How to Capture the Essence of the Holiday Season

Dec 08, 2020
How to capture Christmas photos

The holiday season is magical and wonderous. It's hard not to get excited about this time of year, especially when we see it through the delight in the eyes of our children. Even my teen and tween, whose belief in magic has mostly faded away, like to enjoy the splendour of the holiday season. Sometimes it's the simplest of moments that make the best photographs because they are filled with treasured memories. Below are a few ways you can capture your memories filled with the essence of the holiday season this December. 

1. Photograph your traditions

To this day, I can clearly remember the day my eldest daughter arrived home from kindergarten at age five and, with a perplexed expression, promptly asked me, "When is our elf arriving, Mommy? All my friend's elves have arrived already." After a couple of quick texts to my daughter's friends' moms, I had discovered more about this elf. The next day our elf arrived, and he has been a tradition in our home for ten years now. Every year we capture the same image with our elf, and I love looking back on this tradition's images. Last year we acquired our furry family member on Christmas Eve, and this year, he joined in our traditional image. No matter how small, traditions capture the essence of the holiday season because they hold beautiful memories. These types of images are always on my list of must-capture images during the holiday season. 

ISO 1250, 35mm, f2.8, 1/320SS

 2. Incorporate holiday accessories

One of my favourite ways to infuse the essence of the holiday season into photographs is to use holiday accessories in an image. A simple treasured ornament, a Santa hat or even a room filled with holiday lights infuse a wonderful sense of the holiday season into captures. Embrace your unique holiday touches, and be sure to capture images filled with what makes the holiday season special in your home. 

ISO 1000 35mm, f2, 1/200SS

3. Have a little fun with the holiday lights

I adore sparkle bokeh, so it's no surprise that some of my favourite images to create during the holiday season include an excess of light bokeh. Don't be afraid to get creative and experiment with lights. Try shooting through lights or placing them in the background of an image, and don't forget about that Christmas tree image! The sparkly delight of light will undoubtedly infuse the essence of the holiday season into all your images with a special magical touch.  

ISO 1000, 35mm, f2.8, 1/320SS

4. Don't forget about details

This snow globe belonged to her great-grandfather. I think sentimental memories make the most beautiful images. Sentimental or not, the holiday season is filled with unique details. Don't forget to get up close with your camera to those holiday moments. Those details can beautifully fill frames and help you capture the essence of the holiday season. 

ISO 1000, 35mm, f3.5, 1/320SS 

5. Embrace low light

We're approaching the shortest day of the year. The good news is the days will soon begin to get longer, but we still have lots of time to embrace low light and experiment with artificial light. Low light images work well during this time of the year because low light can infuse a sense of peace and comfort into an image. Look for the opportunity to use low light as you capture the essence of the holiday season.

ISO 1600, 14mm, f3.2, 1/200SS

There are many different ways to infuse the essence of the holiday season into your images this year. Capture your memories and photograph your beautiful life as you go about celebrating the holidays. Don't be afraid to try something different this year within your holiday captures. Embrace this season and fill up your frames with the essence of the holidays.