I hate my Christmas photos - every year

Two Peas is Closing
Click here to visit our final product sale. Click here to visit our FAQ page regarding the closing of Two Peas.

Posted 12/25/2012 by paperpilekitten in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 118,945
December 2003
Posts: 3,174
Layouts: 144
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden

Posted: 12/25/2012 6:02:34 AM
I don't get what's wrong with me. I love my December Daily photos but when it comes to the actual Christmas celebrations with the family, I can't seem to get one pretty photo. It's the same thing every year. I'm beginning to regret buying so many Christmas collections since it feels like I won't ever scrap a Christmas photo.

Maybe it's because the family celebrations are all about people and portraits, catching moments, and I suck at that kind of photography? I've always been better at photographing objects, details or landscape/surroundings/milieus than people/action photos. It certainly does NOT help that my parents and siblings HATE do be photographed and often make ugly faces when they discover that I have the camera on.

Just now, I browsed through the pics from Christmas Eve at my parents' house. I deleted most of them and the only ones I kept are kind of 'eh'. Anyone else having a similar problem? Or is it just me?


Paperpilekitten.com I recently gave my paper trend blog a makeover.


PeaNut 537,800
January 2012
Posts: 1,491
Layouts: 1

Posted: 12/25/2012 6:19:28 AM
I don't have one decent christmas photo... but then again my picture taking skills are average! this year my resolution is to finally learn to take a good picture!!
Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 88,155
May 2003
Posts: 2,143
Layouts: 176
Loc: Australia

Posted: 12/25/2012 6:25:10 AM

I have same problem at my house, everyone pulls silly faces when they see the camera even pointed in their direction, and all my photos are so busy, with hussell and bussell, making the photos very distracting, and i always seem to miss the best shots

oh well, make do with what we get and keep trying for that elusive photo

merry christmas

You Wanna Peas of Me?

PeaNut 413,587
February 2009
Posts: 5,966
Layouts: 51
Loc: Western NY

Posted: 12/25/2012 6:49:44 AM
Me either. One reason why I don't like scrapping Christmas! lol.

Chocolate......who needs a reason?!

50 page freeze challenge:
Started Jan. 3, 2014
15 12 x 12 pages completed.

Donna in GA
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 60,695
January 2003
Posts: 9,048
Layouts: 2

Posted: 12/25/2012 7:12:18 AM
My family has become much more cooperative about pictures since we have started bringing the Christmas scrapbook that I make for my Mom to the family gatherings. They all love looking at the pictures from years past.

I have learned to get some staged group shots and then I just shoot away for candid photos. The candid shots I crop like crazy and usually print in a smaller size to fit more on a LO. I gave up op perfect a long time ago.

Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 224,298
September 2005
Posts: 997
Layouts: 35
Loc: Florida

Posted: 12/25/2012 8:17:37 AM
Well that's one way to get cooperation -- show the pictures to EVERYONE, and OFTEN. If they don't like themselves in the pictures, well, they had the opportunity to put on their best face, right?

That said, my pictures on the actual day all look alike since my family (when I'm with them) are somewhat reserved and not super expressive. The dogs give better candids than the people. They'll stop and smile if I ask them too. I just realized my neice wore the same jammies the last 2 years in a row. She's not my kid so I can't force her to wear more photogenic attire!

My other issue is that I really don't like flash photos, so my pictures are frequently darkish or out of focus. Again, it's not my house so I can't move in more lights.

Merry Christmas to all my 2Ps friends!

"If you don't like your neck in photos, crop it out! Who needs to see all those chins anyway!"

Everyday Life in Florida

Ellen in sunny south Florida


PeaNut 224,298
September 2005
Posts: 997
Layouts: 35
Loc: Florida

Posted: 12/25/2012 8:18:24 AM
I guess what I meant to say is, it is sometimes out of your control, so do the best you can and enjoy the moments.

"If you don't like your neck in photos, crop it out! Who needs to see all those chins anyway!"

Everyday Life in Florida

Ellen in sunny south Florida


PeaNut 7,774
November 2000
Posts: 1,663
Layouts: 23
Loc: Midwest

Posted: 12/25/2012 8:44:45 AM
This post makes me laugh because I just told my daughter she was going to need to change her clothes...for pictures of course. LOL!

And you know what, just take the pics. You will be so glad you have them in years to come. We spent yesterday watching old tapes of our kids starting at 2 and 5 who are now 13 and 16. It was so much fun hearing their little voices. I remember at the time I didn't really care if we taped or not. Now I am really glad ...so again...just take pics...you will be glad you have them even if they aren't the greatest.
Merry Christmas.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 31,617
March 2002
Posts: 9,964
Layouts: 59
Loc: southern new mexico

Posted: 12/25/2012 9:06:06 AM
I agree with the poster who said "just take the pictures". Maybe try to be more stealth about it; less posing and more just snapping people before they have a chance to realize they are having their photo taken.

I am lucky...my family is very cooperative. My daughter even came out first thing this morning and commented "I made sure my pajamas matched 'cuz I know we're gonna have lots of picture taking".

And with kids, bribery goes a long way!

Good luck.

Marilyn (now in New Mexico!!)
SCUBA diving and SCRAPPING Mom of two


PeaNut 431,254
July 2009
Posts: 1,506
Layouts: 0

Posted: 12/25/2012 9:08:37 AM
Mine were not too good from Christmas eve either. Low lighting and too many people/dogs moving around so some were blurry. I need a few classes, I think!

black eyed pea with soul!

PeaNut 15,878
May 2001
Posts: 25,921
Layouts: 71
Loc: LI, NY

Posted: 12/25/2012 9:32:26 AM
I hated my Xmas LOs too. Then I started focusing on Xmas things. Last year I took a picture of my angel and shared how it doesn't feel like Xmas until she graces the top of the tree. This year I took photos of small stuff like my Santa votive holder, the jingle bells, cinnamon rolls for breakfast, my tiny manger display. I take better pics of things that don't move, LOL.

original pea number #3450
This Black Butterfly

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 120,686
December 2003
Posts: 5,054
Layouts: 10
Loc: Isanti, MN

Posted: 12/25/2012 9:55:02 AM
I HAD visions of my three grandchildren (2 and under) in their new P.J's sitting around the tree. Instead I get one with a snotty nose, I naked except a diaper, He wouldn't get dressed, and I running around with his new pj's with this brother's shirt tied around his neck like a cape.

So much for great pictures. I just took them anyway. That's our family.

One son opened one of his presents and it was just a bunch of boxes. Oops!!!!

The best present was one we gave to our daughter. I got her $100.00 in ones bounded together with the bank wrapper. I wrapped it about 20 layers of paper, bubble wrap, boxes, duct tape and put into a bigger box that was duct taped. She had to open it one layer at a time. She was shocked when he saw what it was.

Sylvia in MN


PeaNut 106,912
September 2003
Posts: 2,024
Layouts: 37
Loc: Tucson, AZ

Posted: 12/25/2012 10:18:19 AM
Give your self a break! It's not you
The thing about the actual christmas events is that is just like PhotoJournalism.have you noticed How rarely you find good Pictures in any news media? It's because you can not control the events. Everybody is comfortable at home. They don't want their pictures taken. They are all over the place. It's unpredictable. I takes them 1 second to open the gift and react genuinely about it. On top of all this you can predict what would be a good photo. You realize it could have been a good picture after you realized you didn't took it.
Now you are thinking I'm not helping. Well, I'm going to tell ya. Of all the moments in you family's life this is the moment that is not really about you.
This are the layouts that the light, what people are wearing and what papers you use don't matter. Why? "Because this are the photos were grandpa and cousin Billy are finally together after 10 years."
That is recording the event. Not just the pretty paper. Plus you can always photoshop the s&&$@ out of them. If your OA is not good for them fine, but put them out there because you don't know How much your family will need to look at those events to remember the love.

Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 370,270
April 2008
Posts: 3,076
Layouts: 22

Posted: 12/25/2012 10:51:09 AM
I have given up trying to take photos at most major holidays. My family just does not like to be photographed. So I've been making more of an effort to leave them alone and will do so today when we're opening gifts. They should be able to enjoy it too.

Half Way There!

PeaNut 273,062
August 2006
Posts: 296
Layouts: 0
Loc: Georgia

Posted: 12/25/2012 10:57:10 AM
I feel your pain. On my husband's side of the family, I like to refer to our celebrations as Christmas Chaos! There are so many people it is hard to get a decent picture. I just keep them anyway. It captures the true spirit of our Christmas Chaos. My side of the family is much smaller and less chaotic, but the lighting at my mom's house always seems to be too little or too much.

On a positive note I do think scrapbooking has made me a better photographer since I notice junk, laundry, too much light, etc. whereas before I would not have noticed until later. And my family has learned...you make a face it goes in scrapbook that way.
They have learned to comply.

Made 5000, now what?

PeaNut 180,263
December 2004
Posts: 7,868
Layouts: 156
Loc: Arkansas

Posted: 12/25/2012 12:09:35 PM
You know, I have just looked at mine. Newish camera, wrong indoor setting, just not good pics. But I have decided to just go with them as is. My life is not perfect and my pics won't be either. Now, do I wish they were? You bet! I even tried to photoshop them into betterness. Not gonna happen. At least I can scrap them and keep them for the future.

mom to 3 great kiddos - 21, 19, 16

Renee's Musings

Cold Pea on a Cracked Plate

PeaNut 156,343
July 2004
Posts: 5,250
Layouts: 46

Posted: 12/25/2012 12:42:12 PM
I don't mind imperfect shots so much. But I mind when I AM in them. I wasn't in ANY of the Xmas photos from Bubby's first Xmas last year, so this year I made sure to get on a decent set of pajamas and brush my hair. I insisted on sitting down on the floor and helping DS open and play with one of his presents and made DH take pics. Bless him, he tries to make them flattering, but I'm in there, double chin, bulging belly, cleavage and all. And he thought I would probably want him to take more (ie BETTER) ones, but I'm 7 months pregnant and was done being on the floor. At least I'm IN the Xmas photos this year, and heck, I'm pregnant, guess I might as well look it.

Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 319,638
May 2007
Posts: 4,017
Layouts: 45
Loc: Tulsa, OK

Posted: 12/25/2012 12:59:43 PM
Our pics always seems to be so chaotic from wrapping paper and what not flying everywhere. So I made a rule this year. We had to get a few posed pics in front on the tree before any presents could be opened. Worked great.

My Pinterest

Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 241,625
January 2006
Posts: 2,125
Layouts: 43
Loc: PA

Posted: 12/25/2012 1:30:37 PM
well, lol this year it seems i have a three year who like to be a pouty little princess if she is not center of attention, a two years who ignore me completely, and almost one year who just learn to walk and now won't sit for picture... group shots--out of question but got alot of cute individual shots and many other activities involving them. I just roll with it and try not to strive for perfection one thing i do have a problem is no pictures of me in anything this year... bf refuse to take camera I do alot of self shot but that get old... so in jan i'm going to look into a tripod for my camera and figure out how to set up timer and stuffs so i can be in shots for next Christmas..

yeah i didn't even get to open my one only present...


My blog: http://michelesscrapycreations.blogspot.com

2013-Calorie Cropper Motto:"When you improve a little bit each day, eventually big things occur. Don't look for big, quick improvement. Instead, seek small improvement one day at a time. That's the only way it happens -- and when it happens, it lasts." ~ John Wooden

2012- Calorie Cropper Motto: Just think where you will be a year from now, if you start TODAY!

2011- Calorie Cropper Motto: PROGRESS, not Perfection!


PeaNut 572,333
November 2012
Posts: 524
Layouts: 51

Posted: 12/25/2012 1:31:47 PM
Maybe just go with the silly faces! Title your layout My Goofy Family or A Silly Christmas. It's real, it's a reflection of who they are. Then take awesome pics of the decorations etc. and make some beautiful pages! Great to see you here paperpilekitten!

web pageArtful Scrapbooking and other fun stuff.


PeaNut 574,637
December 2012
Posts: 60
Layouts: 0

Posted: 12/25/2012 1:46:06 PM
If they do the silly faces then that is them and their personality. Use them anyway instead of trying to pose and set up the family differently than they are You can always set up a nice posed family photo later when the excitement dies down


Living life on the left

PeaNut 69,081
February 2003
Posts: 7,959
Layouts: 1

Posted: 12/25/2012 1:46:52 PM
Invariably, I have camera probs on Christmas. This year my batteries died right during gift giving, and could I find any spares? No. So I grab Dh's little camera and proceed to take one blurry pic after another. Some kind of button got pushed and changed the settings.

I will scrap some of them though. I managed to get at least one or two scrapable ones of each of us. In a way I guess that's good so I don't have a huge stack.

One of the blurry ones of DH and I would have been a really good one too if not for the blurriness.

My choice is to not take it personally - people have opinions. Particularly people here.-Peabay 12/29/11
I know this is assuming, but I'm really starting to think you are one of those "entitled" peas - Dalayney 4/2/12
When someone elects you Queen of Two Peas, then you can make the rules. - Sue_Pea 12/22/13
"Myboysnme,...I bow down to you, oh queen of the scrapping goodness" - Irish Eyes 3/9/14
"Myboysnme -- ... Whoa. I bow to thee." - Jill S 4/26/14


PeaNut 512,420
June 2011
Posts: 1,911
Layouts: 50
Loc: Stars Hollow, CT (I wish!)

Posted: 12/25/2012 1:50:08 PM
My husband asked if I were going to take pictures this morning and I said no. I just want to sit back and enjoy. I've taken tons of "openning the gifts" pics over the years and it gets boring to scrap the same types of photos year after year. It was snowing last night as we left for church so I snapped a pic of the outside Christmas lights and the snow. I will scrap just that photo and do a lot of journaling. I try and take different kinds of pics each Christmas (well, I have been for the last few years). I got one of the kids and their grandparents in front of the Christmas tree last night at church. We all have Christmas shirts (my husband, The Grinch, me, Hello Kitty, DS, Snoopy and DD, all the characters from the vid, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. My plan is to have my step mom take a pic of the 4 of us tonight in front of the tree. Hope DD cooperates. She is autistic and doesn't like to look at the camera.


"Do as much good as you can, for as many as you can, for as long as you can and you may never know the difference you can make". . .Max Lucado

Kindness & Compassion - Free to Give, So Valuable

PeaNut 61,111
January 2003
Posts: 13,653
Layouts: 18
Loc: Texas y'all

Posted: 12/25/2012 3:29:50 PM
I say scrap them anyway. That will do two things: capture the memories you may forget if there are o photos/pAges, and remind those who make faces that they need to shape up (if nothing else, you'll have documented evidence of their personality type! ).

DH and I were just looking at old photos and there is one of us on the Empire State Building. It's not a technically good photo, and we look a bit washed out from the flash, but it brings back such great memories every time I see that photo. I am so glad I didn't delete that image.

Here's to 2013 and hoping we all have better pix next year!


My Blog:



PeaNut 457,452
February 2010
Posts: 450
Layouts: 25
Loc: Little Rock, AR

Posted: 12/25/2012 3:53:46 PM
Bribery works for adult kids too! When my son graduated from college I knew that I would want to take a lot of photos so I promised them that if they gave me ONE DAY of as many photos as I wanted that I wouldn't bug them for the rest of the year. And it worked!
Of course my skills are still lacking, but at least I had that one day! It was so worth it.
Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 516,416
August 2011
Posts: 941
Layouts: 0
Loc: Florida

Posted: 12/25/2012 4:52:34 PM
My photos aren't great either - lighting, people who don't want to have a photo taken until they look perfect.... However, this year my sister passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly at a young age. I am glad I have any photos of her, and other loved ones who have passed away in the last few years. My DH has a terminal, fatal disease, and we can't get a good photo of him. His eyes are usually closed or his head is down, but we're still capturing the memories anyway. I've scrapped blurry and out of focus photos, it's just how it is around here sometimes. I just say this is how it was on a particular day around here. I don't think I have any great Christmas photos, and I rarely make it to a picture since I am taking the pictures, but I still will scrapbook my pictures (eventually).
I know I wish I could get great photos of family members on holidays, but it never seems to happen. And, without fail, in any group shot, at least 2 people have their eyes closed. Oh well. I like what Kelly Rippa did a few years ago when her children were little. She was trying to take the all important Christmas card photo of her young children. She could not get a good shot, and eventually all of the kids were dressed up but crying. She just sent them with the caption "Have a cr#ppy Christmas"


PeaNut 553,290
May 2012
Posts: 1,308
Layouts: 0
Loc: NJ

Posted: 12/25/2012 7:02:25 PM
I am so dissappointed that I didnt get any good pics this year . My mother just turned 88 and I wanted some 4 generation pics, but my grandkids were not cooperating and my daughter was miserable(she is pregnant!!). No body was in the mood this year! I did get one good pic on Christmas Eve of my 3 grandchildren in the Jammies I bought them. Oh well...we still had a good time and lots of memories were made. My mom just enjoys watching her great grand kids interact with me( her only child). Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!!! I did!!!

2012- layouts completed-77
cards made- 192
mini albums made- 1
calendars made- 2

2013- layouts completed-80
cards made- 197
mini albums made- 3
calendars made-2

2014- layouts completed-11
cards made-86


PeaNut 357,500
January 2008
Posts: 305
Layouts: 0
Loc: Sarnia, Ontario

Posted: 12/26/2012 8:33:57 AM
I find I never get good Christmas shots either, bad lighting mess too much action. I got one good shot of both sides of family all grandkids and grandparents and I am happy to just have those two shots!! Small success
Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 563,248
August 2012
Posts: 2,663
Layouts: 0
Loc: Florida

Posted: 12/26/2012 8:41:46 AM
My family hates to get there picture taken (except for hubby) so I took pictures of our traditions and didn't take any at my parents. Its a shame! There home is all dect out and they want no pictures.


PeaNut 526,836
November 2011
Posts: 1,089
Layouts: 0
Loc: Beautiful HB, Southern CA

Posted: 12/26/2012 1:29:35 PM
I don't know how or why, but amidst hostessing & eating yesterday, I didn't take one photo,
Good or bad! Sh**! Duh! Blast it!



PeaNut 407,791
January 2009
Posts: 1,569
Layouts: 7
Loc: In my jammies, sipping a cup of coffee.

Posted: 12/26/2012 1:50:24 PM
I kind of feel the same way, OP. But don't stress over it! Just scrap what you like and know you have it documented. I think we put too much pressure on ourselves; I always envision a Martha Stewart-like holiday every year, and then it turns out more like National Lampoon's Christmas, ha!


PeaNut 454,238
January 2010
Posts: 4,328
Layouts: 69
Loc: Central Louisiana

Posted: 12/26/2012 4:03:13 PM
Me too! This year I went out of my way to buy matching red jammies for the three kids. I am sitting here flipping through my pictures from Christmas morning...GASP! My five year old must have had cold feet because she put hot neon pink socks on....sigh...I totally missed that. Oh well, I guess this will be another "black and white" Christmas layout year...haha



PeaNut 118,945
December 2003
Posts: 3,174
Layouts: 144
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden

Posted: 12/27/2012 3:32:10 AM
Thank you all for your support and replies. The wonderful Christmas celebrations with hubby, my parents, all my siblings (I have 3), sister in law and my darling little 2yo niece, is over.

I think I got a couple of good pics, esp. of my niece, so I will have something to scrap from this Christmas. I regret that I didn't manage to arrange any pics of myself (why do we so rarely include ourselves in the events?).

My parents have both been very ill this year. We nearly lost our mom (bad heart condition - she got help and surgery at the last minute). All this makes me so thankful for yet another Christmas together, and of course that makes me even more desperate to preserve the memories!

I believe that you are right about the low light/fast action problem. It's really hard to get good pics under those circumstances. Maybe I have to get to know my DSLR better to handle those kinds of photos (New Year's resolution ) I'm going to read up on some photography tips for New Year's and give it another try then. I definitely want to get my photography skills straight in time for my sister's wedding in July! lol!


Paperpilekitten.com I recently gave my paper trend blog a makeover.


PeaNut 3,602
April 2000
Posts: 14,291
Layouts: 376
Loc: Massachusetts

Posted: 12/27/2012 6:10:55 AM
A tripod helps a lot with the low light. If you can, bump up the ISO so you din't have to use flash.

Also, try to think of a new way to photograph along with the "traditional photos'. Maybe stand on a staircase and take a photo of the whole living room? Or get up close to just a few presents with bows and tags ? Or a close up of the oldest and the youngest hands as they open a gift? Mix in a few 'new' ideas to make your same old photos seem fresh.

Christi in MA
Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 422,247
May 2009
Posts: 4,784
Layouts: 316
Loc: Queens NYC

Posted: 12/27/2012 8:05:38 AM
love mine this year i wore a leopard santa hat

Love Peace Health and Happiness to you...Rosey

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 108,542
September 2003
Posts: 7,155
Layouts: 0
Loc: ND

Posted: 12/27/2012 8:58:18 AM
I swear Christmas is the hardest holiday to photograph. I try not to worry about it. I just scrap the best of what I have and call it good.


"When was the last time you did something for the 1st time?"


PeaNut 6,074
August 2000
Posts: 186
Layouts: 0
Loc: NJ

Posted: 12/27/2012 2:05:00 PM
Oh my gosh, I think what defines a "good" picture needs to be redefined especially when photographing kids and groups. Your daughter isn't wearing a perfect clean and coordinated outfit ?! So what ?! I have so many pics of my three girls (ages 10, 10 and 8) in their dress up clothes, messy in flower girl dresses and when they were babies drooling. Lol. "Perfect"? No way. But they reflect their personalities many times or their relationship with others which I would rather document then anything else, Kwim? Would I like some more ones of them looking a little cleaner or dressed up. Sure but life is so not perfect and I am so grateful to have captured what I have. Now they scowl at me which makes me giggle now and when they are older , hopefully they will giggle at themselves too! My big suggestion is to get better at candids. Like a photojournalist kind of approach. One of my best photographs ever is a candid I took of my in-laws. HTH!

Uploaded with iPhone client


PeaNut 550,190
April 2012
Posts: 129
Layouts: 0
Loc: Hagerstown, MD

Posted: 12/27/2012 6:40:20 PM
I love my fellow peas, I am so relieved it is not just me who does not get good Christmas pics, despite my best efforts, I can let go of the guilt and know I am entirely normal and not the only one who doesn't buy much Christmas paper, love it, thank you.


PeaNut 268,680
July 2006
Posts: 4,931
Layouts: 805
Loc: Wisconsin

Posted: 12/27/2012 6:54:17 PM
Same boat here. Bad lighting and chaos, so I rarely get any photos that I love. I resigned myself to using a flash last year and just embraced the imperfections of the chaos. Looked back at the layouts that I made from those imperfect photos and I loved them. It's all about the memories and not so much about perfect photos for the page.

2014 Pages Completed: 128
2014 Cards Completed: 7

2013 Pages Completed: 288
2013 Mini Albums Completed: 1
2013 Cards Completed: 9

Show/Hide Icons . Show/Hide Signatures
{{ title }}
{{ icon }}
{{ body }}
{{ footer }}