The holidays are great for seeing family and friends and getting those photos to look back on for years to come. However, capturing the best family photo is not as easy as it sounds. Here are a few tips to get your aiming in the right direction.

Have Shutter Speed Above 1/80
I don’t know about your family gatherings, but ours sometimes turn in to an organized chaos of some sort. Kids running in and out of the room, people wandering looking for places to sit to eat, wrapping paper flying everywhere. Using a shutter speed of 1/100 for events like this is a safe bet. If you use your camera on automatic, most cameras will choose a shutter speed that is too low. Set this speed yourself for a better image.

Don’t be stingymodern-mod-christmas-decorations
Take several photos of the same pose in small little bursts. Trying to get everyone perfectly is almost impossible. But trying to capture on specific reaction when a child opens a gift may be missed if you don’t start snapping prior to the expression.

Don’t be afraid to snap those candids
The candids that we take are always the ones we laugh at the most. We love the unexpected looks on peoples faces. So go for it, take as many as your heart desires.

Where are you?
Take a step back when trying to get a family portrait. Make sure you can see where you are as well as everyone in the photo. Take a few close ups of the group, but don’t neglect the bigger picture.

Take More than People
Get past the traditional photos and start exploring the holiday gathering around you. Is there a beautiful trees, wreaths and decorations that you could photograph. What about the outside of the house where you are spending the holidays. Is there snow outside? Capture it all and have fun doing it!