With the holidays fast approaching, we are all starting to feel, amongst many things, anxiety. Shopping, cooking, over scheduling, and let’s not forget, the sometimes dreaded holiday cards, especially when it comes to the photograph. Maybe it’s just not in the cards this year to leave that to a professional, but the thought of setting up and doing a family photo yourself is totally freaking you out. What to do? Take a deep breath. These five small, simple actions can help create a much smoother and enjoyable experience.
Snap A Picture Perfect Holiday Family Portrait
Nap time fist:
Everyone’s mood will affect the vibes of the shoot and it will reflect in the photograph. When it comes to adults, they are going to have to work it out. But with small children, my advice is to schedule forty-five minutes after their nap time. This ensures they are well rested and gives them time to wake fully up, which will eliminate or at least reduce crankiness.
Another way to keep the mood up is to schedule the shoot during a time when the family will not be hungry, but also not right after a meal. Eating can be messy, and it’s best just to avoid the possibility of stains. Plus eating too much can make us feel sluggish or sick, and that is something you want to avoid. I do however recommend bringing snacks and water. Be sure though that the food you bring won’t leave stains or greasy, messy hands. My favorite snack options are carrot sticks, dried simple cereal, nuts, and raisins. Treat everyone to an excellent meal after the shoot. It will be fun to look forward to a night out together as a family.
Props can be fun for certain types of shoots. However, I suggest you skip them, especially if you are having more than eight people in the frame. I suggest focusing on the location and having the people in the photograph be the main attraction. Think simple and clean, which applies to everything, clothing, background, poses, etc.
This idea of simplicity carries over into the next tip that is clothing choices. The clothing your family chooses can improve the overall look of the photograph. When choosing a look for your family, instead of wearing matching outfits, coordinate your colors or an article of clothing. This creates cohesion. For instance, a great holiday look could be red and gold. Try to limit your colors to no more than three.
Here are some clothing ideas we suggest:
- Croft & Barrow Flannel Button Down — $21.99
- Haggar Textured V-Neck Vest — $29.99
- Croft & Barrow Satin Tie — $20.40
- Dockers Signature Dress Pants — $36.99
- Apt 9 Wing Tip Dress Shoes — $44.99
- Carter’s Fairisle Cardigan — $20.40
- Carter’s Corduroy Pants — $13.00
- Wee Kids Oxford Crib Shoes — $14.40
- Slim Fit Patterned Shirt — $24.50
- Crew Neck Sweater — $32.94
- Slim Fit Jeans — $29.94
- Sueded Wing Tip Oxfords –$44.94
Have a plan
My final tip is probably the most important one, and that is to have a plan. Having a plan is essential; the devil is in the details. Some great things to consider are: if you are choosing a location outside your home or backyard is it “legal” to photograph there, will you need a permit, are there accessible bathrooms, will it be too crowded. What time is sunset for the day you schedule? Are your batteries charged, is your card empty? Have a rain date if you plan to shoot outdoors. Is your furry child part of the picture, if so, does the location you chose allows dogs? Also, include everyone in the picture to share their ideas and suggestions. During the shoot, you can try a few different poses and ideas. If you prepare the little details ahead of time, you will be euphoric with the outcome.
Overall try not to worry about the shoot. It’s not going to be perfect; nothing is, but it can still be beautiful. Keep things light and fun, and just go with it. Your photographs will reflect this, and you will have a nice selection of images to choose from.
Daneen Augello is a professional photographer who specializes in family and children, maternity, newborn, wedding, and special occasion photography. To learn more, please visit http://daneenaugello.com.