Take Memorable Holiday Photos

December 2018

Ahhh, that elusive family holiday photo. You know the one. Everyone is festively dressed in perfectly coordinated outfits with each hair in place. Better yet, the entire crew is looking in the general direction of the camera AT THE SAME TIME. Easier said than done, right? For parents, getting just the right photo for holiday cards can be a stressful part of the season. But it doesn’t have to be! Whether you want a kids-only shot or a full family photo, we’re here to help you capture a card that stands out from the pack.

Choose Your Method

First, decide whether you’ll use a portrait studio, an independent photographer, or go the DIY route—each of which comes with its own pros and cons:

  • Portrait Studios at local malls or department stores often advertise good deals leading up to the holidays, but watch out for hidden costs like enhancements or sitting fees. Long wait times are common this time of year—which can cut into naptime and make for cranky little subjects. A major perk of this option is being able to pick out your card design right on the spot.
  • Independent Photographers are often highly skilled and shoot in a wide variety of locations, including beaches, parks or right in your own home. Fees can be steep and turnaround times can be long—but if you plan ahead and budget accordingly, the magic they create is often worth it!
  • DIY (or Do-It-Yourself) photo cards are becoming an increasingly popular option for busy families. Smartphone cameras are better than ever, and countless companies offer easy-to-use online templates that let you design your own card in a snap. Make sure you allow for shipping time and be sure to use a high resolution photo so it’ll appear as professional as possible.

Capture the Magic

No matter which method you choose, make the most of the experience—and encourage smiles all around—with these tips:

  • Dress the Part: Whether you wear traditional holiday formalwear or snowman sweaters, festive clothes are always fun. After all, a little holiday sparkle never goes out of style!
  • Go with a Theme: Theme shots are a simple way to make your card unique. Dress everyone in cozy, matching PJs, or wear jerseys and hats to support your favorite sports team.
  • Prop It Up: Dress everyone simply, then add a prop that “pops”—such as colorful hats and mittens. Drape a bright, extra-long scarf around all your kids, or tangle your toddler up in shimmery ribbons and bows. You get the idea!
  • Consider a Candid: Kids not cooperating with smiles? Candid shots are a great alternative. Snap the family baking together, flour-dusted faces and all. Or capture your kids’ excited expressions as they’re sledding down a hill.

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