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5 Unique Indoor Christmas Photo Shoot Ideas

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Here are five indoor Christmas photo shoot ideas for you to try! An indoor Christmas photo shoot helps you understand your camera better. It also helps you capture special moments with your loved ones in cherished spaces.

But, indoor Christmas photography tends to intimidate. Not everyone feels comfortable with a lack of space or lighting challenges. But don’t let these obstacles stop you from creating amazing images this holiday season!

Our list of indoor Christmas photography ideas will improve your skills and create lasting memories. You’ll learn how to take indoor portraits, use props, and experiment with different camera settings. You may find yourself pushing your creativity and enjoying some wonderful family time.

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5 Indoor Christmas Photo Shoot Ideas

To start, take a look around your home. What rooms feel the coziest, and where are your holiday decorations? What subjects or props can you use? Take inventory and start to gather your supplies.

Feel free to use your own inspirations. In the meantime, follow our indoor Christmas photography ideas below to help get you started.

5. Use Christmas Decorations as Your Subjects

Decorations are a brilliant way to capture a unique Christmas mood.

You don’t need a fancy lens to take sharp photos of toys, tree decorations, and other details. You can use a prime lens, such as the 50mm f/1.8. It’s both affordable and works well in low-light conditions. If you want to capture more detail, use a macro lens.

Using an aperture from f/1.2 to f/2.5 will create a beautiful background blur and bokeh effect.

An indoor Christmas photo of a decoration on a tree

The ornaments and branches on your Christmas tree could result in poor focusing. For this reason, I don’t recommend using autofocus when taking close-ups. Instead, use a manual focus on your desired subject for the best results.

Focusing in Live View mode or focus peaking can help if it’s too dark in the viewfinder to find your subject.

4. Shoot Candid and Posed Christmas Portraits

An indoor Christmas portrait of a little boy

Christmas is the perfect excuse to spend quality time with your family. You can document your favorite moments by taking posed and candid photos of your loved ones.

Pay careful attention to your white balance when you take photos of people. Too much warmth or coldness will result in unflattering pictures. It can even create an orange effect on the skin.

When you take candid photos, shoot in burst mode and fast shutter speed. This will help you take a lot of pictures at one time.

Keep your relatives comfortable in front of the camera by shooting from the hip using live view. Or, try using a silent shutter. Shooting from the hip will take the spotlight away from your camera. And using a silent shutter will remove loud distractions.

An indoor Christmas portrait of a little boy meeting a Santa Claus

3. Take Holiday Self-Portraits

Take self-portraits during the holidays. You’ll end up documenting your growth as an artist! Be creative with the same Christmas-themed props as the years go by. And use your imagination. You may even find inspiration in seemingly boring objects.

Always use a tripod no matter what kind of self-portraits you take. And if you don’t want to go back and forth to check your results, invest in a camera remote. You can press the shutter without moving away from your spot. For this, it’s not necessary to use DSLR. You can also use your smartphone.

A flexible mini tripod A flexible mini tripod is perfect for indoor settings. It doesn’t take up much space, and you don’t have to worry about running pets or children.

Make sure you’re posing in front of a flattering background for classic self-portraits. This can be a Christmas tree or a pile of beautifully-wrapped gifts.

Place another light source in front of or next to yourself. This will keep your entire face visible in your portrait.

To avoid fake smiles, have a family member entertain you while you take pictures. It might feel a little awkward at first. But, it will become a humorous experience that will leave you with lots of funny outtakes and memories.

ndoor Christmas portrait of a female model posing in front of the Christmas tree

For moody self-portraits, work with low light. You can take photos in a dark room with very few light sources or experiment with colors and bokeh.

A girl posing indoors with christmas lights and beautiful bokeh effects

Make your self-portraits look cozier by wearing something Christmas-themed. Beanies or sweaters are reliable go-to’s.

A girl posing indoors with christmas lights and beautiful bokeh effects

And who says you can’t smile in your moody self-portraits, too?

2. Include Your Pets in The Christmas Photos

A cute indoor Christmas portrait of a dog and xmas gift

Pets can be fast and unpredictable. They might have a love/hate relationship with your camera. Or, they might be too excited to care about your presence! These things will make it difficult to take sharp indoor Christmas pet photos.

Here are some ways to keep your pets happy and distracted:

  • Don’t use harsh flashes to avoid scaring your pet.
  • Hold a treat before you take a photo and reward them once you’re done.
  • Use sounds or weird noises to grab their attention.
  • If loud camera noises make your pet uncomfortable, shoot in silent mode.

A cute indoor Christmas portrait of a dog and santa hat

Don’t forget to include Christmas-related props in your pet portraits. These can be Christmas trees, decorations, or fairy lights.

If you’re planning to photograph several pets, use a wide-angle lens. This will capture your home’s entire Christmas environment. Plus, you’ll keep all subjects in the frame.

1. Experiment With Christmas Tree Photography

An indoor christmas photo of a decorated tree

Unlike the other subjects in this article, Christmas trees are very bright. If you don’t photograph them well, you’ll end up with overexposed photos.

To avoid this, photograph your Christmas tree without others in the room. This ensures that nobody interrupts your shot in the middle of your session.

Bright trees don’t always look good in bright rooms. Turn down the lights to emphasize your tree’s colors and decorations. You can also use bracketing to balance the exposure in different parts of the room.

Pay careful attention to your in-camera exposure. Underexposed photos are much easier to fix than overexposed ones. To fix exposure during post-processing without any quality loss, shoot in RAW.

An indoor christmas photo of a decorated tree If you like bokeh, take blurred photos of your Christmas tree. Set your aperture to a low f-number and use a manual focus away from the tree. It’ll create a beautiful triangle of bokeh like this one.

Best Camera Settings for an Indoor Christmas Photo Shoot

A photographer changing camera settings for an indoor Christmas photo

You’ll want most of your indoor photos to be sharp and well-lit. Strive for a white balance close to what you see with your eyes.

To achieve this, you need to adjust the following settings on your camera:


This is the most important tool to use in locations with limited light. Unless you’re shooting in a very bright place, your ISO should be higher than when taking outdoor photos.

The more ISO you use, the grainier your photos will look. If you have a camera with a poor low-light capacity, stick to 800 as the largest ISO. You have more wiggle room if you use a more advanced DSLR or mirrorless camera. Depending on your system, you can increase ISO up to 3200 or 5000.
Newer camera models often feature an ISO invariant sensor. With this tool, you don’t have to worry about getting grainy photos. Try a flash or strobe to illuminate your scene to avoid a high ISO.

White Balance

Indoor lights can be vibrant, warm, cold, or a color temperature in between. It’s important to understand how to adjust all kinds of artificial light.

You can get the effects you want by playing with different white balance presets. In indoor photography, tungsten or fluorescent modes tend to give the best results.

Most cameras will let you adjust your color temperature as needed, generally between 1000 and 5000K (Kelvin).

Shoot in RAW for the best results when changing the white balance during editing.


Aperture, or f-number, determines how sharp or blurry your photos look. A small f-number like f/1.2 will separate your subject from its background. You’ll get a brighter photo as a lot of light comes into the camera. A larger f-number like f/6 will do the opposite.

If you want your subjects to stand out, or if you want to create a bokeh effect, use small f-numbers.


Christmas is a wonderful time to photograph seasonal subjects and events. You can capture family Christmas gatherings, trees, and cozy holiday atmospheres. You can master your Christmas photography skills with the right amount of practice.

We hope our indoor Christmas photo shoot ideas get you started! These tips and tricks will help you take wonderful indoor pictures. As a reward, you’ll have life-long photo memories of everything you love at Christmas.

Check out this great post on how to create personalized Christmas photo cards!

Ambiance And Creativity
Brizlabs Fairy Lights
BrizLabs LED Color String Lights
Looking for inspiration for your indoor Christmas photo shoot ideas? Add a touch of magic with color changing LED fairy string lights, perfect for creating a unique festive atmosphere.

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