DIY holiday photos may have been hard for you to accomplish in 2014. It would be nice to not stress over a professional holiday photo shoot with the excitement and busy schedules of the holiday season lingering.

Some of us just don’t have the time to get everyone together, or perhaps we can’t fit it into our budget. But, that doesn’t mean you should be stuck skipping out on capturing your loved ones during the most festive time of year! There are tons of awesome ideas on Pinterest, but if you’re short on time this will work!


Creating your holiday photo ideas

A simple set up, with simple props is all you need to for a holiday photo shoot in your own home. Not only are you saving money and spending time with your family, but you’re able to schedule them at a convienent time for you.  Even if you’re not a professional photographer, you can be as creative as you want to be.

For you holiday photos, use the decorations that have begun to overtake your home. All you need next is a little preparation, your camera and your holiday cheer!

Inside or Out?

baby in -christmas box holiday photosYou want to start off by selecting an area inside or outside of your home.  In my photo-shoot, I used my formal dining room area.  I chose an area with a good source of natural light. Make sure it’s not too bright so everyone isn’t squinting. Close your blinds so the light is shining towards the ceiling, not down on the floor. This helps soften the light.

If you’re choosing to shoot your holiday photos outside, you’ll want to try to capture them in the early part of the day or around dusk. This helps avoid the harsh light from the Arizona sun. You’ll want to avoid irritating shadows on everyone’s faces. This is why outside events are hard to photograph.

xmasbaby-diy-holiday-photos-and-ideas-in-phoenix-arizonaA few years ago, we took our pictures outside in the backyard and I chose a location under trees. We used the shade to soften the light from the sun and the wind added a cool effect. Even though it doesn’t seem like Christmas at times in Phoenix, Arizona, our holiday photos turned out great!

Setting up your own “holiday photography studio” can be super easy. You can make it as simple or festive as you want.  Try thinking about who you’re photographing along with their personality as well.

Danielle’s Suggestion

holiday-photo-ideas-with-babys-first-christmas-decorationsThis Christmas, my one-year-old was amazed and intrigued by all of our decorations.  He loved walking through the neighborhood and looking at all of our neighbor’s Christmas lights. (frosty the snowman was his favorite by far)

He loved to read his Christmas stories, play with the holiday decorated stuffed animals, pull all the ornaments off the tree, and most of all – finally understand the complexities of unwrapping his gifts.  I think I heard “WOW PRESENTS” a trillion times! This is why it was easy for me to choose my son to be in this indoor setting.

wrapping-paper-used-for-holida-photography-ideas-christmas-portraitsI decided to use wrapping paper as my back drop and my flooring.  I taped high enough on the wall to avoid having to crop a majority of the picture. Taking a picture with a wider angle allows you to edit and crop your holiday photographs better.

I brought the wrapping paper down far enough on the floor so the carpet was well covered. I used cardboard as flooring so my props stood upright and so the paper didn’t crinkle and rip.  You’ll be forced to use multiple pieces of wrapping paper so you’ll want to avoid a distraction and use a vertical crease. (see pictures)

dig-holiday-photos-phoenix-arizona-toddler-on-christmasFor my holiday props I chose a couple Christmas stuffed animals and toys. This went along with my theme while keeping my son somewhat entertained during the process. He doesn’t like staying in one place for too long. 🙂  I also used my wooden ladder back rocker in this setting which I use for photography sessions.  It helped support the stuffed animals and toys as well.

If your shooting a toddler, I would recommend having additional hands on duty.  Their cooperation definitely requires an assistant making funny faces in the background. Don’t be afraid to capture the perfect pose by getting too much scenery in the background.  You can always edit and crop your holiday photos later.  I’ve been surprised to see how many photos I’ve taken that have seemed terrible but turned out great!

Next time, take advantage of your DIY Holiday Photos & Ideas

Next Christmas you should now be able to give yourself a shot at doing your own holiday photography. Even if it’s almost a year away!

As always, Danielle Jacqueline Photography has a great passion for capturing smiles, styles, and everything worthwhile!

DIY Holiday Photos Part 2 HERE