A personalized photo card of all the kids, or the whole family together can make a great keepsake. When not using candid photos, follow some of these tips to help ensure a better photo.
Dress to the Setting
The first thing that needs to be decided upon for the holiday photo, is the location. Should the picture be taken outside, with a fall or winter theme? Or should it be shot indoors, in front of a fireplace, or in the living room? Picking the location, before trying to come up with clothing for the participants can go a long way toward ensuring a great photo.
Denim photographs very well outside, while khaki and white will look washed out in the outdoors, but photographs well in indoor lighting. Black can give a more formal look to an outdoor photo, but may look too dark indoors.
The type of lighting, surrounding colors, or scene can also have a big impact on how the photograph will turn out. An overcast day at the pumpkin patch can be brightened with saturated fall colors, while a family photo in front of a lit fire, with a bright glow can be toned down more.
Choose Co-ordinating Outfits
It can be tempting to match everyone in the same outfit, but for large families or groups, sometimes choosing coordinating outfits, rather than matching makes more sense. Take a color, or group of colors for everyone to wear, and use them as a starting point. Or find one piece of clothing that looks great on a young child, and build everyone’s outfit around that.
Another fun idea, for outdoor photographs, is to have everyone dress in one color, and accessorize with different colored hats, scarves and gloves. So dad can be in navy, while mom is in red, and the children in green, pink and yellow. If the under garments are all black turtlenecks, the bright colors will show up well, and give a pulled together look, without being overly matching.
Photograph Small Children Naturally
If trying to get a photo of a few small children without adults in the picture, try grouping them around something that interests them, and let them be natural. It can be difficult to get many small children to all look in the direction of the camera at once, so try to have them all focus on the same thing, whether it’s a toy, a pet or something brightly colored and entertaining just behind the photographer.
Sometimes pictures of small children just “being busy” or being themselves, can make for a better photo, than one that’s staged, since it can be difficult to get them to all look up and smile at once.
Older children can handle staged photographs easier, as they will have more experience with following direction, and looking into a camera. Give the little ones something to do, like a puzzle to put together, or a toy to hold, and take multiple photos.
Be sure to take lots of pictures, even after it’s thought that the “right one” has been found. Sometimes pictures that weren’t thought to be as good in the moment can turn out to be poignant, or amusing and make for a better photo greeting card, than those where the participants are wooden and fixed.
Remember to relax, and know that just receiving a personalized photo card is going to be what makes someone’s day, not necessarily how perfect everyone appears in the photo.