It’s the happiest time of the year, right?? Well, for some. For others it’s more like a sprint to the finish line…presents to buy and wrap, the house to clean and decorate, packages to mail, cookies to be made, parties to throw and attend…oh, and those annual family photos and holiday cards to get mailed out! Taking family photos can be SO stressful…kids running around, not smiling and definitely not listening, and some people even want to include their pets. Pure madness!
However, it doesn’t always have to be a dog and pony show to get the right photos for the holiday card. Here’s a few tips to get you started…
- First, start with what you might already have from throughout the year. I’m sure you’ve taken tons of adorable photos throughout the last eleven months that will look fabulous on a holiday card. Maybe a photo of all of you on summer vacation, or the kids in their Halloween costumes or maybe just some great candid photos are enough to do the job. People want to see the REAL you on the holiday card…not the way you look once a year with a blowout and make-up, when honestly…you never do either!
- If none of your photos are jumping out at you then start looking online for a photographer in your area that may be available for a family photo session. You can do this with all of you as a family or some people prefer to just do a photo session of the kids to use on the cards. Professional photographers will either design a card for you with the pictures they take or most will allow you to purchase the digital negatives and you can design and upload your photos with an outside online vendor. While price may be an issue for some, another reason to go with a professional photography session is that you can also give photos to grandparents, aunts and uncles as their holiday gift. Who doesn’t want a photo of your adorable family?!
- What should you wear? This is a loaded question, isn’t it?! The one thing I ask you not to wear is white shirts and jeans…EVERYONE does that. Opt to wear clothes that coordinate but aren’t matchy-matchy. In other words, don’t all wear the same sweater with coordinating pants. Add accent colors for dimension like a pink scarf or perhaps a green shoe that compliments your husband’s sweater or polo shirt. Same goes for the kids — compliment but don’t match. Remember just like you, each child has their own personality and you want that to show through in the photos so if one prefers dresses to pants or skirts to sweaters, give them a color scheme and choose their own outfits within that realm. Believe me, it will be the best looking photo session yet!
- Don’t be afraid to add accessories or go to a special location. Does your family have a special spot in town that they love going to have a picnic or play? Some photographers do location shoots and this is your opportunity to really show off your family’s personality. Have the kids pose on the slide or have mom and daughter swinging on the swings. Props are also big right now — perhaps a few funny photos with mustaches and masks?! Have fun with your pictures and people will love getting your special holiday card photo (and most keep it for years to come).
- Now it’s time to choose a card design…there are so many to choose from that it really comes down to price, design and overall personal preference. Here’s a few of my favorites for the year to get you started…