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5 tips for taking good holiday card photos of your kids


There are a million ideas out there for adorable kid christmas card pics and I love 'em all, which is probably no surprise, given my penchant for all things seasonal.  That said, one thing that going from zero kids to two kids immediately has taught me, is expectation management.  Getting one good picture of two moving children is challenging at best - and a good picture of both of them looking at the camera and smiling is basically a miraculous festivas unicorn.  I have found that the key to success for taking your own great kid photos is in working on the things you can control - but mainly trying to remain chill and flexible while it does not go AT ALL how you envisioned  So without further ado, here are 5 tips for getting some cute shots for your holiday card this year:

1. GOOD LIGHTING - It's taken me a long time to learn and buy into this, but it's sooooo true - good lighting is really over half the ingredients to a good picture.  And by good lighting, I mainly mean good natural lighting - the more sunlight can grace your picture, the better.  Indoor lighting tends to give an overall color hue to a picture - usually kind of a yucky yellowish tone - and to cast weird hard shadows.  Totally not the case with professional lighting obviously, but for the average momma that lacks that set up and skill set (oh and did I mention the time to set that up?!), natural light is the way to go.  It's also important to think about the direction that the light is coming from and the time of day that you want to take the picture.  The picture below was taken in the middle of the day, honestly because that's when the kids were at their best, but the backlight totally ruined the pictures.  Even when I photoshopped the bejesus out of it, the backlight forced the inside light to take over the picture so everything is slightly yellow.  Which was a bummer because I thought the setup was really cute!

2. Simple Cohesive Background and/or Outfits - We exist in a generalized state of (organized) chaos, so in order to minimize that from coming through in our photos, I try to choose simple or easily cohesive backgrounds and/or outfits to pull the picture together and make things look intentional.  Our go to for babies was a nice christmasy blanket, but we also had chalkboard walls in the girls' room for the first year and a half of their lives and it always made for an awesome backdrop/prop too!  Cozy/seasonal jammies always add a little warmth and as an added bonus, you don't have to worry about them being too high maintenance to stay in place for the photo - although we clearly were going through a naked phase during last years photo shoot...
3. PROPS - A few simple props can really give your photos some holiday flair too - some of our favorites include: 
  • Christmas/holiday themed books 

  • Seasonal fashion forward accessories ;)

  • A pet with a festive attitude

  • Christmas lights

    4. ~ 1 MILLION photos - A good friend of mine opened my eyes to the amazing world of BURST PHOTOS - whether its on your iPhone (which is also a totally great camera btw) or other digital camera, I have found this function absolutely indispensable when it comes to taking pictures of kids.  All joking aside, I regularly take anywhere from 300-500 pictures during a photoshoot and can usually count on getting about 20 that I actually want to use.
    5. Let them be kids - Sometimes this is the hardest thing for me to remember - especially when I've spent a lot of time prepping and getting excited about the outcome that I've envisioned in my head - is to let them be kids and experience things however they choose to.  Sometimes it's awesome and sometimes its a tragic circus, but at the end of the day, I'd rather be funny than perfect :)
     

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