As the temperature drops, our thoughts inevitably turn to the holidays. The decorations, the family dinners and then the stress creeps in… it’s time for another holiday photo for your card! Relax, it’s not as hard as it may seem. Gather the family, find a photographer and remember these elements that make a great family photo.
Family photos should have a sense of connection. Typically, this is through touching: holding hands, hugging, leaning on one another. But sometimes it can be as simple as a look between the parents.
A Pleasing Background
When it comes to background, keep it simple! Places with lots going on are distracting not only to the photo subjects, but also to the viewer. You want something that blends in nicely, that compliments the subjects rather than distracting from them.
Everyone does not have to have the exact same perfect smile, have their hair just perfect or be sitting up perfectly straight. Sometimes the best photos are the unscripted ones, the unexpected moments between kids, a laugh the whole family shares. These shots show a slice of personality and are usually favorites.
So, relax, it’s not that scary! Holiday photos can be fun and a great part of your family legacy.
Photo Do’s and Don’ts
DO: Include the whole family in the photo. Your family and friends want to see you, too, not just your kids and pets.
DO: Pick a time of day when your kids are most happy and relaxed. Just before nap or bedtime is never a good idea.
DO: If you are using a professional photographer, let them direct you.
DON’T yell, threaten or try to get your kids to do what you think they should be doing for the photo. That’s what you hired the pro for! Trust that they will get what they need.
DO: Know when to say when. When kids are done, they are done.
DON’T try to get “just one more shot.” You most likely will not get the shot, causing more irritation for your child.
DO: If you are including a family pet, bring a pet wrangler. This is someone to have the treats, make the sounds your animal responds to and contain your pet properly.
DON’T: Make every family member wear the exact same outfit. If you routinely go out all dressed identically, then great, go for it, but if not, it will look kind of odd in a photo! I prefer my clients to coordinate, rather than match exactly.
DON’T: Wait till the last minute to make an appointment if you are planning to use a professional photographer. The fall is one of the busiest seasons, and the best studios book up weeks or months in advance.