Get in Front of the Camera this Holiday

mom holding child upside down

Top 5 tips for getting in the photo with your family

The holidays are a time for family fun, and I know you’re going to be taking a lot of photos to capture the memories.

As we go into the countdown for final preparations, I want to remind you of something important—getting in front of the camera yourself.

I get it. You still haven’t lost all the baby weight. You haven’t made it to the hair salon in six months. You have bags under your eyes because the baby woke up four times last night.

And one of the reasons you like being behind the camera is because you don’t like being in front of it!

Here’s the thing though—thirty years from now your kids are going to want to see photos of you at the holidays and throughout the year. And so are you. And not just photos of you, but photos of you WITH your kids.

And while I truly believe that your presence is in every photo that you take, it’s important to get in front of the camera, particularly at the holidays but also on a regular basis so that your presence is more literally documented.

Here are some ideas on getting in the photo:

1) Use the forward facing camera on your phone

This is the easiest and most fun method. I have hilarious photos of me and Jack, peering confusedly into the camera and his older brother Liam hamming it up. And I’m always surprised at how happy I look, not because I’m not, but I don’t realize that it is plastered all over my face just from seeing myself with my boys. This is the method I use the most by far.

2) Use the “arms outstretched” method

Even without a forward facing camera, you can still face your camera towards you and shoot. Just check your shots afterwards to make sure you actually got everyone in the frame! (Confession: I’m horrible at this one!)

mom kissing son with outstretched arm

3) Look for reflective surfaces

Taking photos of yourself and your kids in the mirror is an obvious one, but also look for other reflective surfaces such as water, glass, or metal.

selfie on escalator with baby on back

4) Use the self-timer

Set your camera up on a stable surface or tripod and use the self-timer. This is a great tip for Christmas morning family photos if you don’t have an extra relative around to take photos!


5) Hand your camera to someone else

So easy to do but easy to not think of doing. Don’t be shy about asking other people to take photos of you with their kids, either friends, relatives or even complete strangers. I recommend encouraging them to take several so you have some choices and check afterwards to make sure they got at least one good one.

I also try to offer to take snapshots for people if I see them struggling with a self-portrait just because I know they will probably really appreciate it, as I do when people offer or agree.