We’re so grateful to Minted for helping us with today’s post and sponsoring our giveaway. Make sure to read through to the end for the details.
It’s that time of year. The time when everyone is picking out coordinating outfits and scouting the perfect location for Christmas cards. Every year in San Antonio I would put my kids in sweaters and try to find a spot that looked like it wasn’t 90º! This year we once again have sweaters, but since this morning’s temperature was -2º, I don’t think we’re going to have any trouble looking cold! If you want your family to look like they look in your imaginary Christmas cards, follow our ten tips!
- Pick the right time of day: Generally speaking, the best times are about an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. This gives you the best light. The great thing about this time of year is that those times are neither extremely early or extremely late!
- Pick the second right time of day: The time is important for lighting, but it’s also crucial when it comes to the temperament of kids. You know your kids best, so make sure to schedule your pictures for when everyone is happy and well fed!
- If mama ain’t happy: We all know this, but it’s especially important for pictures. Let mom pick the outfits that she likes, starting with her own. Also, make sure mom has 30 minutes to herself to get ready. If mom is spending all her time wiping noses, she might not get to take the much needed deep breaths that help her look calm and relaxed in the pictures!
- Dad should probably be happy too: For my family this means keeping any photo session to under 60 minutes. I think it’s harder for men to mask grumpiness, so unless you want your nearest and dearest seeing scowls, keep it short and sweet (and maybe keep a couple of snacks in your pocket!).
- Get Outside: If you want to take your own pictures, you’ll get the best light outside. Inside lights have a way of making everyone look a little orange or green. Plus, you don’t have to clean up nature! You’re much better off in a shady area than under harsh indoor lights.
- You get what you pay for: If you want a quality image that you can send out with your holiday greeting, but also hang above your fireplace, don’t be afraid to hire a professional photographer. Look at your favorite Christmas cards from last year, and ask your friends who took their pictures. We have taken our own family pictures many times, but it is always better when we hire someone else and put them in charge.
- Plan ahead: Look at pictures to get an idea for the look you want. Show them to your photographer, or if you’re taking your own pictures, scout locations that will get you the look you want. It can make for a very grumpy photo session if you need to take an hour just to find where you want to take your pictures.
- Be realistic: If you’re living in south Texas, you won’t get a shot of a snowball fight, and using a picture of Giselle for your inspiration will not turn you into a supermodel, and it won’t turn your husband into Tom Brady.
- Be yourself: When Candice took our family pictures a couple of years ago I told her my only goal was to make my husband and I look like we were madly in love. We are in love, but those kinds of pictures just aren’t “us,” and in the end those aren’t the ones I used. She took the most amazing pictures, and I love them because they look like us.
- Don’t stress: No one is going to look at your Christmas picture as closely as you do. You’re the only one who will notice the hair out of place or the mismatched sock. Editing can fix glaring problems and the rest just makes for fun memories.
- Pick your cards out ahead of time: If you look through a site like Minted, you’ll get an idea for the style you like best. Not only that, you’ll have a better idea about how the image should be centered because of any wording, or if you want a portrait or a landscape orientation. You don’t want to put all the planning into the photo and then not have it work with your card.
All the cards in today’s post are from Minted. Minted has generously sponsored a giveaway, and the winner will receive $200 to put towards their own holiday cards. Follow the link to enter. The contest will close next Friday (11/27/15). Good luck!