With Christmas coming up, I had some friends emailing me asking what my recommendations are for family pictures…what to wear, what to bring for props, how to make the most of your time, etc. I wish I was an expert in the world of photography, but alas, I’m not (I think ya’ll know that by now). I guess I just get an idea in my head and roll with it. Here are a few tips to get your creative juices flowing!
1. Select a Colorway. No, I don’t mean everyone has to wear green sweaters and dark jeans…I’m saying think of colors you want to highlight in your images and work around that. For example, this year, I knew I wanted to incorporate red into our attire. For me, that meant making sure the scarf I wore had red in the pattern. With the girls, it gets tricky. Ya’ll know I love me some matching mini attire, but I held out and didn’t do it…rather, Carson wore a red ponte knit dress and Caroline sported a poppy print dress (both from Gap) and then both wore cute boots and fun hair accessories. Then it came time to dress Jeff…thank heavens I have an easy husband. I picked out the shirt and sweater, and the rest is history. This is our final look. (No, neither of these were the final picture chosen for the card, but you’ll see those soon enough!)
2. Work with What You’ve Got. Once you add kids into the picture, a photoshoot gets VERY tricky. As in, trying to get adults + kiddies looking in the same direction AND smiling is almost impossible. As long as no one has their eyes shut and there are no visible tears, you can call it a success. I’m a perfectionist, but some things you just have to let go…yes, speaking from experience here people. Make the best of your situation, and just thank the good Lord you have a family (whether that be friends, family, pets, etc) to take your pictures with!
3. Props Can Be Fun! We haven’t done this for Christmas cards recently, but we did a few for when I was pregnant with Caroline…we had a stocking made with her name on it to share with people who didn’t know we were expecting. It was a fun little tidbit that made pictures more personal. I have seen other cute props as well…ranging from banners to chalkboard art to blankets to fake snow and everything in between. Have fun with it and it will be something you can look back on fondly.
4. Be a Savvy Shopper. Jeff hates it when it comes time to order Christmas cards…he knows it’s going to cost an arm and a leg given a pretty large mailing list, but I am always searching for a good deal to help save some money. For instance, this year I ordered our cards from Minted, but waited until I was emailed a 20% discount AND had free shipping AND $10 off from their site before I ordered. It made me feel SO good, too! Be patient…trust me, websites will be offering TONS of discounts in the coming weeks to get shoppers to purchase.
And as a bonus, stay tuned, because I will be giving away a gift certificate for 50 free holiday cards from Cardstore next week! Hope this helps…good luck to everyone taking family pictures…I cannot wait to start opening holiday mail–sure does make me happy to see the postman 🙂