jesi peterson


How to Shoot Your Holiday

Your First Steps

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Christmas is my favorite holiday! The decorations, the music, the snow, the magical feeling that is all around us, I LOVE IT ALL!!
And taking photos during the Holidays is one of my FAVORITE things to do!

I love watching Aspen get so excited about the cookie decorating, putting up the tree, and the Christmas lights we pass at night! Taking photos of my holiday is a priority for me and I assume it is a priority for you as well since you’re here wanting to learn how to take holiday photos better!

Over the next couple weeks, I will go through how I shoot many parts of our holidays!

Our Christmas Tree
Our Holiday Traditions
My kids enjoying the season

P.S. Included on each picture I will include what my settings were for those pictures so you can start to understand the appropriate settings to get the looks you want 😉

Family Gathered around a Christmas Tree

Now, to get started there are a few, very important things that I always have to remember during this holiday to make sure that not only my family enjoys it but, so I enjoy it as well!

Be in the moment

When we get caught up in the picture taking and the video recording we forget to participate in our lives. We are stuck behind the camera or phone making sure that we get the “perfect shot”, or record the exact moment that things are happening! I urge you to remember to be in the moment. Yes, take the time to get a few good shots of your kids throwing tinsel on the tree but put the camera down and go throw tinsel with them! Heck start a tinsel fight and throw tinsel on your kids! The will remember those moments with such fondness in the future!

Be prepared

You don’t want to get your kids in the middle of an awesome tinsel fight and realize that you have no room on your memory card to shoot it! You don’t want to be deleting old pictures off of your phone to make room in the middle of your child’s Christmas concert!
Charge your batteries, clear your memory cards/clear room on your phone, be sure your lenses are clean and in working order. This will save you so much stress during the moments you want to capture!

Set down your camera but still capture the moment

Get a trigger for your camera so that you can be in the moments but still capture them! There are many affordable options for triggers on Amazon that there is no reason you shouldn’t have one (check out the Amazon list here that is full of affordable triggers for your camera)!

Set it up

Being stressed on Christmas is the WORST! Take the time to get those “perfect” shots you want long before Christmas! Want a photo of your baby playing with the Christmas lights or looking at the tree in all it’s lit up glory? Do it long before Christmas Eve or Christmas day! It is not worth trying to get all the pictures you want in 2 days. Stretch out your traditions so you can properly plan them out and execute them!

Natural Light, Natural Light, Natural Light!

For those photos that don’t require all darkness (like shooting your tree), get as much natural light in your house. Open all of your blinds and move that table next to a big window. It doesn’t matter if that’s not normally where your table is! Getting the natural light on your kids as they decorate a gingerbread house or as you photograph them sitting by the tree is so important! It makes it so you don’t have to bump up your ISO and slow down your shutter speed, helping you capture beautifully lit and in focus pictures of your family while you all enjoy your time together! I promise you won’t regret it!


Taking images of the kids helping you make cookie dough in the kitchen? Clear that counter-top off! If there is clutter in the background of your image all you will remember is how you wish that you had put it all in a different spot while you took pictures! Better yet, have your kids clear that counter-top off! Is my home always spotless with only 2 things on the counter at all times? No way! But in my pictures I make it look that way so later it doesn’t drive me insane! Taking 2 minutes to de-clutter will save you hours in post-production and a lot of grey hairs!

I think my favorite step from above is be in the moment! It is important that you participate in your life and your family’s life without your camera or phone in front of your face! 😉

Keep an eye out for more tips for shooting your holiday coming soon!

December 14, 2017


  1. […] The First Steps Your Christmas Tree Your Holiday Traditions Your Kids Enjoying the Season […]

  2. […] First Steps Our Christmas Tree Our Holiday Traditions My kids enjoying the season […]

  3. […] First Steps Our Christmas Tree Our Holiday Traditions My kids enjoying the season […]

  4. Misty says:

    These are great tips! Nice job!!

  5. Marquette says:

    These are amazing Christmas photo tips!! So helpful!

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