It’s my favorite time of year, when I anxiously greet the mailman at the door everyday, eager to receive holiday cards from my friends and family. I love them all! I love seeing how your children have grown up, I love hearing about your year’s adventures and celebrations. It’s really the best!! But it’s tough getting that perfect holiday card shot. If you were lucky enough to have a professional photography session, then you’re good. But if not, don’t worry, you can still send a card. Don’t disappoint your friends and family. Here are some tips to make it easy and painless for everyone involved:
- Next time you are at Target or the dollar store, pick up a little something. Silly string, a matchbox car, model magic, silly bandz, or a coloring book. Bring it home and wrap it.
- Plan their outfits. You don’t have to go out and buy new outfits. Just dress the kids in a similar level of formality. Casual or dressy but not both
- Picture day! Take out your wrapped little gift and place it somewhere to be seen. On the kitchen counter is always good. Let the kids know they there is something special waiting for them after you take a few pictures. A present for them being so good and cooperative.
- It’s best to take your pictures in the morning when they are fresh…. and clean
- Head outside to your backyard or a local park. You want a simple background. Woods, a brick wall, grass. Avoid telephone poles, cars, or toys in the background.
- As for lighting look for a shady spot is best so you don’t have to worry about changing light and shadows on their face. An overcast day is also great.
- Everyone wants a shot of their kids smiling and looking at the camera. Try for that shot. But don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t work. There are lots of other cute images to be captured. Have one child whisper a secret in the other ones ear. Have one kiss the cheek of the other. Have them hold hands and zoom in on the hands. A picture of them walking while holding hands is also cute.
- Often having a pack of smarties in your pocket works as a great reward for smiles and cooperation.
Here are some of my own family’s past cards to inspire you.