Capturing the Magic of Christmas with just your iPhone

It's the most magical time of the year, the twinkle of lights, the excitement of Christmas. Everyone is bundle up at home together and it's the perfect time to capture those special moments together. It's not always possible to hire a professional, so here are some tips to take pictures of your family at home.


If you're wanting to create a bokeh effect from your Christmas lights, turn off all the lights except for the tree.  If it's darker, steady your hand by either leaning on furniture or using a selfie stick if you have one. Try and face your subjects towards any natural light you have and have the tree behind you. Day time shooting will be even easier, this just entails getting a bit creative with your angles.

You can play around and adjust the exposure, I like to underexpose the images a bit. Find this feature in the photo mode and the little up arrow at the top center. Alternatively, tapping the screen in different places you will allow the camera lens to re-adjust it’s focus causing the light to dim or get brighter. 

Setting Up

Pick out the spot you want to shoot in front of. Set everyone the way you'd like. I've created a Pinterest Board with some posing ideas.

If you're trying to take a family photo with everyone in it, set up a selfie stick or find something to lean your phone against. Always shoot with the camera on the back of your phone if possible, it has much higher resolution. Clear out any clutter and wear your favourite sweaters or PJ's.

Once the phone is set, have everyone in place, know where you're going, set the 10 sec timer and quickly scoot to your place. It helps to have everyone countdown so you know when to smile, or throw in some tickles for a more authentic feel.

iPhone & Apple Watch

If you have an apple watch and an iPhone, you can go into the camera remote app on your watch and press the shutter from there. I would stick to 3 seconds so you can press down and get into position. This is great way to get lots of shots in the same spot without having to run back and forth.

Don't be afraid to move around, hug and squeeze your loved ones.

Edit your photos on your phone

I love an soft edit on my images, especially images on my phone to give them a bit more of a film feel. My favourite editing app these days is the Tezza App. My go to edits are Disposable + Cocoa both down to about 60%, lower the contrast a bit and adjust for light and voila. You have pictures with a bit more of a timeless feel.

If you happen to have a DSLR, here are the settings you'll want...

If you happen to have a camera you can set the settings to manual mode. ISO 800, F-Stop 1.8 or as low as possible, Shutter Speed 1/50. You'll need a tripod or set it on a table if you want the image in focus but have a nice bokeh/blurred light effect.

Photo credit: nazmeeva_photo

Photo credit: Pinterest

Get Creative

Get down low, shoot through a wreath, catch your kiddos playing with the ornaments through the tree. You'll be pleasantly surprised with the results the more you play around.

Click here for some more ideas posing ideas. You can swap out who's taking the pictures, don't forget to pass your phone over to snap a shot of you and your partner, these are always a surprise - and a memorable one at that!

Photo credit: Pinterest

A special thank you to all the families and couples I've had the pleasure of shooting this year. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!