It’s an annual tradition. Every November, I get the kids in their nice clothes, line them up outside, and take a cute photo for my Christmas cards. The kids complain a little and wiggle a lot, but it’s worth it.
Why? Because in our time of texting and Facebook, holiday cards still matter. I even have a few of last year’s photo Christmas cards on my refrigerator. There’s something truly personal and memorable about a photo card that makes it a keepsake. Some people even save Christmas cards in a photo album when the season’s over, to see how friends and family change over the years.
However, you don’t have to hire a professional photographer or sift through all your family photos taken during the year to see if one of them will do. Take that family photo yourself!
Below are seven tips courtesy of our in-house photographer here at Cardstore, making it easy for you to take an outstanding photo that you’re excited to share. You don’t have to be a professional and you don’t have to own a fancy SLR camera — any simple point and shoot will do just fine!
1. Location - When thinking about where to take your photo, outdoors is usually best. Think about how beautiful that oak tree is in your back yard with the leaves changing colors. Find a serene yet simple background. Always remember to keep in mind the focus is your family not the scenery. Background should remain background.
2. Lighting – Another benefit of taking your photo outdoors is you don’t have to use flash. No more dreaded red eye! Unless you have professional photo lighting, outdoor lighting is the most natural and flattering. Try to take your photo in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun isn’t too high. It will help you avoid harsh shadows.
3. Get close! – You’re a family! Squeeze in tight. Photos always look awkward if one or two family members are scattered far away. Also, make sure to stagger your family so everyone will be visible.
4. Natural is best – Gone are the days of stiff studio photography. Show off your family’s personality. A few shots where you’re goofing off or laughing together are always a must.
5. Dress – Should you all match? Matching is definitely not necessary. It’s best to avoid busy patterns or bright colors that clash, but you don’t need to all wear green or red. Try different color solid colors that compliment each other.
6. Shoot, shoot, shoot! – One of the benefits of digital photography is you can keep right on shooting! The more to choose from the better! You’ll also have a better chance at getting a photo where no one is blinking.
7. Family Pet? – This could go either way and completely depends on your pet’s personality. If Fido can’t sit still for 20 seconds, let alone 10 or more minutes, you’ll spend more time trying to get him to sit than relaxing and getting a good photo. Another option is take a few photos with Fido and then the rest without.
Best of luck with your photos! Enjoy the time outside with your family, and Happy Holidays from Cardstore.com!
Cardstore.com holiday cards, from left to right, by Rob+Bob Studio, Sweet Street Gals, and Kate Spain.