quick trick: how to take great holiday photos
This holiday-inspired Quick Trick is a little somethin’ for the moms and dads out there who strive for that perfect holiday family photo that they may–or may not–choose to use on their holiday cards.
Everyone has a different take on holiday cards–whether to send them or not, when to send them, and what the cards and photo should look like.
As much as I love and yearn for that color-coordinated, whole-family-smiling and looking at the camera shot, I know those photos take work. They take preparation and thought on the part of the wardrobe designer (usually Mom), they take planning and careful scheduling (usually thanks to Mom), they take great-photographer research (again, usually Mom), and they take proper and perfect alignment of the stars (obviously, thanks to Mom’s incessant pre-photo shoot prayers).
I do not have that kind of time, patience, or drive.
However, I do wholeheartedly admire (and envy) those who do have that kind of time, patience, and drive.
But I will admit, that as a keeper of all holiday cards, I do just truly appreciate everyone who sends them–no matter the pose–because the kids and I really, truly love pulling them out once in a while to see all of our buddies.
And though it’s not the pose that really matters (we all know it’s the thought that counts!), we all do want halfway decent photos for our holiday cards.
I had the opportunity to spend some time at a Tiny Prints holiday event, held at Mary Gardella’s Love Life Images studio here in Maryland, where I learned a thing or two (or ten!) about taking great holiday photos. I am eager to share them with everyone. And though not everyone is able to visit Mary’s amazing studio to have holiday photos taken, everyone will be able to take a little something away as far as holiday photo-shoot tips are concerned because this Quick Trick is all about how to take great holiday photos.
My sweet friend Stephanie of MinkyMoo with her adorable, squeezable Huck
Here’s the skinny:
- How to take great holiday-time family photos: I personally find that imperfect, casual, non-holidayish holiday family photos are my favorite for my family’s holiday cards. And I’m not just saying that because I have declared myself a perfect-family-holiday photo failure.
Something is probably wrong with me that I get the biggest chuckle out of seeing a photo with a crying kid, a lopsided ponytail, or a mom with a tired, exasperated look on her face (while she’s standing in front of a lighted Christmas tree, mind you). I am also a lover of the summertime photos on holiday cards, photos that show one kid on the baseball field and another in her swimmies, or an entire family on a camping trip.
At the Tiny Prints holiday event a few weeks back, we were lucky to be in the presence of not one but two incredible photographers who shared their secrets to taking great holiday photos.
Here are a few holiday-photo shoot tips, straight from the pro’s:
“My photo philosophy for taking great portraits is to be discreet and most importantly, patient! Engage the child in an activity that will bring out their little personalities (reading a favorite book, coloring/painting, singing songs, sitting up, belly time, dancing, tickling, furniture surfing, taking a bath, picking flowers, etc..). Look for the moments that make you smile. These are amazing times of growth and change in your child’s life. It’s so fun as a parent to witness the moments happen, it’s even more precious to capture the moments for a lifetime.” –Mary Gardella of Love Life Images
Mary shares her professional tips and advice about how to best prepare your kids for a portrait session, and everyone should check it out. Mary is also offering a great deal called Fabulous Fridays at her studio in Maryland. Feel free to check out her site to learn more.
My fancy-schmancy slideshow from the Tiny Prints holiday event:
And Tiny Prints has brought in so many incredible designs in their 2011 holiday line of cards and Christmas cards, it’s amazing.
This year, we went with a fun summery photo of Maddy, Owen, and Cora in a canoe on our Williamsburg, VA weekend. The Joyful Highlights card was perfect for it, and I’m hoping that friends and family like it. Actually, I don’t really care if they love it. I love it because though it was 110 degrees out that afternoon, the looks on the kids’ faces–big smiles, fancy straw hats on the girls (and Owen’s baseball hat pulled down too low), pink cheeks and sweaty hair and all–are priceless to me.
Here’s to a happy holiday season for everyone, and best wishes for a holiday photo that you love!
fyi: This is a totally unsponsored post, and the opinions and ideas are my own. I was given free holiday cards from Tiny Prints as a gift for sharing information about this event and for being a part of their holiday cards campaign, and I am grateful to the amazing Mary for taking headshots of all the bloggers at this evening’s event. Many thanks to both Tiny Prints and Love Life Images for our pre-holiday gifts!