It seems that it should be enough that you’ve got everyone in the same place at the same time: everyone is freshly showered, coiffed and dressed in clean clothes—maybe even coordinating outfits to some degree, everyone is in a good mood, no one yet complaining about wanting to be somewhere else doing something else. But, alas, holiday photos are not that easy. Because it’s now time to take the perfect holiday photo.
Whether this is for your holiday photo card to send to far flung and close-by family and friends (getting late, you better get a move on and expect to pay for rush delivery!), for your kids’ annual portrait or just because you are typically lax and really want a great family shot, we at The List have the top seven ways to ensure you get what you are looking for.
Steps to a Great Holiday Photo
1. Charged Camera
Before you get started, make sure you’ve got your camera in hand and make sure it’s charged. When your family finally gets going with all the precious smiles, cute poses, etc. you absolutely do not want to hold up the veritable finger accompanied by the, “one sec—hold that pose.” It isn’t going to happen, nor is an acceptable holiday photo.
2. Schedule it Right
Work your photo session into the family calendar. This way, you will have a set amount of time and won’t have to fit it in at an inopportune moment—like just after a basketball game or just before or following an afternoon nap. Make it for when no one is too tired or busy and the results will be far better than if off the cuff.
3. Stay Calm
Sure this is so much easier said than done, but it’s gotta be done. No one, from your youngest to oldest, will do as you ask if you are that hysterical woman behind the camera. If they need to take a break from holiday photo snapping and get their sillies out, let them, even join them. It will keep everybody in the happy and festive mood you are trying to attain.
4. Go for Candids
Posed shots can be beautiful but are often hard to capture perfectly, unless you are a professional. Instead, let the kids play, read, decorate, dance—whatever they can do together and just keep on shooting. Even suggest they sit down and have a conversation while you are shooting away.
5. Take Lots of Shots
Unless you are in the dark ages, you are not paying for wasting film and developing costs. You likely can keep on snapping pictures and erase the ones you don’t one from your camera. This way, you will have a tremendous amount to choose from and won’t have to wish you got that perfect shot with your little one’s eyes open, since you did get that one too.
6. Focus everywhere
It’s important to know where their faces are but you also wanted to keep track of wayward elbows, legs, and fingers to make sure the whole context and frame of the photo works.
7. Don’t Expect Perfection
Some of the best moments are those that we don’t expect to happen. If you can capture that for your holiday photo, consider yourself lucky. And then stop analyzing it—it does not matter if there is a hair out of place or a shirt untucked. All those little details either go unnoticed or add to the magic of the moment.
For more family tips, check out Poshmom.