Posts Tagged ‘helpful tips’

With Halloween almost behind us and Thanksgiving just around the corner, mamas and papas are starting to think about holiday family portraits. Yes indeed! From ugly Christmas tree sweaters from the 90s to sweet velvet red dresses and ho, ho, ho hats, I wanted to pass along a few useful tips I learned on how to take a family photo for your holiday card this year!

Holiday family portraits are great to give as gifts, put inside greeting cards, or use on the greeting cards themselves.

Here are my tips to make them memorable:

1.      Make sure the kids are rested. Every parent knows and loves that magical time when their kids are in a great mood, so make sure you scheduled photo time hits that sweet spot. Have everyone eat a light snack before the picture taking begins; however, choose your snack food wisely since heavy greasy food can cause drowsiness and sugary food can cause, well, you know – sugar high craziness!

2.      Natural Lighting is great.  Shooting with natural lighting gives great color to photos, however it only gives you two windows to take the photos, early morning or late afternoon. Arrange everyone so the sun is behind them. This creates a nice hair light and adds depth to the shot, as well as helps to avoid squinting.

3.      Coordinate, but don’t be too matchy.  I never thought of this tip, but it’s pretty obvious.  Dress every family member in the same color or outfit.

4.      Avoid the plaids and patterns. That’s right! Go for solids – stripes, plaids or other patterns can be too distracting.

5.     Go Casual. If you get all dressed up and everyone is looking stiff and like a wax mannequin, your portrait won’t look natural and almost like a museum oil painting. If your child’s tie is a little crooked or someone is making a sweet, but funny face, go with it!

6.      Your family, not the background is the most important subject of your photokeep your backdrop simple! It doesn’t need to be in front of the tree or fireplace. Mix it up where you take your photo – and don’t try to fit in more of the background than your family. What have been your most unexpected favorite photograph backgrounds? If you will be including your pets in the photo, be sure to create a special location for them to sit. Or have someone hold them so they will be still.

7.      Get closer than you think.  A great tip for any beginning photographer is to get closer.  Try getting closer than you think and compare the photo results.

8.      That’s a wrap! The most important tip to remember is that family photo shoots should be fun for the whole family. Christmas holiday portraits are a great way to capture your family that you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

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This weekend I took my daughter on a play date with two other kids. Both of the children were from her daycare (she’s now in preschool). She had not seen one of them for 3-4 months and the other child, Lilah saw briefly a few weeks ago. They all love each other very much and couldn’t wait to play together, but what I found through this experience and by asking other parents, is that three can be a crowd. One child always seems to be more in demand. The other two may feel left out, jealous, or not have a partner. Though this is normal (especially with younger children) it may be helpful to have an even number of children on a play date. It doesn’t mean there is a guarantee of no problems, but hopefully with more friends there are more options. 🙂

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