The Playful Parents

Love at Play

{Love Gifts} Fun Family Christmas Card Photography Tips


For today’s Love Gift idea, I am so excited to have a wonderful family and child photographer, Steph, of Steph Tan Photography, to share with us 3 simple-yet-sophisticted tips on how to create a great unique family card. Take it away, Steph!

With a strong personal preference for personalized cards, Christmas always comes with a challenge to step beyond the usual Christmas tree shot, or Santa suit/hat shot, so I’m sharing some quirky ideas here to mix it up a bit. A firm believer that the process is as important as the end result, it’s important to keep in mind your core message while shooting the session.

Here are three simple ideas based on what Christmas means for us:

(1) Christmas to us has always been about thinking back on the year, and counting the blessings that we’ve had. It’s easy to lose heart especially in a particularly challenging year, but the gatherings among family and friends during this time of the year remind us that we are here, we are loved, and we are oh-so-lucky. So our first shoot idea is a “thankful” wall.

The kids received this starlight as a gift this year and we used it as the main light source for this conversation shot. I’m keeping plenty of negative space on top and on the side, so we can scribble down things that we are thankful for, stick stickers or other images in, or better yet, write a personalized thank you message for a special someone. We like this because we can approach it differently depending on the person we are sending it to.

(2) It’s all about the lights! As we don’t have snow nor pine trees here in tropical Singapore, so in terms of a visual representation of Christmas, it’s all about the lights! Our second shoot idea is a playful twist of playing with the many Christmas lights adorning the streets, and our home.

We didn’t want a standard tree shot, so we decided to shape the light into a tree by shaping the “bokeh.” which is a photography term for the out of focus light in the foreground and background of an image. You will need a wide open lens, some paper cutouts you can fit over the lens, and cut the shape you’d like to form right in the center of your cutouts. We used four of our favorite shapes: heart, star, bunny, and Christmas tree. As you can tell, my drawing skills are quite rudimentary. Feel free to have fun with any shape you can draw!

(3) Play! Christmas is all about having fun and spreading the cheer. With simple red crepe paper we have lying around the house (from the last birthday party), I armed the little ones with scissors and got them started on cutting small pieces of paper. Creating our own ‘sprinkles,’ the kids excitedly worked on their task, anticipating the red snow I promised them.

To keep the look airy, the kids sat against a crème wall. Got a little help from my lifesaver, and soon enough, red crepe paper was flying all over our bedroom. The kids had a jolly good time with it. So much so, that we had to do five rounds of it, even though I had already gotten my shot. But all’s well, since everyone had fun – even when we were cleaning up! 

Talk about coloring the town red!


This is brought to you as part of The Playful Parents’ Love Gifts series {Christmas Edition}.
We started the party on 26 Nov, Monday, so do explore around for ideas.
Stay tuned for the next instalment coming up tomorrow!


  1. What wonderful photos and tips! It really exudes the X’mas mood. Thanks for sharing! :D

  2. LOVE THE RED!!!!!!!!!

  3. I’m always cracking my head over christmas cards. These are gorgeous!

  4. So beautiful! Love the bokeh idea, been wanting to try it out for ages!

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