Well my friends, it's that time of year again! Time to coordinate those outfits, decide on a location and cross your fingers that no bumps, bruises, black eyes, rashes or major illnesses plague your children just before the big day. What big day you ask? The big holiday photo shoot! And yes, all of the aforementioned ailments and deformities have struck my own children just as I was hoping to get that great shot for my holiday cards. Actually, 4 of those five occurred simultaneously just last year. But not to worry, all was well and I managed to snap individual shots of each child between illnesses and injuries, resulting in this:
Not too shabby considering that we were in the midst of strep, violent reactions to medication and little miss peanut stumbling around like a drunken sailor! I have higher hopes for this year, of course. I always have high hopes. It's October 1st after all. There's plenty of time to capture that one great shot that will be mass distributed in our one big family press release of the year.
So here are my tips for a great holiday card victory in 2008!
Number One: start early! And by early, I mean now. Right now. Drop what you're doing and run!!!! No, just kidding about the running, but do start now. Figure out what everyone will wear, decide on a location or even better, scroll through some of your photos from summer vacation or days at the beach and see if you already have that one great shot.
Number Two: Don't stress! Your photo does not need to be perfect. It just needs to capture the essence of your family. You want your childrens' personalities to shine through, you don't want stiff little robots saying "cheese!" Because let's face it, that is probably the only moment your children stood still all year. That's not them!
Number Three: Choose a card design that suits your photo and your family's personality. Or, if you find a card design that you love, keep that in mind during your photo session so that you get some shots that will suit the design. But if you do this, remember to be flexible. The best shot may not suit your chosen design at all, but if it's "the one" let the shot dictate the design because in the end, it's the photo that's important.
Number Four: Can't find a card design that's just right? No problem! I love to design a card around a photo - it's one of my favorite things to do. Just let me know which designs you prefer, send me the photo and I'll use that as a jumping off point for creating the perfect custom card for your family.
Number Five: Read this fantastic article with loads of tips for photographing children.
Number Six: Remember, this is supposed to be fun! You have a wonderful family and you want to share that with the rest of the world (or at least 100 of your nearest and dearest) along with your best wishes for a wonderful holiday. This is about taking the time to connect with family and friends; keep the spirit and purpose of the cards in mind and be happy.