Family decorating their tree.
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10 Tips for Your Photo Shoot


{One} Start Early

Have you started thinking about your holiday photo cards yet? I personally have to start early or when the holidays roll around I am too busy and overwhelmed to get my family motivated to look extra nice and go off for a photo shoot. I still wait until the last minute to get the cards in the mail, but at least planning a family photo shoot at the end of summer captures our summer vibe and suntans. Book your appointment in the late summer or early fall. Avoiding December photo shoots means avoiding last minute sicknesses and parties that somehow always come up on the scheduled photo day.

Get started early on family holiday photos.
Photo by Pexels

{Two} Don’t Get Yourself in a Time Crunch

I don’t know how it is in your family, but my family doesn’t want to donate any of their time to family photo day. They want it over as quickly and painlessly as possible. So if you’ve scheduled a session with a photographer try to pick a time when you have the day open. When the time comes if everyone is in a rush to get somewhere else it will reflect in your photos. It’s hard enough to get everyone to smile and look at the camera at the same time.


{Three} Know Your Photo “vision” … Your Photographer Will Thank You.

Just take a look through Pinterest and you will see toddlers wrapped up in bows and strands of Christmas lights, families dressed alike in flannel at the tree lot, snowy cabin snapshots…get creative! Get inspired by some of the clever ideas others have shared on Pinterest. Your photographer will be able to help you create the vision you desire, but not if you aren’t on the same page with the photographer on the “vision.”


{Four} Hit the Resale Store For Color Coordinating

Most photographers will encourage you to choose clothing that isn’t going to clash too boldly. Dad’s checkered blue shirt might not go well with grandma’s fuschia sweater. So the budget minded might hit the resale store to pick up something that flows with the color scheme you’ve chosen. Shutterfly recommends, “The best colors to wear for family pictures are colors that match your family’s personality, photo surroundings and season, and that match with your home decor. Too bold of colors often stick out as visually distracting, taking away from the subjects.”

Photo by Pexels

{Five} Think Ahead with Snapshots

You don’t want to be a star in the “Awkward Family Photos” Walk of Fame. If you aren’t the formal family photo type, consider using a great snapshot of a time you were all together for a special occasion. Maybe a snapshot from your vacation or a special family dinner or hike. Natural smiles in natural settings are always a family photo win.

Photo by Pexels

{Six} Kids Wardrobe Inspiration

I’m going to share a little secret with you. Again, the kids resale stores are full of formal holiday clothing that is practically brand new. Take advantage of this for adorable outfits at rock bottom prices. Know what you are looking for, like for example, these cute inspiration pieces from Janie & Jack.

I saw it on Janie and Jack

Family Moment

I saw it on Janie and Jack

Family Moment

I saw it on Janie and Jack

Family Moment

I saw it on Janie and Jack

Family Moment


PS: Back when my kids let me pick their clothes… my go-to holiday shop was Gymboree. Janie and Jack is a Gymboree line that is being bought by Gap. Beautiful clothes, oh my gosh. For real, you can get matching outfits for your pet. My heart. Every year, I still feel the need to buy one of these kind of outfits, but I will now have to settle for teenager jammies. 🙂 If you are still looking for Gymboree style, never fear, rumor has it you can find their brand at Children’s Place. So go check out Janie and Jack #affiliate, clothes that will make your holiday photo shoot completely fashionably on point! Who can resist those tiny bow ties and sparkly Mary Janes?


{Seven} Stage a Home Photo Shoot

Speaking of jammies… there are literally hundreds of ways to take awesome photo shoots at home! Ssshhhh, we won’t tell anyone you staged your Christmas scene at home in the spring. Decorate some ugly Christmas sweaters and gather around for a snapshot. Draw a Christmas scene in chalk and take fun photos of your kids in the scenes. Your imagination will take you to far off places.

Photo by Pexels.

{Eight} Order Custom Stamps

Order something new this holiday! Maybe it will inspire you to get your cards out earlier. There are so many ways to print custom stamps from Minted or return address labels or custom rubber address stamps from Zazzle, even services that will print and mail your cards for you, like Postable.com or Amazingmail.com!


{Nine} Let Your Child’s Personality Shine Through

Mamas, we all want those perfect photos and maybe you’re not overly excited about the mohawk on the 9 year old, or the Converse high tops paired with a dress and mismatched socks on your daughter. Rest easy. Sometimes these are the best photos because you are capturing a precious moment in time.

Photo by Pexels

{Ten} Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

This is what I have to say about the small stuff. Maybe you are holding off on your photos because you want to lose weight, or you are trying to get healthy first, or you don’t have the money or energy to get everyone on board. We all go through this, but I promise it isn’t too hard to have a family photo and it is something you can definitely DIY.

Sometimes getting the family to be enthusiastic about taking a family photo is more trouble than it is worth it. I’m standing here with my hand in the air waving, pointing at myself. Yes, that’s how I feel about it! But having those photos are priceless.

I look back on those annual family photos and they make me so happy. Year to year my family changes and grows so much. I’m proud of this family and this accomplishment and a photo card to share and keep my far away or out of touch friends in the loop is one thing I make time for each holiday.

I absolutely love receiving cards too, and I hang them all up proudly to enjoy during the holidays. When I look back on some of my cards from close friends and family that have passed on, their notes and signatures feel like a hug.


Photo Printing Options

Where To Order Photo Cards

Costco

Tiny Prints

Target

Zazzle*

Minted*

MixBook*

Fotor* – holiday card templates

Simply to Impress

Snapfish

Shutterfly

Vista Print

Persnickety Prints

Becky Higgins


Where I Print My Holiday Photo Cards

There are so many options now for holiday photo cards. I have pretty much ordered from them all. Costco, Vista Print, Zazzle, Minted, Tiny Prints, Shutterfly, Persnickety Prints and Becky Higgins. Last year I even made my own layout on the Rhonna Collage app, then uploaded the file to Costco. Costco is always the best deal, but some years you have a coupon for a certain place, or all your photos are more easily accessed at a certain vendor, or you have more or less money budgeted for the holiday.

Rustic

Country Rustic Wood Merry Christmas: Rustic, weathered wood background and whimsical mix of typography sets the stage for a playful country holiday greeting for family and friends. With room for a multi photo collage of your family, this design frames three smaller photos and one large photo with a border of simulated wood grain at the bottom and a small smattering of white snowflakes on the edges. Found on Zazzle.com

Whimsical

Gold Red Berries Available in 8 styles. This whimsical and festive 6 photo holiday card features a photo collage, winterberries and says Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Found on Zazzle.com

Beach

Dashing Through the Sand Available in 8 styles. Perfect for those living in tropical climes, or for sharing a favorite beach vacation photo, our coastal chic holiday photo card features “Dashing Through the Sand” as a vibrant turquoise text overlay adorned with starfish illustrations.  Found on Zazzle.com


I saw it on Minted

Photo Cards, Stationery, Art & Home Decor


I like to find cards with spots for multiple photos because I like lots of photos on my cards and it’s hard to pick my favorites! Zazzle has tons of custom products available ranging from photo cards to magnets to phone cases, calendars and blankets.

I tend to like BEACHY holiday photos and here’s a cute one. I wish it had more places for multiple photos, but I can do that in Rhonna Collage if I have to. I’ve actually been using Fotor and PicMonkey for years. These both have free tools for photo editing to add a little sparkle to your projects.

Check out these sites if you need to touch up a not so perfect shot or create a fun collage… Sorry, they won’t add smiles to any grumpy faces in your photos, but you can edit out background items that mess up your perfect snapshot. 🙂

  1. Try Fotor, a free online photo editor, collage maker and designer!
  2. Canva
  3. PicMonkey (has free editing options but to save your project there is a fee)
I saw it on Minted

Written Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards

HFS
I saw it on Minted

Wonderful Entwined Holiday Photo Cards

HYC

Wow, this one is really cool. If you are more organized than me, maybe you write a little description of what’s been going on in the family and this card has a spot to type that in! Me? I just send them off and don’t write on them. Maybe one day I will have time for that. For now, I pat myself on the back that I have sent out photo cards for 16 years in a row. Yay me!

I saw it on Minted

Budget Savvy Holiday Cards

I hope you found a little inspiration in this post! Don’t forget to Follow Me if you like this article.

What’s your favorite trick for getting out your holiday photo cards? I love helpful comments.

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