Can you believe that today is already December 1st?! Just five days ago we were all turkeys and pumpkins and now we already feel behind for not having our perfectly candid Christmas cards in the mail. I have something to confess. I stink at sending out Christmas cards, so to many of my friends and family this will be a hilarious little post! I do however LOVE getting the fun little cards in the mail all month almost more than presents almost! However I know as a professional photographer that time gets away from you, money gets the best of you and honestly this is TOTALLY something that you can take on yourself. (That last part will be our little secret! 😉 ) So, here are a few tips and tricks to get the ball rollin’ on taking your own Christmas Card Photos!
Do-It-Yourself Christmas Card Photos:
1. Get creative.
Pick a theme and pull ideas from things that you have around your home. Have some fun with it! For a cozy, winter theme, think red flannel blankets, cute toboggans, cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows, with everyone snuggled up together outside. You might even ask permission to take pics at a local Christmas tree farm when you go pick up your tree! Wouldn’t that be a great memory to have captured?
2. Have fun.
Don’t stress. My mom always gives the best advice. Her number one rule is “You’ve gotta have fun!” I know you’ve heard the phrase “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to family photos. Everyone needs to just have a good time and take a chance to make some memories. One of my favorite Christmas card pics that we sent out was a pic of my then 18-month-old refusing to “perform” while momma was demanding perfection in her poses and expressions. Man, if I could only realize what I was doing at the time! We ended up with a hilarious photo of her with her iconic “crazy face” that she kept making instead and the family and friends that received it thought it was adorable because she was just being a kid. In retrospect, I wish I would have just laughed with her and chilled the heck out! So, I’m offering that personal advice 😉
3. Grab a friend.
This may have been helpful in that last point. Ha! Whether you are wanting to join in the fun of the photos or you just know that little Susie will listen better to someone else, then trust me on this one and enlist some help. If you have a pet or little kids (like how I lumped those two together? haha!) Then keeping their attention may need a little help. Have someone stand directly behind the person with the camera and make silly faces or jingle a bell or have a favorite toy nearby to show them. If you know that your crew will fair better at a more interactive approach, that’s fine too. A good picture doesn’t mean everyone has to be looking into the camera (but hey, if everyone IS cooperating, why the heck not? 😉 )
4. Pick a spot.
Whether you choose to take your pictures indoors or out, the main thing to take into consideration is finding the best light. The more even lighting that you can find, the better (non-blurry) pictures you will come away with. If you want to take some in front of the tree, plug in those lights and also open the blinds on your windows so that you can let some “natural light” in to make everything evenly lit. You may need to turn on some more lights in your home too. You can even “bounce” some light back into the pics if you grab a $1 piece of white foam core board from the dollar store and aim it at the nearest light source and angle it back into the group posing for the photos to fill in shadowy areas. Now that’s a frugal fix!
Tag us if you try it on Instagram @_FFDNT #diyxmaspix
Happy snapping! 😉