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How to Capture Timeless Family Portraits with Your iPhone this Holiday Season

Whether you're trying to take a family portrait for your Christmas card, Facebook or to hang on your wall, there's no doubt that capturing family memories is one of the most important things you can do. With the holiday season upon us, now's the perfect time to capture those moments before they slip away.

But don't fret—it doesn't have to be expensive or difficult! In fact, with just a little planning and creativity, you can turn your holiday season into a series of beautiful photographs that will last for years to come. So let's take a look at how we can make sure those precious moments aren't lost forever. But first, it’s important to consider…

What is a good photo made up of?

Photographs are art, so that’s an objective question. Focus on capturing the setting and emotion—not just the people in the photograph. You want a picture that will last a lifetime, not just one that sits in your camera roll collecting digital dust.

Take time to consider what each photo means to your family as a whole, not just how it looks at face value (or through an iPhone lens). When I’m taking iPhone photos, the “good” ones are also clear and well-lit.

Here are our top tips for curating wall-worthy photos of the people you love in this season of life:

Choose the Right Background


Like with most things in life, it’s a good idea to keep your background simple. But to be clear: I’m not saying to find your plain-est, white-est wall.

If you’re hosting this season, keeping a tidy backdrop may feel like mission impossible.

Tanya Sedore posing in Downtown Grande Prairie

PRO TIP: Take your photo in daylight, out of direct sunlight when possible. You can open your front door with all the indoor and outdoor lights off and pose your family in front of it (more on posing down there👇).


If shooting the portrait inside and the white wall isn’t working for you, try using texture to add depth.

Here’s an example of how I do this in the studio:

Think soft blankets, pillows, textured rugs, your favorite accent chair - you name it!

Leverage Your iPhone Settings


It’s tempting to use your front-facing phone camera in selfie mode to compose your image in real-time. While this may make getting the photo easier, faster and with less trial and error, the image quality will be lower.

The self-timer feature is not available with the forward facing camera.


First open the Camera app, then follow the below prompts:

Tap the arrow in the top-center of the screen.

Directions for Taking Better iPhone Photos

Above the shutter button, you’ll see a new menu of options, swipe to reveal more options. When you see the self-timer icon, tap it.