Christmas cards-Hanukah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s, or holiday cards. Whatever your family calls them, it is the family portraits that lead to holiday cards and they can be a little (ok, a lot!) trickier and more timely than you would imagine. Before you lick the final stamp, there are at least 6 Steps to Prepare Yourself for Holiday Family Photoshoots and Cards.
Choose a Photographer
There are all different levels and styles of photographers out there. Some are more artistic, others are great with children and there are still some that should seek a new career aka Awkward Family Photos. It’s important to find one in your budget that can give you exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t forget these are special glimpses into your family’s historical treasure chest. We were blessed to find SuzanneJean Photography who captured every last detail I was after! Check her out in the Minneapolis area.
Choose a Location
What feeling do you really want to portray in your family pics- lounging outdoors at a family picnic, snuggled in your own abode, or something vintage and casual. There are a million options. Get creative! What I learned is that the ugliest side of a building, that exposed natural patina, could make for some amazing backgrounds. Put your art director eyes on.
Choose Your Colors
As seen above there are endless combinations of color. Consider the colors of your home and where the final family portrait product will hang. Pinterest is an AMAZING place to search great outfits. Taryn Photography has a great inspiration board for “What to Wear? Family Portraits.”
Pick Your Poses
Please leave the fishy lips and peace signs at the door. We are not talking Facebook profile images here. Poses can be tough and awkward, especially if you have nearly 7 foot tall husbands like we do. Pinterest is also a great recommendation for poses. Are you a funny, serious or goofy family? Let your poses and props tell your story.
Pick Your Props
Make sure to ask your photographer what kind of props they have available to you before you open up this can of worms. My brain went into a million different directions when choosing our props.
1. Our photographer has this amazing yellow chair.
2. I was always a rainbow girl when I was little. Since I didn’t have a girl first I make sure that I can fit some form of rainbow into my son’s wardrobe. For this session I paired it with a huge cluster of balloons.
3. I love having props that are used for different milestones in a variety of ways. My uncle gave me a vintage set of suitcases that were his sister’s. For my son’s second birthday I turned them into a cupcake tower for our Around the World Party. For our photo session, we decided to do a round at the train tracks. What better place for vintage suitcases than near trains…
Bribe Your Kids
Bribing your kids is a must. I’m not sure how many times we repeated the magic word “Chuck E. Cheese’s.” You are not obliged to offer up the world but believe me the smooth session and amazing final product is always worth it.
Now onto the next step…..Holiday and Christmas Cards! (are you exhausted yet?)