Photo tip {Christmas tree pics}

UPDATE: 10.11

Welcome all those coming here from Pinterest. Funny how old posts find new life over there! This post is actually from 2008. You can find more random photo tips under the “Post Categories” tab > “SnapShops & Info”. Towards the end of November, I will be doing several posts related to capturing your holidays. Thanks for stopping by!


I thought I’d share a little tip on taking pictures of your kids (or whatever else) in front of the Christmas tree. Most that I see have the child right next to the tree and the picture is taken at night using a flash. I am guessing the reason for taking it at night is to see the lights on the tree. On the pictures below you will see the common way to take tree pictures on the left. On the right, I took this during the middle of the day. Our front window was to a bit behind and to the left of my boy. As you can see the lights still come out great and the lighting on him is much more natural.

To do this I recommend:

* Put your child a bit in front of the tree, not right up next to it

* Get natural light on your child’s face. This means you might have to move the tree a bit and put the child between the window and tree with you next to the window – if you don’t have great natural light already

* Use the Av mode (set it to the smallest number) and turn off your flash

Do you find posts like this helpful? Let me know and I’ll try to do more every so often if you like them…

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • Nancy - You relly seem like you know your stuff thanks. I was oundering how to take good basketball action shots in gyms? Also how to take action football night shots. I probably need a different lens of 2 but not sure what is the one to look for . I shot with a Cannon digital Rebel XT have the 18-55 lens and the 75-300 zoom. Any help would be greatly apprectated!

  • Michelle - Great tips! My pics always look like the ”bad” example on the left when I really want a beautiful photo like the one ln the right! Thanks!

  • Vicki penner - Love the tips!

  • allison - when i saw this on Pinterest i thought it was 2 different trees and 2 different kids at first! thanks for the tips.

  • james - Yes very helpful cause I don’t know settings on my camera my fiance will love this thanks

  • Amanda - Absolutely!!! Thank you so much!!!

  • Jennifer - Thank you so much for the tips :)

  • Siobhan - What a cute baby!! Thanks for the tip

  • Lana - This is very helpful information. I just got a Nikon Coolpix L105 and not all that sure how to use it like you suggest though. Can someone help me?

  • LaWanda - This helps alot! I have been doing it wrong for 25 years, who knew!!!

  • Laura - Love this tip and can’t wait to try it with my little one this Christmas!

  • Trish Basler - So simple and such a great idea…can’t wait to try it.1

  • Ali - Found your site on pinterest.
    Very helpful. I don’t have any fancy photography equipment, and am always looking for ways to get professional looking pics without paying an arm and a leg.
    I’ll have to try this!

  • Laura - I love this site…you have wonderful and very helpful tips especially when photographing children! Thanks again.

  • Larisa - I have an 11 month little girl and I don’t know much about photography, this was very helpful since all the homemade Christmas pictures came out blurry last year. Thanks for a really good tips :)

  • Lindsey - Thank you so much for the tip! I have a Nikon D3000. I am not sure what the “AV mode” is. Do you have any ideas?

  • Tish G - What is the Av setting? I have a Nikon and I don’t see that option. (Sorry, still learning here)

  • karenina armstrong - Thank you!

  • Dee - This does help when taking pictures, thanks 4 taking the time 2 post, any other tips would be aprisiated .

  • Lisa - Love this… now we just have to get our tree up to give it a try! :)

  • Charity - Yes! Very helpful. Simple, straightforward. Not bogged down with too many setting details. More! More!

  • candy - cant wait to try

  • Gayle Garrity - Yes, love this information. Thank you for sharing. Valuable information for me. I am a real estate agent and hearing your suggestion to use the AV mode and set it to the smallest number will be most helpful.

  • Judy - Great info!! Thanks for sharing the secret to good photos. I’m going to try this!

  • G-ma Debbie - I love your photography tips. I’m always trying to get good shots of our grandchildren but somehow seem to mess up. Thanks…..keep up the good work!

  • Stephany - yes very help full found the post on pinterest while looking up ideas for photos that I could do with a 9 month old.

  • International Decor - have cute face and smile :)

  • amber - What lense would u recommend for a cannon rebel t3i for this type of pic?

  • Jeanie - Awesome photos and tips! It always bugs me how people always stand on top of something – a wall, bush, tree. I used to do that, guilty as charged. Now I have a digital camera I’ve learn it always looks better to have some distance (depth) in the photo between objects. Your comparison photos show that fabulously.

  • Esther Browning - I have three boys that I love to take photo’s of. They are young and tend to have short attention spans. This and any other family portrait idea’s, in and outdoors, would be wonderful.
    Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

  • Lori - What iSO do you us for these photos? What about Christmas morning? How do you set your camera then?

  • Sarah G - Lindsey – Thank you so much for the tip! I have a Nikon D3000. I am not sure what the โ€œAV modeโ€ is. Do you have any ideas?
    Tish G – What is the Av setting? I have a Nikon and I donโ€™t see that option. (Sorry, still learning here)

    on a D3000 it is the “A” setting on the dial :)

  • Evelyn T. - Can you do this with a normal digital camera? Mine is nice and has lots of settings but I just know a few.



  • Making the Most of your Holiday Photos - Small Home Big Start - […] via Amanda on […]

Christmas Tree chopping

We took advantage of the incredible weather on Friday and headed out to the Owasso Tree Farm to cut down our Christmas tree. Last year was the first time we did this and now it is becoming a family tradition. The boys had a great time finding a tree and an even better time playing Hide-n-Seek among the trees. Chris and I laughed to think what it will be like in 12 years with 16, 14, and 12 year old boys doing this….

Littlest watching his brothers and dad chop down the tree

Our family pic from 2007

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend

World AIDS Day

We had a GREAT Thanksgiving and took advantage of the warm weather on Friday to head to a tree farm and cut down our Christmas tree. I have some pictures from that I want to share, but today is World AIDS Day. I’d rather call attention to that today than post my Christmas tree pictures.

Today 4,100 people with die from AIDS in Sub-Sahara Africa….TODAY!

An estimated 12.1 million children under the age of 18 have lost at least one parent in Sub-Sahara Africa. The thought of my children growing up without Chris or I is pretty close to unbearable for me – yet, this is common for millions of children.

There is an abundance of ways to you can help the AIDS epidemic. There is an abundance of information on how to be involved and informed….here’s a few

(RED) products: Apple, Gap, Starbucks, Hallmark are among the few that sell products with a percentage of profits helping those infected with AIDS

(RED) video: See the affects of what $.40 a day for 2 pills can make in the life of a man, woman, or child battling AIDS

World Vision: Take a virtual tour in the life of a child infected with AIDS

Samaritan’s Purse: Several videos and stories regarding the international Christian response to the disease

Bread For the World: Find information on how the AIDS epidemic has affected deaths due to starvation and poverty

**image above from

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend