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12 best Christmas card photo ideas

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by David Em

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It’s time to bring out your festive sweater and take the perfect Christmas card photo to share with your loved ones. Here’s some inspiration.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Family sitting on a bench at a Christmas tree farm.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Christmas card photos are one of the top priorities on your holiday season to-do list.

Whether you’re hiring a professional photographer or taking the photo on your own, there’s a lot of work that goes into the perfect picture.

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You may also want to use the photo for more than just Christmas cards. They’re photos that can be cherished for a lifetime.

To ensure you get the best Christmas photos, get inspired by ideas and learn essential tips.

1. Christmas tree farm

Family wearing Santa and reindeer hats at a Christmas tree farm.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

A Christmas tree farm is a classic and fun place for holiday photos. Whether you’re looking for family or couple photos for your Christmas card, it makes for the perfect background.

To make it more festive, wear your favorite holiday sweater and other Christmas gear, such as Santa hats.

At the Christmas tree farm, there are endless opportunities for poses.

You can take candid photos while walking or cutting down a Christmas tree. Another option is the classic posed smiling family photo.

2. Wear matching pajamas

Family wearing matching Christmas pajamas and looking at a book while sitting on a bed.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Matching Christmas pajamas are cute, festive, and fun. You can capture photos together on a bed, in front of a tree, or fireplace.

If you have a pet, get them matching pajamas, too. When you’re taking the photo, remember, candid shots are the best because pajamas are casual.

3. Pets are family

Couple sitting in front of a Christmas tree and holding their dogs.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Pets are an important part of your family. Feature them in your family Christmas card photos. To make it even more special, buy them a Christmas outfit.

You may find that it’s difficult to get the perfect photo with pets. Be as quick as possible and bring treats.

By doing those two things, you’ll get a fun and adorable family photo with your pets.

4. Cooking or baking

Mom and kids baking holiday cookies.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Cooking a Christmas meal or baking treats is so much fun. It’s even better doing it as a family.

Take candid photos of the family cooking or baking. You can decorate cookies with kids or throw flour at each other.

Be sure to wear your holiday sweater and decorate the background with lights and a tree.

5. Let kids be kids

Kids wearing Santa hats with their arms up surrounded by confetti.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Picture-perfect poses aren’t always the best. If you have kids, let them be kids. It’s the perfect way for them to have fun and you’ll find some precious candid photos.

When your kids are enjoying their time, their expressions will be genuine, resulting in a better photo for your Christmas card. So, take things lightly and have fun with your kids.

6. Stay warm with a blanket

Couple touching noses with a blanket around them.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

A red or holiday-themed Christmas blanket is a great way to show your holiday spirit. Plus, you’ll stay cozy whether you’re taking the photo indoors or outdoors. It’s perfect for couples and families.

7. Get dressed up

Family dressed up and sitting on a couch at home.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

If you want a next-level Christmas card photo, get dressed up.

With the whole family wearing formal or elevated casual clothing, you can have a fancy Christmas card photo.

There are many places to take dressed-up Christmas photos. You can take them in your home, at a photo studio, or outdoors.

8. Hold a wreath

Family at a tree farm holding wreaths.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Wreaths are a big part of Christmas. They’re also excellent props for Christmas card photos. You can have the entire family holding one wreath or each person can have their own.

9. Take a selfie

Mom taking selfie with daughters in front of Christmas tree.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

If you want to keep it simple, take a selfie. It’s a quick and efficient way to capture your Christmas card photo.

Most phones offer a good resolution. However, it’s not good enough for large prints. A selfie is ideal if you’re only using the photo for the card.

When you take the selfie, be sure to wear your holiday gear and take it near Christmas decor.

10. Hold a present

Family sitting in front of a Christmas tree and holding a present.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Presents are one of the most fun parts of Christmas. Gather your family near the Christmas tree and hold a present. Have one person pretend that they’re unwrapping it, and everyone else is happy to watch.

11. Party with friends

Friends having a Christmas party with drinks and sparklers.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

If you don’t have a family or aren’t close to yours, but you have a solid friend group, take Christmas photos with them.

A great idea is to have a Christmas party and take a group photo of everyone enjoying their time. Then, you can use it to send to other friends as a holiday greeting.

12. A sunny Christmas

Man carrying woman on a beach.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

Most Christmas photos involve sweaters, snow, and getting cozy. If you’re not a fan of the cold, go somewhere tropical.

Bring a Santa hat and take photos of yourself or your family enjoying the beach on a sunny and warm day.

It’s unique and sure to bring laughter.

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Featured image courtesy of Canva.

About David Em

David Em.

David Em is the founder of Portraits Refined. He’s a published portrait photographer dedicated to helping photographers develop skills, capture incredible photos, and build successful businesses.

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