Friday, December 14, 2012

Taking Holiday Pictures

One of the great joys of the holidays is receiving greeting cards with photos of your friends and extended family.  But taking your family photos is another story.  From selecting what to wear to getting children to cooperate, the process can be less than pleasant.  Whether you are taking the photo yourself or heading to a professional studio, here are 10 tips that might reduce stress and get a frame-worthy photo.

10 ways to a Picture Perfect Holiday Portrait

  1. Coordinate the outfits, but DON'T match - When we were discussing my daughter's family Christmas portrait, we decided on something red on top with jeans on the bottom.  Then everybody was on their's great to have different shades, textures and patterns.  Actually it gave everyone the excuse to buy something new to add to their wardrobe.  You have to remember that these are all adults, or almost adults.  With little ones, you might want to help them decide what to wear.
  2. When coordinating outfits, avoid anything that will take attention away from the whole point of the photo.  In other words...don't wear your school football jersey or your favorite silly saying T-Shirt.  All colors are OK, just make sure you don't mix too many busy patterns. 
  3. Don't wear too much make-up, not a good idea to look like a Hollywood celebrity in your family portrait.  Pick a daytime look with a bit more drama, wear eyeliner and a brighter lipcolor.  Make-up should enhance, not steal the show. 
  4. If you have little ones, let them be part of the planning.  Let them pick out something to wear, helps in bringing out their personalities.  A fun-family event after the photo-session so everyone has something to look forward to is always a good idea.
  5. Search around for the right photographer - in my case, the search was limited to me, me or me.  Ask friends or neighbors if they have a suggestion of a photographer if you want a professional.  Then don't hesitant to speak with the photographer about location and wardrobe options.
  6. Pick your setting carefully.  If you are planning on snapping the photo, chose the setting carefully.  It doesn't matter how cute your child is, if there is a stack of dirty dishes in the background the shot is ruined.  Family portraits are great outdoors, especially in the fall and winter.  Simple but picturesque is a good rule of thumb.  We chose a horse farm that has an abundance of open space and a fence for a prop. 
  7. Lighting, lighting, lighting!!  When taking the photo yourself the right lighting is the key.  Natural lighting is definitely the best, not direct sunlight, but shade or an overcast sky.  Stay away from dappled shade, it's not a pleasing look on faces.  And direct sun makes everyone squint. 
  8. Now tell everyone to relax...people get over critical of themselves and their kids.  Have fun, a natural smile is the best.
  9. Forget about saying cheese.  When prepping kids for a family photo, talk about it as something fun, not a job.  Natural emotions are the key.  Candid moments are the best to capture real personalities, keep shooting even when the kids have stopped saying cheese.
  10. Take a lot of pictures.  If you are dealing with a problem picture-taker (ie: one that blinks alot) take lots of pictures.  Take at least 10 pictures of the same pose.  You are bound to get one good one and the rest can go in the recyling bin....oh the joys of digital. 
Even the out-takes are great....this brought the most laughs....

 And here is the final Christmas Card.....

And the most important advice is to have fun....


heyjudephotography said...

Wow, even the dogs cooperated! Love the red on everyone! Great tips that we can all put to good use this season, and always. Love it Deanna!

Dotti said...

Perfect timing, Deanna! I know we'll all be taking formal and informal family portraits through the next couple of weeks so this is a delightful and instructive post. So nice to see your lovely daughter and her cool family but my favorite thing is the red collars on the dogs.

terriporter said...

Wonderful and very timely post, Deanna! Love all your tips and I'm sure they are going to come in handy with everyone taking lots of photos this time of year. My family balked at my clothing suggestion a few years ago but I finally guilted them into it and it is one of our favorite family shots. I'd say hold your ground, offer bribes, whatever it takes! I'm doing a couple of shoots tomorrow so this advice will come in handy!

Barb Brookbank said...

Thanks for the tips, Deanna! I love that outtake!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

You have captured the real love and joy they were all feeling that day. Even the pups looked relaxed and having a nice time.

That was the photographer who was able to accomplish that relaxed happy feel. Bravo to you.

and of course it always helps to have pretty subjects huh?


Nicki said...

Great advice Denna and beautifully illustrated. Job well done!

Kim Stevens said...

Love this Deanna, you did a fabulous job!! That out-take is so great, gave me a giggle! ; )

Anonymous said...

This is done using techniques such as hydrotherapy, remedial exercise, Mississauga style massage, rhythmic mobilizations, laser therapy and myofascial therapy.
You got to get hold of the best professional therapist in
town who can help you to fine tune and perfect your personality traits and bolster your confidence level to
new high. The treatments and care an RT provides to these patients would be drug and oxygen administration to
the lungs which may also call for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
My web site > Bipolar manic depression Treatment

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing part of your day with us. If for any reason you are unable to leave a comment here on this post, please leave your comment on our Facebook page or in our Flickr discussion group. We love hearing from you!

© Focusing On Life