Chances are that in the next few weeks you will be planning that perfect family photo for your annual Christmas card. I have not done a family photo card in years. We have 3 boys and 2 are grown and on their own or in college. When we all happen to be together I always forget to snap a photo and then months can go by until our schedules meet up again in a moment to grab a photo.
As the kids grow you almost have to plan all year. To keep in the back of our brain to snap that photo when you get the chance. Maybe it will be with the restaurant tables in the background, but you were all together. Better yet, getting everyone all together is easier the younger they are and you can take some steps to make that posed photo fantastic.
Tim McCabe, creative director and cofounder of CardFool, has put together his five tips to capturing the best photo.
1. Magic Time. If you have grade-school kids, be prepared to get in and get out. Kids typically can sit and participate for about 20 minutes. But with a game plan, you can utilize those 20 minutes efficiently.
2. Get Lit. Make sure the background is properly lit. With cameras these days, you can review a photo before you go ahead and print it to ensure everyone’s faces forward and clearly visible.
3. Skip The Props – if you are having more than eight people in the frame, skip the props and instead focus on your location. You don’t need any extras like bales of hay or a gigantic Christmas tree taking up precious restate. Think simple and clean, regardless of how many people are in the photo. This applies to everything, clothing, background, poses, etc.
4. Smartphone – if you don’t have a fancy camera, or know someone who does, don’t worry. Today’s smart phones are equipped with a great camera. The key to making the photo professional are three simple tips. First, have someone else snap the photo. You don’t want your holiday photo to be a selfie. Second, capture the photo both horizonal and vertical, making sure that the legs and head are not chopped off. That way when it comes time to choosing the card layout, you have some options. Third, have fun with the filters. Your phone comes with several color options and lighting, play around with it, but don’t choose more than two different filters to prevent the photo looking over-processed.
5. Have fun – with today’s busy life, treasure the moment that your family is all together and you’re spending some quality time capturing a great moment. Reflect on the past year, your family’s accomplishment, and don’t forget to say “cheese.”