Even a smart phone can get you great pictures if you use these simple techniques:

1) Look for a great background.  Don’t have your family stand next to the Christmas tree. Have them stand in front of it. 

2) Add additional lighting.  Pictures require light- especially smart phones.  Bring in extra lamps and position them around your set.  Watch for shadows on your family’s faces.  

3) Use the timer.  Don’t be the one family member out of every picture.  Place the smartphone on a stack of books or the mantle and then hit the clock icon on the camera app.  It should give you a 10 second or 2 second option.  

4) Don’t use the front facing camera for anything other than selfies.  The front camera is usually less quality than the main lens.  

5) Be creative with people placement.  Place some of your subjects in the front.  Have the back row stand and the first row sit.  Or have everyone laying in front of the Christmas Tree.  Get creative!