Eight Simple Composition Tips for The Holidays (or Anytime)

by SomeGirl on December 6, 2011 · 12 comments

Before we start this Photography Wednesday, let me be upfront in saying I am just learning photography… What I share here comes from what I learn from my sweet husband, from other skilled photographers’ posts (found primarily through Pinterest – let me know if you need an invite), and from experimenting. I don’t know much on my own, but I’m glad to share with you what I’m learning/experimenting with. :)

That being said, let me share some composition tips that I’ve found helpful. (Today’s photos are pretty grainy due to the low amount of light available as I shot.)


1. Check your background. If you can’t do anything quickly about the clutter around, zoom in.


2. Get the big picture, but don’t forget to zoom in on the details.


3. Try to avoid asking children to look at the camera and smile (I always forget this one!).


4. Sometimes it’s good to zoom out and include things in the background that help tell a story in the photo… like a Christmas tree waiting to be decorated or building blocks strewn across the floor.


5. Zoom in, Zoom in, Zoom in.

Many times the difference between a snapshot and a well-composed shot is that the photographer of the latter has zoomed in, taking out unnecessary details.


6. Don’t forget to tell a story with your photo. Add a detail if needed.


7. Don’t zoom in so much that you lose details important to the story you’re trying to tell.


8. Have fun! And make sure you get photos of yourself in all the fun (even if it means passing the camera to your child and forgetting composition rules). Your family will appreciate having photos of you in the future. :)

Btw, they look so calm decorating the tree up there, but this is a more accurate representation… ;)


Want to know how to make the lights on your tree look so bright in photos? Click here.


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Great tips Michelle! I am a wanna be photographer and still learning the ropes. :)


Thanks, Jennifer! I’m in the same boat…. wanna be, learning the ropes. Hope what I share as I learn helps. :)

Naomi A.

These are really useful tips, I need to get on top of taking some Christmas photos myself!


Thanks, Naomi! Yeah, I was a little freaked out when a “Santa” as a party recently said, “See you in 2 weeks” to my boys…. 2 weeks (and that was 2 days ago….)! Hope you get some great Christmas photos!


Love these tips!!! So excited to try them out tomorrow. Thank u for sharing ur wisdom (& hubby’s wisdom) with us photography newbies!


Thank you and you’re welcome! So, how are you enjoying your new camera?? :)


Oh, I love that one of Z stringing the lights out where he’s reflected in the mirror. COOL shot! and that last one literally made me laugh out loud. LOVE it. :)


Haha… if only I had a video to share – lots of throwing lights on!

Now, I really need to get you to teach me how to knit. (Then you can make fun of me on our next plane ride.) ;)


Thank you, btw!

Betsy at Zen Mama

Great pictures and great tips. Thanks as always!!


Thank you, Betsy! Hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas season!


I love the pics with the tree and the lights!
I have been experimenting with that too. Had no idea I could take a pic of a tree where the lights would show up so well :)
Posting some pics to share.

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