How to take the perfect Christmas photo using your smartphone

If you’re looking to improve your camera skills for your annual Christmas card photo or give your social media profile a boost with some stunning seasonal snaps, we’ve got you covered. 

We’ve put together some easy tips to help you impress your friends and capture the very best moments from your Christmas festivities.

1. Use the “rule of thirds”

An easy way to improve the quality of your photos is to use gridlines to help frame the shot correctly.

Use the lines to assist you by placing the main point of interest where the lines crossover. This is known as the “rule of thirds”. This will make your photos more interesting by placing the primary subject within one section of the grid lines.

Top tip: For a more professional look, try using the "rule of third" method instead of solely capturing your object in the centre. 

2. Try different camera angles

A quick way to add variety to your photo collections is to take advantage of different camera angles. And you’ll be happy to hear that angles can become easy to master with some practice.

Types of angles to try out on your smartphone include a bird’s eye view, photos at eye level and low angle shots. 

3. Focus, focus, focus

Although most smartphones will automatically focus on the main point of interest in the photo, some newer models have higher quality cameras that require manual focusing. For example, iPhones allow you to focus on a particular area by touching your focal point on the screen.

Top tip: It’s important to hold your phone steady, especially in low light situations, as this will create photos with higher definition and less motion blur. 

4. Turn portrait mode on

If you are lucky enough to be the owner of one the newest makes of smartphones, including the iPhone 13, Samsung Galaxy Note or Flip, and the Google Pixel 6, you will be able to use portrait mode to intensify the quality of your photos.

Portrait mode is often used to take photos of people, as the effect captures the sharpness of faces with a blurred background, creating a professional look.

Top tip: Portrait mode isn’t just for people; it can be used for objects, too. The blurred background effect is perfect for emphasising your object of interest. 

5. Action shot? Try using burst mode

Try out "burst mode". This allows you to capture multiple photographs by either pressing the shutter button or simply holding it down, depending on the phone being used. This setting is often used for capturing fast-moving action shots, such as, sports, dancing and laughing.

Top tip: This is a great one for when your pet is running away from that Santa hat, or when the kids are ripping open their Christmas presents.

6. Creative ways to use social media

Social media is a great way to capture different kinds of pictures with high-resolution options and a variety of image effects.

For example, Instagram has its own photography app, Boomerang. To use Boomerang, simply open Instagram, then tap the circle at the bottom of the screen and swipe across.

Boomerang allows you to capture visual stories differently to a regular still photo by looping the elements of your photo back and forth. You can easily share these fun videos with your family and friends simply by adding them to your Instagram story. 

7. Experiment with different editing apps

Smartphone photography apps are a great way to edit photos using different lighting effects and filters.

A favourite is Huji. This app allows you to create retro-style photos that mimic the look of a disposable film camera in just one click.

To use the app, simply hold the camera close to your eye as if you were using a disposable film camera. This will activate the full screen mode on the camera, allowing you to bring your photos to life with some stunning vintage effects.  Huji is free to download for both iPhone and Android users, so you can start snapping straight away.

Use all these tips for a collection of wonderful Christmas photos

Using these tips could help you improve the quality of your smartphone photographs and help expand your Christmas collection with fun and diverse photos. Don’t be afraid to experiment when it's time to capture those perfect festive moments.