Holiday cards and the family photo. Does that make you cringe? The attempt at clean shirts, clean faces, good moods, good light, great location. All at the same time! Is that even possible?
This year I say embrace the imperfect! Let your family be who they are. Let them wear what they want to wear. Let them make the faces they want to make! Most families are relaxed fun loving people right? Let your holiday cards show that!
Want the best photo? Plan a couple of things keeping FUN in mind!
- Find good light: An hour or so before sunset gives beautiful even non direct light. Check here for your sunset times.
I shot this around 430PM and the light was stunning! I really gave them no direction, they are just that cute!
- Go somewhere fun! A park, a playground, out for ice cream, or any favorite family spot! I'd say find a great alley or wall, but that will also require bribing your subjects with a little something after.
- Shoot quickly and get it over with! No one wants to watch you fiddle with your settings or examine your histogram over and over and over. Shoot in a mode you are comfortable with and watch your shutter speed (keep it above at least 1/125). Shoot at eye level with your dear ones, they'll look better. And don't fear getting close! Watch your backgrounds, clutter, trash cans, random stuff aren't so much fun.
- Lighten up! Tell jokes, say silly things, ask them to tell their stories, let them just be. Make noises. Ask them to do silly things. Shoot!
Nothing like admitting to who really is the boss in our house! The self timer worked for this one. Flash bounced off my bedroom ceiling.
- Give yourself a break! Family shoots are difficult. Don't worry about everyone looking at the camera or being perfect. Show everyone your real family!
Boys! While little girls tend to smile too big, boys tend to show every goofy face imaginable! Go with it!
Do you want to avoid the entire headache? Grab a favorite photo from the year! Last year I snapped this photo the day after Thanksgiving and knew INSTANTLY it was destined for a card!
I kept it simple with word art from Ali Edwards
Once you've got the photo you can try out a quick (and fun) Shutterfly card, make your own using some of the beautiful products at Designer Digitals, or print it for the super duper easy stick it in the card approach. I'll spend the next few weeks deciding if I'm just emailing my card this year. (I have this discussion with myself every year!)
Any other ideas to add?
Link us up to your favorite holiday card photos! I can't wait to see what you create!
Thanks to the two gorgeous families who willingly listened to my jokes and did the crazy clown dance! And Ian, Santa is watching!