Holiday Portrait Tips: How to Make Your Holiday Cards Unforgettable
Tis the season for holiday cards and before you know it your entire refrigerator will be covered with shots of loved ones bunched together and smiling. We have all seen those generic family shots year after year. And, after all the hard work and money you put into making your holiday cards, don’t you want yours to stand out from the rest? We are here to share with you our favorite tips and tricks for taking your holiday cards from standard to show-stoppers!
The first thing you need to do is get into a creative state of mind. Completely erase the idea of your family standing next to each other, smiling, and wearing Santa hats. Start thinking about what makes your family unique and build off of that.
Location, Location, Location.
When you are starting to plan a family shot one of the most important factors is location. If there is a spot your family likes to go to, or an area that is a perfect backdrop for a photo, plan your shot at that location. If it is too cold to go outside, or you don’t have time, it’s no problem, find an interesting background indoors or create your own.
Since it is the holiday season there are Christmas lights in abundance. Grab those and use them in your shot. Hang them up and if you have enough room, move your family further away from them. Select a low aperture and blur the lights. This will create an interesting background to start with. You can also try this technique out with your Christmas tree.
If you want to be even more creative, try some chalkboard paint on a big board and draw out a scene, or go outside, draw on the pavement and have everyone lay down and take a photo from above.
Add some props, tell a story.
When you have your location picked out the next factor that comes into play is your props. Props can make a photo more interesting and dynamic. Again, think about what makes your family special. Maybe your child started taking trumpet lessons throw the trumpet in your shot. Or perhaps someone in your family loves painting, add some paintings or art props. Try to create a scene, make it funny, get the kids involved.
Act out a holiday themed scene and have your kids tie you up with lights or have the kids eating Santa’s cookies and milk. The more fun you have the more interesting it will make the photo.
Pose, Placement, Perspective
The next element to think about is the placement and pose for each of your family members. Try to stray away from everyone sitting or standing next to each other. Create moments that look candid.
If you have a grumpy teen who doesn’t want to be in a shot, think of a creative way to not show faces. Use creative cropping, take pictures of feet, legs, shadows, or even stand in front of bright lights or a sunset and have your photo be a silhouette.
You may even want to try light graffiti; where you take a shot with a long shutter speed and use a light source to write out a word or draw a picture. Perhaps you have a family who is very artistic, have each family member do a drawing or make a sculpture of themselves and photograph the family that way. The options are endless.
Another tip to remember when you are coming up with poses is; not everything, or everyone, has to be in focus. Maybe you are the one who doesn’t like being photographed, no problem, throw your kids in the front, you can stand further back and blur the background. Have a sign, or object, in the foreground of your shot with you family blurred in the background. Remember to try different angles, focal points, and compositions.
Your family says they are too busy…
You may find it difficult to have every family member in a shot together; maybe you have little ones who won’t sit still long enough to pose everyone, you have teens who don’t have time to wait for everyone to be ready, or maybe you just can’t get everyone together on the same schedule. Have no fear, take individual shots and create a “Brady Bunch” or “photo booth” shot. These kinds of shots can be fun and create a comedic outlet to your holiday card.
Once again, when creating this kind of card, spot light what makes the individual unique. Maybe you have an actress on your hands, a basketball player, a super hero, a singer, or maybe everyone wants to act out a character, add some props, some fun poses, and snap away!
Just remember be creative, have fun and create an amazing holiday card!
Get your holiday cards printed today with CalumetPrints!