How to nail your Christmas and Fairy Light Photography

It’s the season for cozying up with a cup of hot chocolate and editing photos on a couch. But before you do, let’s ensure you have the perfect Christmas & fairy lights photos. These are our top tips.

Outdoor Christmas and fairy light photography

Let’s start outdoors. There are many beautiful Christmas lights in cities and towns. Why not make it your backdrop while getting some fresh air? This sounds like a great idea. Photographing outdoors with snow and fresh air can make images look more raw, crisp, or colder.

Get a set of fairy lights.

You can do it there, or anywhere else you want, but they don’t have to cost you a lot – fairy lights are an inexpensive way to create amazing lighting and photos.

Select the best time of day

It might seem intuitive to photograph when it is dark. But let’s not forget that it isn’t the best time to capture Christmas lights at night. You will see the lights in pitch black, but it will wash out any lighting if you expose more.

It’s not great if the sun is shining because you won’t see any lights. You’ll need to leave at dusk or twilight. This requires planning. So be sure to plan.

Get rid of flash

Flashes can cause interference with the color of the lights, so it is best to leave that as it is.

Photography of Christmas and fairy lights

Once you freeze your bum, you can move in the interior. This is much cozier and takes as many great photos, if not better. You can create cozy and warm atmospheres by shooting inside.

Have fun with the Christmas light background and foreground

Depending on your subject matter, you can place the lights in the background while focusing on the subject.

Isn’t he adorable? The background bokeh (blurry light) gives the image depth and makes the photo feel more romantic and cozy. The foreground features soft and cozy blankets that enhance the overall look and feel.

Introduce extra lighting

Although it may seem counterintuitive, if the photo contrast is too high or things aren’t working out, you might consider adding another lighting source (other than fairy lights or Christmas lights). Indirect lighting from the sides can help warm up the scene, making your photos crisper.

Use a shallow depth of field and keep the aperture low.

These are the standard settings for camera lenses. If you don’t know what we mean, you can read our ultimate beginner lens guide, which will walk you through the important features and settings. This will give you blurry light, also known as bokeh.

Fairy light settings for photos

You can create amazing photos with fairy lights. Here are some examples:


You can place the fairy lights in the background or wrap them around your arm to create a dramatic self-portrait.

Bokeh backdrop

You can. You can also purchase a curtain made of fairy lights. They make great backgrounds for photos.

Stunning foreground

To add warmth and mysticism to your photos, you can also use warm lighting and the bokeh effect in front.

Long exposure for time warp effects

You can create unique shapes and patterns by using long exposures and moving the fairy lights quickly.

Fairy light photography can be a lot of fun during Christmas. It’s all about trying things out and testing what works best for you. Enjoy!

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