Every year my husband and I have holiday pictures done of our kids and then use those photos for gifts and our annual christmas card. Some years we did the pictures at home, like the year I had a baby 8 days before Christmas. Other years we went to a photo studio and had professional ones done.
Getting holiday photos can be stressful, especially when it involves multiple children, but with a few preparations beforehand it doesn't have to be.
Here are my Tips for Getting great Holiday Photos:
1- Plan ahead--The earlier you can have your holiday photos taken the less stressed your holiday season will be. Trust me, I know. This year we had them done before Thanksgiving and plan to mail them out the first week of December. This is EARLY for us. There have been years where we have sent our holiday cards so that they arrive on Christmas Eve. By planning ahead and figuring out what everyone is going to wear in the pictures and purchasing needed items early it means that I can remove one thing from my already busy holiday schedule.
2- Get everything ready the night before--The night before you get your holiday photos done make sure to double check you have everything you need. For me, that means I line up everyone's dresses, tights and shoes and have them ready to go. For my son, I lay out everything he is going to wear, right down to his socks and shoes. That way when it is time to get dressed everything is right there and I don't have to go hunting for wayward items.
3- Go at a good time--Go at a time that works best for your children. Kids in school all day? Then skip the after school time slot because the last thing your kids are going to want to do is have to sit still. Have a baby that naps? Then avoid scheduling them near nap time or your child will just be cranky. I find the best time to go is before 1 1/2 hours before lunch, everyone is fresh faced, has eaten breakfast and is ready to smile.
4- Have a reward in place for good behavior-- We go to lunch after photos. Because I try to plan photos for a spot right before lunch, my kids know if they behave we will head out for lunch right after photos. It is a great incentive for good behavior.
5- Be prepared to walk away--Let's be honest, some days no matter what you do you just aren't going to get great pictures. Maybe the baby is fussy, the toddler won't sit still or your preteen is being a preteen--when it just isn't going to work out then make an appointment for another day. The fees at Portrait Innovations are extremely reasonable so if you have to leave and reschedule for another day you are not out too much of time or money. Trust me, sometimes its just worth walking away and coming back another day.
6- Have realistic expectations--Remember, these are your kids, not professional models so have realistic expectations. There may be a hair out of place or a scratch on their face or they might refuse to smile, but a picture is a moment in that time in your child's life so embrace it, imperfections and all!
Holiday photos are a great reflection of how your kids look at that point in time and I love to look back through the previous years holiday photos to see just how much my kids have changed.
Tags: Holiday Portraits,
Megan Galko resides in Northeast PA (NEPA) with her husband, one son and four daughters. She enjoys sharing Tips, Recipes, Reviews and more on her website (www.nepamom.com) and also is a Social Media Consultant for small businesses. She is a contributing partner to the Build Your Influence Summit, a 2 day conference being held this fall that is geared towards bloggers and business owners and helping them improve their influence in their chosen niche.