and tidy with all the wrappings tends to be the last thing on excited children’s minds. Still that mad mess is part of Xmas morning and a quick photo of it creates a lovely before and after set. Why not cover a large box with the last of the gift wrapping the night before. Then all the wrappings can put into it, ready to go straight out for recycling.
7 The Grandparents
Xmas is often the one time of the year when all the family make a special effort to meet up. Making it the perfect opportunity to grab that photo of the Grandparents you want to have. Take a little time to get this right. Also make sure you take it early on, while they are still full of life enjoying the little ones fun. If possible set things up in advance too, so you have a photo that works all year round, free of the Xmas tree poking into shot. And without the cracker hats!
Pro Tip: This is the one photo you really do want to get if you have not taken one recently.
8 The Exhausted Nap
With all the excitement and presents little toddlers will do their very best to keep going but then suddenly it all catches up and they can crash out in the daftest or most adorable positions. So before you make them more comfortable make sure to grab that moment.
9 First Practice
They have just got the new scooter, bike, skate board they have been badgering about. Naturally they are excited and want to get straight out and give it a try! So make sure you are ahead of the game. Coats and scarves that match in colour ready to put on. Also have a think before the day. Where would be a great place to get a photos? Coming down that sloping path? In the local park? Planning in advance also helps ensure they are having that first wobbly practice in a safe place. As well as some great memories captured for posterity
10 The Dining Table
You have dug out the best crockery and those vegetable pots that only get used on special occasions. The crackers are laid out. It’s not Xmas without Xmas dinner even if you are not a Turkey family, so while you are at it take a few shots to remember all the effort.
Pro Tip: If you need some ideas take a look at wedding photographers. Most will make a point of capturing evening meals with close ups of table decorations glasses and food. Remember you can zoom in using two fingers on your phone screen. Some have a portrait setting too, where the background is creatively blurred. A great way to hide stuff you don’t want to see in the photo
11 The Xmas Cards
Lets face it most of us end up sending the cards for recycling in the new year do make sure you have a memory of all those friends and relations who wished you well that Xmas. Take some creative photos of them displayed. Perhaps a few shots of messages that mean something special that year too.
12 Favourite toys
Sometimes it is not the one you expect but often there is one present they keep going back to. Maybe this year it will be the one they keep remembering well into adulthood. In which case that photo of Winnie the Pooh before his ear was chewed off and eye lost could well be the photograph that rekindles more than just Xmas memories in years to come.
Finally – Enjoy a great Xmas
We hope these tips will be of use and perhaps take away a little of the stress that goes with this time of year and parenting an over excited brood. Just remember to enjoy some of the fun too after all that work!