Tuesday, December 4, 2012

top 5 tuesday: tips for holiday portraits

'Tis the season for holiday photo ops. My own family did ours this past weekend. I figured it appropriate to share some of the tips that helped me have a [in my own opinion] fairly successful photo shoot. Here are my Top 5 tips for holiday portraits for this Top 5 Tuesday post.

Note: This can be for professional photo sessions or casual, impromptu family shots.

1. Tilt and/or angle your head.
Most people don't take flattering photos straight on. It's best to turn your head a little to the side and tilt it a bit. This is just more pleasing to look at and is perceived as being friendly instead of confrontational.

My sister and I have mastered the head tilt.
2. Skinny arm!!
The skinny arm trick has been around for awhile, and y'all I'm so boss at this. It's a matter of putting your hand on your hip and sticking out your arm so it looks skinnier. Bonus-it helps to define a waist!

3. Avoid strange shadows or weird lighting. 
Whether you are indoors or out, strange lighting or shadows will just make you look...well, weird. Christmas tree lights are SO pretty but not the best lighting for a person, you know? Turn on a lamp or go somewhere that's either shady or sunny but not both.

This picture is just weird. The shadows look like a giant hand.
4. Sometimes, candid shots are better than posed.
Candid, unplanned shots allow you to capture true emotion in the moment. Often, you can get the best results by just snapping the camera while people are opening gifts...or, in this case...throwing leaves.

5. Smile.
It sounds simple, but a genuine smile really can make a picture great. Even if your Aunt Myrtle is taking 75 hundred photos of you opening and re-opening your Christmas sweater. Smile, for real. Twenty years from now you'll be glad you did.

What are some of your best photography tips?

Speaking of awesomeness, Kelly is giving away a $100 Etsy giftcard on her blog! Go here to follow and enter!



  1. I love candid shots! I think those are usually the best photos. I ALWAYS put my hand on my hip lol!! Classic! Love the boots-- where are those from???



    1. Laura, I'll find out where she got the boots from. :)

  2. Thanks for the mention! I'm all about the side tilt for the face :-).

  3. Really stinkin cuuute!

    Love your posts! would love for you to check out my blog



  4. My family is lame and they refuse to take photos! If they ever agree the photos are super posed and candid ones are impossible haha. Candids are my favourite though.;

    Great blog :)



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