Tips for Getting the Perfect Pictures for Your Holiday Card

Say cheese!

By: Amanda Mushro
Beautiful young family making cookies at home. Father, mother. toddler boy and baby taking selfie with a smartphone.

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Beautiful young family making cookies at home. Father, mother. toddler boy and baby taking selfie with a smartphone.

Photo by: Halfpoint

Halfpoint

‘Tis the season for the holiday cards to start coming in the mail. When I see a beautiful family smiling on their holiday card, I like to give a special nod to the Mom because I’m pretty sure she was stressed out on the day they took the picture. After all, she just wanted everyone to look at the camera, give a decent smile, and look happy so she could send out a nice card this year. Solidary, Mom. We’ve all been there.

So if you are still deciding whether to put everyone in finest holiday looks or to sport their Christmas pajamas for this year’s card, here are a few tips to make the whole picture-taking-for-the-card situation a lot less stressful.

Set the stage for the photo before you bring in the troops. Once everyone is ready to pose for the picture, you want to work fast. So figure out the location, how you want the background of the photo to look, and test the lighting by snapping a few pictures. Once you’ve done that, then bring in the family. A little prep before will save you tons of stress when you are actually taking the photos.

Keep it simple when it comes to your outfits. Stay away from too may patterns and different colors. Solids always look great in group photos, and complementary colors look better than matching. So no need to put everyone in the same red sweater — think coordinate rather than match.

Set up a timer or ask for some help. We had a professional photographer take family photos for us once and it made creating the holiday card a breeze because someone else did all the work. However, every other year, I’ve improvised. You can still get great pictures with a little assistance from the timer on your camera or by asking a friend for some help. Both the timer and a friend acting as the photographer can help you get the shot you want and get everyone on their way.

Snap away. You may think you want a posed pictured of your entire family, but if you just keep taking pictures, you may end up with a few candids that end up being your favorites and totally are holiday-card worthy.

You get a prize and you get a prize. If offering up a special treat to your kids will help make the photo session go a little easier—do it. Just be sure to get a prize for yourself at the end, too.

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