6 Tips For Taking Marvelous Holiday Group Photos

Image: Tara B Photography

Holiday gatherings are one of the few times of the year that you have all of your family and friends together in one place, so don’t miss the opportunity to take some great group photos. And because those pictures will have to last until next year, you’ll want to make sure they’re as good as they can be! Here are some tips for taking truly unique and fun holiday group photos.

1. Take the time to pose. For family portraits or a large group shots, don’t just have everyone gather in one general area and look at the camera. Take a little time to set it up and pose! Have the taller people stand in the back and the center, with the shorter people on the edges or in front to create a balanced photo. You can also have everyone angle slightly toward the center of the group to avoid shooting them straight on. You want it to look like a cheerful holiday photo, not a mugshot!

2. Let the fun come through. Let the personality of your family and friends shine through! Rather than insisting on nice, polite smiles, let people get a little quirky and have fun. If you’ve got the kids climbing all over their parents (or tying each other up with with Christmas lights), that’s a photo sure to make anyone grin! It also beats those traditional, forced-grin holiday group portraits!

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Image: Martin Mommy

3. Create visual interest with props. This is especially useful if there’s not much of a height difference throughout the group. Set up some chairs and have those in the front row take a seat while the back row stands behind them. Add a more creative touch with unique props like wooden crates, a small step ladder or just steps themselves!


Image: Linnae Designs

4. If it bends, bend it. Too many straight arms and legs in a photo is unflattering. Have everyone bend their arms slightly at the elbows and gently relax their legs to avoid a stiff-looking portrait. For a more natural look, have a few people in the back row rest a hand on the shoulder of someone in front of them. Poses that work well for those in the front row include holding the left ring finger with the right hand or sliding a thumb into the front pants pocket.


Image: Pinterest

5. Get close. You’ll pick up more details on faces and eliminate the clutter in the background if you get nice and close for your shots. Allow your subject to fill the frame for an up-close-and-personal touch to your photos. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but eventually people will get used to your presence and begin to relax. You’ll find that you capture some really great moments when you’re right in the middle of the action!


Image: Mary McGuire Photography & Design

6. Don’t forget about action shots. You’ve got your family group photo, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to put your camera away! Keep it handy for any picture-worthy moments that pop up. You’ll capture the energy and excitement of the day much better in photos that aren’t posed. (As you can see in the photo below, posed action shots work well too!)


Image: Two Clicks Away Photography

Do you have any tips that have worked well for your holiday group photos? Share them with us below!

Featured Image: Tara B Photography

Leah is a freelance writer, photo junkie, and avid traveler. When she's not chipping away at a story, you can find her exploring the outdoors or planning her next adventure. Read about them on her blog, Relentless Adventure.

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