For parents who are looking for a fun way to take photos of their family during the holiday season, here are five Christmas photo backdrop ideas that will help you create beautiful memories. We know a family photo session can be expensive, so these DIY options should save you money and time! The holidays are a time when families come together to make memories, but it can be difficult to capture those moments on camera.
Christmas Photo Backdrop Ideas
From an easy DIY Christmas backdrop option to professional-looking backdrops, these ideas will inspire your creativity and ensure that this year’s photos stand out from the rest. I love having new Christmas Card Pictures done each year– it’s such a great way to be in contact with family and get everyone in the holiday spirit. Unfortunately, pictures and holiday cards can add up in price quickly and we know that a lot of people are cautious of overspending during the holiday season. Doing your own family picture (or a set of photos) can be a huge way to save on holiday expenses.
Photo Ideas are easy to find online, but often that perfect Christmas photo can be messed up by a not so great backdrop. If you’re tired of using the same old backdrop every year — or none, try one of these five creative options for taking memorable family portraits at Christmas time! The best part is that all of them are super affordable and don’t require any special skills or tools — just some basic crafting knowledge and creativity.
DIY Christmas backdrop options:
Use String lights as Backdrop:
Using Christmas string lights as Christmas photo backdrop is a cheap and easy solution if you don’t want to purchase an expensive Christmas backdrop online or at your local store. If you want more even light across your Christmas string light background, consider buying two strings of Christmas lights instead of one long one.
Hang a plain sheet, tablecloth or large curtain behind the lights. String lights at two or more varying heights from both top corners. Using a large window and curtain rod works well for this! If you need to move furniture, go for it. It’s all about prep- so when you have your family gather for the photo, the backdrop is ready to go.
Note about lights– Christmas lights that are larger, especially Edison bulb lights, are fun and nostalgic. You do want larger bulb lights if you are using them as a photo backdrop, so they show up well at a distance. Typical smaller Christmas Tree lights won’t show up well at all. Another hint is if you are taking a photo indoors, open ALL the windows and allow as much daylight in as possible. A living room space with lots of natural light works well. If you are able to borrow or buy a large selfie light, ring light, or additional freestanding light source, you can quickly increase the level of your photo quality.
Using Curtain Lights:
If you have experience with using lights and balancing lighting in the room, curtain lights are a beautiful option you can use, especially in darkened rooms. This idea is ideal for a newborn Christmas photo shoot or bride and groom/ first Christmas ideas. Using a darkened room, arrange the curtain lights behind the subject of the photo. The curtain lights should be completely out of focus, lending soft, sidelight to the main photo. Keep in mind you will still need a flash and certain camera adjustments for darker environments.
Purchase Professional Backdrops:
Not feeling crafty? It’s ok to purchase a professional Christmas backdrop? You’ll find a large selection of Christmas backdrops online — from family Christmas photo backdrops to Christmas photo booth backgrounds . This can take a lot of the stress out of getting that photo of the entire family. We know it can be stressful for moms and dads of younger kids already!
There are many Christmas Theme backdrops to choose from. You can use your family’s overall personality to decide. Do you prefer rustic photos, timeless, silly? Themed photos with everyone in Santa hats, matching pajamas, or a funny idea from your favorite Christmas movie are always options. Check out these Katebackdrop 2021 Christmas Collection or Katebackdrop Blogs. They have some cute ones.
Remember with any photography backdrop, assume the item is heavy and you will need to figure out how to hang it up or set up. If you don’t have a sturdy curtain rod, using PVC pipe as a stand can also work. Beware of strong colorful backdrops such as red background, or backdrops with a lot going on. For example a backdrop with an elaborate decorated tree may actually distract from the faces in the photos! Any DIY Christmas photo backdrop should be just that– a background!! Make sure it flows well with your Christmas photo idea.
Use your Christmas tree as a Christmas photo backdrop:
A rustic themed Christmas is one of the most current popular ideas. The easiest way to achieve this look is to use simple props, lots of greenery or natural elements, and of course muted colors. Some of the best photos are simple black and white elements either in front of the Christmas Tree or outdoors for a natural feel. If you have permission, a perfect location for rustic photos is at a Christmas Tree lot! This is an easy way to get the kids involved too. Heading out to the tree farm is a fun way to get the annual family photo checked off the list– and have fun too! We did one holiday mini photo shoot at a Christmas Tree farm and it was so fun. There are lots of different ways you can take photos– with or without a professional photographer– and get some great photos.
Christmas trees provide a simple backdrop that works with multiple family sizes, outfit choices and more. You can always bring along good props like fake snowballs or baby safe ornaments for the kids to hold and accent the photos with.
Using a Photo Booth
A photo booth is another one of those perfect backdrops that you can use without a lot of DIY prep. These can be great for family Christmas photos and are so much fun to take! They are especially popular for young adults, teens and older kids. If you have a larger Christmas party coming up this season, look into local photo booth rentals in your area. There are different sizes and price points for photo booths, so research now to select the option that will work for your event. Not only can you take photos for Christmas Cards, but photo booth photos and props are also a great time and fun addition to the party!
Outdoor Photos with Holiday Decorations:
Finally, the last option we have listed is just to take your own photos outdoors! If you have a beautiful outdoor space, or know a friend or family member with great landscaping and outdoor spaces, you can take your own photos easily without any professional photographer or backdrops.
Use a good quality camera, newer cell phone with an advanced camera, and tripod to achieve your perfect Christmas family photos. Have family members posed with faces at different levels, and offset from one another. Be sure no one is obscuring another person! This is always easy to do with taking your own photos.
Christmas Photography Tips include:
- Take photos on an outside stairway or front steps where you can stagger heights.
- Seat any taller members or have them at the center point of the photo.
- Don’t take photos in broad daylight! Wait for afternoon hours when the sun is not right above– this will help with shadows!
- Don’t take photos far away– ideally faces should be easy to see in the photo. Background space should appear all around the subjects but not be the majority of the frame.
- Use only simple props. These will keep your photos looking up to date.
- Bring along a fun toy to keep the attention of any babies or toddlers.
- Be sure to get the whole family in the photo– allow space above and to the side of each subject so there is not any cropping out of the top of someone’s head or an arm when you are editing.
- Finally, edit all your photos! If you think it’s bright enough, double check! You can always add brightness even if just slightly. Sharpen images slightly to get rid of any haziness due to moisture in the air.
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