It's that time of year again - time to start thinking about your Christmas card photos! Here are some tips to make this year's card your best ever.
Coordinate colors and fabrics. For Christmas card photos, color coordination is fantastic. Mixing and matching prints in different styled outfits is adorable. Here is a great example of some wonderfully coordinated outfits.
Choose a fun or festive location. To make your Christmas card photo stand out, choose a fun location to take the pictures, like a playground or park; pick somewhere that your children can loosen up and show their personalities. Or, choose a festive location, like a Christmas tree farm. If you look online, you may learn that you live only a short drive away from an old fashioned tree farm where you can cut down your own tree or just take photos of your kids amidst the Christmas bliss!
But remember, you don't have to travel away from home to have a great photo. Your children sitting on your own front porch, with a nice wreath hanging on the door in the background, can make a lovely, personal card photo, which brings us to the next tip.
Use simple props to set the scene. The key to success here is keep it simple. For example, a wreath on a wooden train is plenty to set the scene for a wonderful holiday photo. Other simple Christmas photo props might include a Santa hat, a stocking or candy canes. Just don't use them all at once!
Dont over-pose your children. Take a deep breath and repeat after me: My Christmas card does not have to include a photo of all of my children sitting still, staring at the camera and smiling. Free your mind of the idea that a great card photo has all siblings looking deep into the camera with wide grins. It's just not true. In my view, sometimes the out-takes and silly photos do a better job of capturing the personality of your child. Just think, what would you rather receive in your mailbox? A photo of your friend's three perfectly well-behaved children sitting like statues smiling cheese right at the camera; or, a photo of the kids laughing with each other, playing around, and acting naturally? For me, it's the latter.
So, don't try too hard to make your children sit in one spot and smile at you. A real smile never comes from telling a child to say cheese or ordering them to smile. To get that great natural photo of your children having fun, guess what? Your children need to be having fun! Let your children be themselves and play while youre taking their photo. If you want a photo of your children together, instead of lining them up in a row and ordering a smile, try to get your children to interact with each other. Persuade your children to tickle each other. Candy makes a great bribe to get your children to hug, to kiss cheeks, or to just look at each other!
The interaction between your children is what will make your photo special. Let your children be silly. Then, when the silliness ends, be ready to snap up those real smiles that will remain on their faces. And no, they all don't have to be looking at the camera. An authentic photo on a Christmas card catches my heart every time.
Include the baby in a photo with older siblings. So, you have a new baby this year, and you want a special photo of the older brothers and sisters with the new baby. It doesn't have to be as difficult as it seems. If one of the older siblings is old enough to hold the baby, then there you go, it's pretty easy.
The difficulty arises when the oldest child isn't quite old enough or big enough to be trusted entirely alone holding the little one. What then? Safety first, always. So, find a safe spot for the photo to be taken. This usually means that the older children that may be holding baby should be sitting on the ground, not in a chair.
Nice grass or fall leaves are wonderful, but if your yard looks like ours this time of year, you may want to toss a blanket on the ground for the children to sit on choose a color that complements the children's clothes. A little tummy time usually puts the kids in the right position for a nice quick photo.
So what if, despite following these tips, you still can't get a good shot because baby is fussy and older siblings are getting tired of photos as well? At this point, as a mom and photographer, I recommend what I like to call the bits and pieces approach. Take photos of each child individually to get a photo of each that will work for your card. Then focus on the details of each child feet, hands, noses, belly buttons, etc. Youll be surprised how similar and different they can be! And then, get a shot of all the kids hands in one shot, maybe in a circle; or one of all of their feet lined up sitting on steps or on the sofa. Even if one child is not happy or fussing, it won't matter because this shot focuses on the commonality between the children smiling faces are just bonus!
Big thanks to Crystal Wilkerson from Crystal Wilkerson Photography for these awesome tips! We can't wait to see all of the fantastic SA family holiday card photos! Please be sure to share them on our Facebook page.
Pin this on Pinterest!