Capturing Your Christmas Story: How to do it at Home with Any Camera

Written by Cynthia L. Sperko

If Christmas Day at your house is anything like it was at my home growing up, it was indeed a story in the making. My dad was the photographer for such events, and he always found a way of capturing the spirit of Christmas that brought life, entertainment, joy, and most of all, precious memories to our home.

One memory stands out from the rest for me. It was our first Christmas with my stepmom and her kids, and she made brand new Christmas stockings for all of us. That Christmas Eve, we received our new stockings. I was so surprised with mine, my jaw practically fell on the floor. My dad captured that moment and it will forever hold a place in my heart.

So how do you capture the story of Christmas? Read on for some tips.

1. Observe the surroundings and have your camera ready– From your Aunt Betty arriving at the front door with presents piled up over her face, to your siblings building a gingerbread house with Grandma, these happenings are the start of your Christmas story.

2. Getting the Christmas tree- Do you cut one down, or purchase one from a vendor? Don’t forget to bring your camera. Photograph moments of searching for the perfect tree, cutting it down, carrying it back to the car, attaching it to the roof of the car – (there should be some funny moments there) and bringing it inside the home.

3. Decorating the Christmas tree- Capture the before, during, and after. Capture close ups of your favorite ornaments, and the star or angel being placed on top of the tree. Most of all, don’t forget the tree lighting moment. Don’t just capture the tree, though. Think of creative ways of composing the images.

4. Presents- Photograph the gifts placed under the tree, maybe a sneaky image of some being wrapped, but don’t ruin any surprises. Don’t forget the presents being torn open on Christmas morning. Pay attention to the facial expressions as the gifts are unwrapped. Do your pets like to be part of the gathering? Don’t leave them out!

5. Christmas Dinner- Dinner time on Christmas cannot be left out. Observe your mom (and her elves) preparing the meal. Capture your youngest sibling looking through the oven door, and the chaotic moments that happen unexpectedly. Don’t forget to grab some images of the festive table being set, the turkey or ham being carved and placed onto the table, everyone gathered around, etc. The Christmas toast shouldn’t be left out either. Most of all, have fun!

So now you have some ideas of how to capture your Christmas story at your home. I hope these tips will help you out and make this holiday season a very special and memorable time for you and your loved ones.

Happy Holidays!

About the author: Cynthia Sperko is a professional photographer and Marietta resident since 1995. To view the author’s photography work, please visit