Christmas Tree Family Photoshoot

Family Christmas Photos at Mill Farm Christmas Trees and Berries

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As has become our family’s tradition, we took family photos after Thanksgiving. My wife found a Christmas tree farm about a half hour away from us in Williamsburg, Virginia. Unfortunately once we got there we realized it was not what we expected.

Now this was no fault to Mill Farm. They had a great set up and were incredibly friendly. They even had a Santa directing traffic.

The problem was we were expecting a thick forest full of pine trees we could hike around until finding a picturesque spot to plop our plaid blanket down and shoot away until the sun set.

The reality was more like a pumpkin patch, swap pumpkins for trees.

We did find a good spot to set up and worked around a few problems.

First off was the not so attractive red ribbon in the tree we chose to use. You could reserve your tree then pick it up at your convenience and I believe the ribbons where how they denoted a tree that was spoken for.

Good for their system, not so good for our photos.

The second problem we encountered was how busy the place was. I was able to get some great shots of my kids but most of them had people in the background looking for a tree.

Luckily I was able to take care of these small problems in Photoshop while touching up the images.

They are small changes but make a huge difference in the over-all appeal to the photos. This becomes an even bigger deal if you are printing any of the photos.

I thought it might be fun to show a little before and after of the images so you can see the difference even a little bit of retouching can make.

Make sure you read until the end. The last photo is our family Christmas card image and I added a little surprise in for my wife.

This first photo shows the red ribbon and how much better the photo looks without it. You would think red ribbon on a Christmas tree would be a good thing but it was distracting.



More red ribbon. The second photo works so much better. The splash of red draws your eye away form the kids and is a problem.



This photo had people in the background looking for the perfect Christmas tree. There are also a few bright areas in the grass in front of the kids that are to distracting and had to be removed.




Another picture with Christmas tree hunters pulling the eye away from the kids. You can also see through the trees to the left of the kids into the parking lot. Another eye-sore that needed to be removed.




This image just had the parking lot showing through. It’s crazy how something so small can make such a big difference.


Then I decided to do something with the red sweater and blanket. It’s a pretty cool effect.


And last but not least, the entire reason we drove out to the Christmas tree farm in the first place. Our family photo.



Considering this was going to be printed and mailed out to friends and family I wanted it to be good. I keep hearing people talk about red Christmas trucks so I decided to add one. All in all I am really happy with the final photo.


How about your family? Do you take new photos every year?


I normally stick to wedding photography and engagement shoots but I am taking on a limited number of family shoots for the holidays.If you are interested in getting photos for your family, fill out the form below and I will email you more information.

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