Christmas is almost here! Can you believe it!  Are you ready to take Christmas Morning Photos of your family?  I understand that Christmas morning can be so busy that you forget to take photos to remember those special moments. So here are a list of tips, if you want to get out your fancy camera and capture those moments, you’ll be prepared and not have to think about your settings.

1) Set your SHUTTER SPEED at 1/125 or higher.

Unless you are wanting blurry photos from motion blur, you want your Shutter Speed set at this number or higher. But you are indoors so you’ll need to let more light in, so just don’t go lower than 1/125.

2) Set your APERTURE between 2.8 and 4.0.

The lower the number, the less will be in focus. But for the most part, you’ll be focusing on one person in the photo. So set the f number (f-stop) to the lowest it will go. With your Kit Lens it probably won’t go lower than 4.0, so keep it at that or lower if your lens will allow it. If you take a group photo 4.0 will work just fine if it’s between 3-5 people. But if it’s a larger group then you’ll have to bump the number up a bit more. Think of it as how many people are in the photo, that’s what you’ll want your Aperture number set close to.

3) Bump your ISO

This is the third setting you’ll change and don’t be afraid to up that number. Yes, it might add grain (speckled look), but you’ll need more light and this is the last way to let in more light.

4) Remember to use NATURAL LIGHT

Open the shades and let that natural light in!! If you have a window that let’s in nice, natural light (soft white light), and you have the room, sit with your back to the window and that will put more light on your subject and your ISO won’t have to be so high.

Also, think about where your windows are… if you put your subject (kids, tree, etc) in front of that window, then you’re subject will be dark. But if you sit with your back to the window or you move so the window is at your side… then that light will help light up your subject.

5) Charge your Battery NOW!

Get your battery charged and ready to go, because you’ll be taking lots of photos and you don’t want your battery to die in the middle of everything.  And while you’re at it, get a new memory card or erase the photos off your current one once you move them to an external hard drive, etc.  This way you’ll have plenty of room for new photos.

6) Capture a STORY

You can think of your photos as capturing a story. Especially if you like to put your photos into albums, your photos will then tell what happened as a story in your album.

You can even start the night before and capture the milk and cookies that are left out for Santa.

7) Don’t forget the DETAILS

Remember to get up and close and capture special ornaments, or your presents close up. These close-up, detail shots also help tell the story. And as mentioned above… go ahead and capture these the night before, so you’re not stressing on getting these photos in the morning.

8) Last Resort – Add in FLASH

If it’s too dark and your photos are blurry or still too dark, you can add in flash. I’d recommend creating this hand made DIY Pop-up Flash Diffuser. You can create this in 10 minutes with items you already have at home. Do this NOW so you can practice a bit and see how it helps filter the light from your flash.

7) MOM (and/or Dad), GET IN THE PHOTOS!

Either use a tripod or hand the camera to someone else (even if it’s in automatic mode) and have them take a few photos of you with the kids! So they can remember you, just as you are… and remember, your kids don’t see all the imperfections you see. They LOVE you just the way you are. And Embrace the imperfections… yes, my sons eyes are closed and my hair isn’t perfect…but it’s still a photo to treasure and look back on.


Don’t forget to put the camera down and just enjoy being with your family. You don’t have to take a photo of every single thing. So put it down, and make some memories with your family.

Have a wonderful Christmas Morning with your family!!

Looking for a Christmas Gift for someone who LOVES taking photos?

We have just a couple of spots left in the Basic Digital Photography Class that will be held on Saturday, February 2nd.

Click HERE for details and to Register! 

Early Bird Registration ends on December 15th ($50 Savings!)