Is it that time of year again? It is, and that means celebrations and new beginnings are on their way. Oh, and of course, a hallmark of the season and a treasured keepsake, the family holiday card photo.
The Holiday Card Tradition
Holiday cards have been a tradition for decades, and with the rise of the digital era, they’re all the more the holiday rage. Rage as in trend yes, but also as in, you know—actual rage.
The pressure to set up the best family photo possible can be stressful and time-consuming for those coordinating it, as well as those participating.
Don’t let what could and is supposed to be a fun holiday memory turns into a mess of clashing egos and pressure to be perfect. Don’t put that on yourself. Instead, get closer to the best possible photo by planning and following these guidelines for a smoother process.
If your family is the type that doesn’t like or wish to have their photos taken, make sure to ease into the prospect by informing them early on. Give ample notice to those who might have some push back, and don’t make it sound like a chore. Make them feel like it’s a special event because it is.
Be Mindful of Weather
Try your best to control the circumstances of the photo. If you know it’s a tricky time of year to nail what the weather might look like, avoid being outside if possible. Aim for an indoor setting, if possible. Aside from the quality of the photo, the weather may impact how everyone’s feeling.
Lighting & Formation
When taking the ideal photo that showcases your family’s unique essence and holiday spirit, lighting is critical. Even if everyone looks and feels good, inadequate, or shadowy lighting may only conceal what you’re attempting to capture.
Another thing to consider is the formation of how everyone will stand. Play around with ideas. You don’t always have to go with the stiff everyone-say-cheese cliche. Move people around, create levels, and dynamic. While a symmetrical formation is close to tradition, it might be interesting to mix it and try something a bit asymmetrical.
Bribe the Kids
Yes, there is such a thing as a healthy bribe. Entice the kids with some holiday sweet treats, or incentivize them by planning a fun activity for the afterword. Who has time to resist posing for a few photos for something they can’t resist? The idea is to make the family photo a fun event for everyone.
Create a Cohesive Look
If you’re not into the classic matching vibes of holiday photos, go instead for a look that flows among everyone. Try to aim for looks that represent each family member individually, but still complementary toward everyone.
For example, avoid clashing colors or prints, unless of course, this is your style. Whatever it is, make it a unified look that you’ll look back on and remember the closeness of the holiday spirit.
Don’t Make Too Big a Deal Out of it
This one is probably the most difficult, especially if coordinating family events or photos is already a stressful thing for you. Remember the whole point of the picture, and don’t get too caught up in chasing perfection.
Your family may be able to sense if you’re not outright telling them just how much pressure is on. This may lead them to subconsciously believe that whatever effort they put in won’t be good enough anyway, and could backfire. Stay calm and collected if anything goes wrong, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
If you’re trying to plan a holiday photo, don’t stress more than you need to. Do the prep work, and stick to the holiday cheer. You can’t go wrong, and even if you do—memories are being made, and you’ll likely look back and laugh anyway.