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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Family Picture Tips for the Holidays

Holiday Family Portraits are usually used for holiday greeting cards. When your family is still young, it's easy for you to get everyone together for the picture. But as everyone grows, sometimes taking them is hassle because you can't get everyone together. This leads to so many families opting to not taking one at all.

  • Take the picture during a major family gathering, like a family reunion, birthday, or even Thanksgiving.  At least you have every one there.
  • Family pictures, doesn't have to be a negative or frustrating experience. You don't even need to be a photography hobbyist or need expensive cameras to get that great holiday shot. I have seen great family portraits taken from a simple digital camera and even on a mobile phone or smart phone. Just follow some simple step to make your Holiday Photo Session a breeze.
  • If possible, take the picture in the afternoon. Better to have natural light than the artificial lighting. 
  • Keep everything simple. You don't need themes. You don't need everyone to dress up in formal attire. You don't everyone wearing heavy makeup or having their hair styled. I have seen some terrible holiday pictures were everyone was in heavy makeup, even the men. I am pretty sure they wanted to have the best looking photo. But you can tell the kids weren't happy, even the husband. There was even one photo where everyone in the family wore Christmas costumes. That’s a bit overboard for me. I couldn't recognize anyone in the photo.
  • Don't stress out, it's just a picture not a masterpiece, it doesn't have to be perfect.
  • Having everyone wear something “Christmasy” won't work either. Just use what everyone is wearing. Just have them gather for a comfortable shot, and the magic will show in the picture. Most Thanksgiving clothing like thanksgiving dresses forgirls already some in colors that can be used during the Christmas holidays.
  • Don't have a camera tripod? Don't worry about it. You can use a chair a some old books or boxes. You would be surprised what my photographer friends used in absence of a camera tripod, and still the pictures came out great!
  • Don't have a DSLR Camera? A decent digital camera will do. Most digital cameras now-a-days come in high megapixel count that the quality of pictures they take are amazing. Even some mobile phones and smart phone take decent pictures.
  • Change up the background. Holiday family pictures are usually taken in front of the fireplace or dining area. Sometimes, if you are part of a big family, sometimes those areas are a bit small. Try using the front porch or the back yard as your background. They are great for big families.
  • Sort by height. This an old but great photography rule to follow. The taller members of the family stay at the back while the not so tall one stay in the front, usually seated. One of my friends actually made the really tall members of her family sit on the ground in front. It made the picture look really nice, no one was seen as the tallest. Just play around with it, like I said, it doesn't have to be perfect.
  • If you can't have the picture during a scheduled family get together like Thanksgiving, then make your own. Organize a small get together on a lovely afternoon on a weekend and serve some tea and snacks. Make it a festive occasion so everyone is happy during the shoot.

As I said, just keep it as simple as possible. The important thing is that everyone is having a good time taking the picture. I heard a lot of family picture disasters where everyone was starting to argue and get cranky. It even ruined the get together, and sadly, it was Thanksgiving

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