Tuesday, December 04, 2007

How do you take holiday photo cards?

As you may have read before, I have photo phobia, and holiday cards are no exception. Try to get two small children to look at the camera and smile at the same time. For me, it involves me singing Christmas carols and bribes of candy. Even then the photo comes out looking like I have two slightly deranged children (mad usually only when trying to get them ready for school or photos), instead of two adorable children (which they are most of the time). As you can see, I have photographic proof that my children can look adorable at the same, but they're not looking at the camera. And the dear friend who took this photo has other things to do. This was an entire afternoon of her time.

Does anyone have tips for me?

I took over 30 photos with the digital before patience gave way. I'm not sure if it was me or the kids who were more sick of the whole process.


Sam's mom said...

Don't try for the perfect single photo; do a holiday card that has multiple shots! Check out this one:


Cubes said...

- Use any picture you love -- just put it in a Christmas-y border on the card.
- They don't have to be posed, looking at the camera. Personally, I think candid shots often look far nicer than posed ones -- people's personalities and moods come across so much better.
- Take them to a photo studio, even Sears or JC Penny. Try a couple of places on a couple of different days. The photographers will often have their own little tricks for getting the kids to smile at the camera. You can often find coupons for free or reduced sitting fees (and it's usually under $20 or so anyway), and you don't have to buy any photos if you don't like them.
- If it's important to you to have good formal portraits, hire a professional photographer who works with kids (check their portfolio). Ask them in advance how best to prepare your kids for the photo shoot.
- Take pictures of each kids separately and use a multi-image card layout.
- Make the picture-taking part of some other fun activity. Take your camera everywhere you go, and snap a few pics while you're doing other things with them ("Hey kids, look over here!" *click*).
- If all else fails, sometimes outright bribery does the trick!

I got my cards from Shutterfly this year, and I'm thrilled with them. They have a lot of design choices to just drop a picture (or 2 or 3) into, or you can design your own.

Thida said...

Thanks for the tips! I'll let you know how my holiday photos come out.