(Last Updated On: March 22, 2022)

Christmas Tree Silhouette Photography Steps

Do you want a gorgeous picture taken of your Christmas tree with your kids this season? Pictures taken of your Christmas tree can be one of the prettiest things during the winter season. Taking a picture of your children looking at your Christmas tree can turn out to be an even dreamier picture if you do it right. In order to get the effect to look right, you have to set your camera to the correct exposure of the Christmas tree, not the children standing in front of it. This will make the Christmas tree light up bright while having the children’s silhouettes in front.

Kids Christmas Tree Silhouette
My daughters looking at a beautiful Christmas tree.

In the photo above the settings are 1/13 seconds, f/3.5, and an ISO at 500

Camera Steps and Settings

  1. Set your camera to manual mode.
  2. Set your ISO at least to 500.
  3. Point your camera at the Christmas tree and set the exposure.
  4. Put your camera on a tripod. It is best if you put your camera on a tripod to minimize any shaking and blurriness.
  5. Put your kids (or subject of your choice) in front of the Christmas tree and have them look at it as if they are in awe. Or have them gently put on an ornament and hold the position.
  6. Do not change the settings on your camera even with your subject now in front of the tree
  7. Focus on your children leaving the aperature and shutterspeeds unchanged. (When you focus on your subject in front of the tree the camera will see they are too dark and want to brighten up the photo. We do not want to pay attention to the light meter reading at this point.)
  8. Take the photo. Remember – Use a tripod and use the exposure set from the Christmas tree in step 3!


Below is another example of Christmas tree lights glowing in the back while the subjects are silhouetted. In the picture below, the camera settings were at 1/6 seconds, f/5.6, and an ISO at 1250. I used a Canon EOS 7D camera to take these pictures.

Christmas Tree Silhouette
My daughters in 2021 sitting in front of the Christmas Tree

Here is one last example photo of Christmas tree lights glowing while the subjects are silhouetted (below). This one has our dog Koko in the middle of my daughters. Koko is a black Goldendoodle and loves to be wherever my daughters are.

Christmas Tree Silhouette
This time Koko, our dog wanted to be in the photo

Did you take a Christmas Tree silhouette photo?

If so, I would love to see your results! Please post your photos in the comment section below! Also, share if you used any different techniques to get your results.

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