It’s that time of year again for the rush to get holiday photos! I know, where does the time go?! Nevertheless, it’s time to begin planning those outfits for the family and picking out your 2021 holiday card. Before you start planning, I’d love to share my 5 tips on how to get the best family holiday photos this year. Here we go!
1. Location First
Location choice is the backbone of your family portrait and will dictate your outfit colors and selections. I talked all about this topic in my recent post A Family Portrait For the Home and why it’s so important. Whether you’re location is outdoors or indoors, remember where the final portrait will be displayed. This will help narrow down which scenery scenario is best.
2. Your Outfit Style: Coordinate, Don’t Match
Now that you’ve chosen a location, it’s time for the fun (and sometimes frustrating) part! You can choose to go all-out holiday attire (no ugly Christmas sweaters please!) or just keep it neutral with a nod to the holidays…Something I prefer given that we live in Florida. This year I am holding my annual Holiday Mini Sessions in a studio space with sets designed in a fun Palm Beach, holiday-chic style. The tones will be light pinks and greens and we will be using greenery, natural wood tones, with pops of light pink all in a natural light setting. In this scenario, my advice would be to go with neutral tones as well keeping it monochromatic OR try deep brighter pinks, greens, or reds. And let us not forget about accessories! Whether it’s a statement necklace for you or a hat on your little one, these details put the finishing touches on your photos. Lastly, my biggest piece of advice is to try on all of your outfit choices a week before your shoot so you have plenty of time to edit and swap if need be. Which reminds me, having a backup outfit on hand day of in case your kiddo spills something on you or themselves!
3. Plan Ahead
Along with planning your family’s outfit style remembering to plan ahead will help in making sure you don’t get too stressed out before your loving, happy family shoot. To keep it simple and easy to read, I’ve created a little checklist:
• Make sure your hair is washed, dried, and ready to style a day before.
• Pack your makeup bag to include: oil wipes, powder, bronzer, favorite lip color, travel hairspray, and brush
•Lay out outfits the night before and have backup outfits for all just in case
•Pillow an extra 20-30 minutes from time of getting everyone in the car to arrival at shoot to avoid any traffic incidents or child meltdowns.
•Pack snacks and drinks for everyone (for you, a little wine never hurt.)
•Have the bribe for your child picked out and ready to be used at any time during your shoot
4. Expectations and the Inevitable
If you have high expectations for your family to knock it out of the park photo-wise, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. If everyone is in their best mood, having fun, and giving their best smile GREAT! But know that this doesn’t always happen and it’s inevitable at some point. I know it’s nice to have the “everyone’s looking at the camera” portrait, but some of the BEST imagery comes from those candid moments that become your most cherished photographs. Embrace the cute “mishaps”, be in the moment, and let your photographer take the reigns. Quick Tip: If you don’t end up getting the quintessential family photo, order the prints with just Dad and son, or you and daughter and design a wall gallery to create a cohesive family portrait.
5. Have Fun!
Remember why you’re doing this in the first place. You LOVE your family! If you have fun first, you’ll for sure get some great photos. Don’t take yourself so seriously and have fun with your kids. That means running around with them, lightly wrestling, or playing tickle fights just to get them in a playful mood. When they’re laughing and having fun, everyone wins!
I hope you find these tips helpful in preparing for your family’s annual holiday photo! I wish you the happiest holiday season!