It’s time to be thinking about Christmas cards! Some of you have probably been planning yours for the past several months and some of you (I would more likely fall into this category) will put them off until the last minute. In case you’re needing a little inspiration and/or help this year, here’s a few tips to help you come up with just the right Christmas card photo:
*Focus on what’s most important– people really just want to see a clear photo of your growing, happy family. It’s okay if your 6-month-old and your dog are looking in opposite directions. In fact, some of my favorite family shots are more candid, spontaneous shots that show that family’s personality.
*Choose a location that will be comfortable for your family and allow you a background that isn’t too distracting. I really like brick or stone walls. Consider lighting as well. It’s best to keep the light behind you (the photographer)
*Spend some time planning your family’s attire. Both coordinating outfits and mix-and-match are acceptable right now. If you have a wide range of ages in your family, choosing a color theme and picking out coordinating (not matching) outfits works very well. Keep in mind that red is the hardest color to photograph (it can be done… it will just give you added fits). I also like having everyone in one solid color (black or white are both very nice & easy) but different styled shirts.
*Take as many pictures as you feasibly can– but don’t push it when your family has had enough. The more you take, the better your odds of getting just the right one. But your family, especially young families, will get tired of holding their smiles and sitting still. It’s better to get as many as possible while everyone is happy than to try to force “happy.” I’m not above bribery– try planning to go out for ice cream as soon as you get “just the right shot.”
*If you’re comfortable with photoshop or another photo-editing program, post-process your favorite photo(s) by removing red eye, cropping, etc. Just be careful to use the right dimensions for the card you have chosen and make sure you don’t save it in too small a resolution.
*Be creative when choosing your card! There are lots of great choices out there this year. I especially like the cards that allow you to use more than one picture. This might be a good option if you want to use some candids along with a more posed portrait.
Have fun, enjoy, and Happy Holidays!