How to Take a Christmas Tree Portrait

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Something to consider when taking a Christmas tree portrait is the color on the walls. If you’re going to use a fully decorated and lighted tree in the photograph, don’t shoot the picture from too far away if you have white walls.

White walls make are glaringly noticeable. You want the focus to be on the Christmas tree and the people in the picture, not on the walls.

One of the easiest and most traditional family Christmas portraits to take is the one where the family is all gathered in front of the Christmas tree. But you don’t have to do it that way if you’re looking for something a little different.

You can take a photograph of the entire family in front of the tree but with each of the kids inside a box decorated to look like a Christmas present. If you have teenagers, you can wrap the box they’re sitting or kneeling in paper depicting their favorite things to do – music, sports, as well as their hobbies.

If you’re using a live Christmas tree, before you put any decorations on the tree, have each family member dress warmly in sweaters, mittens, boots and scarves (turn the furnace down in your home so no one gets overheated) and sit in front of the bare tree.

Christmas Tree Portrait


Put snow fluff and Styrofoam balls representing snowballs. Have each family member sitting or kneeling in the ‘snow.’ You can do this with an artificial tree, too.

Instead of the family gathered in front of the tree, you can have a photo of the family gathered around the tree in profile. Each one is looking at the tree and their faces are bathed in the lights from the tree. Silhouettes also make great Christmas portraits. You can also get a picture of everyone in the photo reaching toward the tree to hang a special ornament.

If you’re a couple without children, both of you dress in white with pale blue scarves. Stand together, slightly angled toward one another in front of a white Christmas tree decorated with blue ribbons and blue Christmas balls. Use the zoom feature so that the Christmas tree doesn’t have a lot of it in the background. This makes a lovely portrait.

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