Annie Steele Photography » Wedding Photography, Chicago, Illinois

5 Tips For Perfecting The Holiday Card

I love Christmas.  Not for the gifts, or all the holiday shopping, but rather for the sentimental reasons.  Remembering the reason for the season.  I love seeing family, going to church and singing “Silent Night” with only the candles lit on Christmas Eve, the smell of delicious food throughout my parents home on the farm, waking up at our home with my husband on Christmas morning to my stocking filled with goodies and a smile on his face after we decided not to do stockings that year.  He cooks me breakfast and now this year, we have a baby to experience all these wonderful blessings with.

Yesterday, we set out to take a Christmas picture.  It’s something we do every year, and now that we have Harper; we have no excuse to miss a year.  We scrambled clothes together and tried to coordinate without being too match match, and I wouldn’t say failed; but don’t hold your breathe on this Christmas picture this year folks.  After a trip outside with everyone in tow, a tripod, and 100ish pictures later; we decided on the one.  By no means is it a great picture, but it’s our family.  We are all happy (well, most of us), healthy, and we have each other.  That is something to be cherished, and to give thanks for.

This year, make sure to take a picture of YOU and your family together.  We have made it around the sun another year to celebrate Christmas/Hanukkah/Ramadan or anything you celebrate before the end of another year.  You may not appreciate it until years down the road, but you will never regret being in a picture with the ones who love you.  If you haven’t taken your picture yet, here are some helpful tips to get you started…

  1.  Take a picture.  Don’t brush it off until after Christmas, or after you lose the 10lbs you have been meaning to lose at the gym.  Do it now, and you won’t regret it.
  2. It does NOT need to be professional.  Take out your point and shoot camera or even your phone.  If you head to a public place full of people, I find there are several friendly people willing to take a picture if you ask them.  If you are at home outside in front of your wreath and garland front door, ask a neighbor or use the self timer.  (When self timing, I always use the continuous shot and select the camera to have a burst of 10).
  3. You don’t have to smile.  Look at each other, tell jokes, kiss, DANCE!  Sometimes these are even better than the posed, just smile at the camera.  It also lightens the mood, and that is exactly when genuine smiles happen.
  4. Outside vs. inside.  I love the outdoors for natural light and a more seasonal feel, but you can take it anywhere you want.  Inside next to the tree, in your kitchen baking cookies, at the tree farm, outside in an alley, ice skating, or next to the warm fireplace in your matching PJs.
  5. Bring backup for the kids.  When I say kids, that includes your four legged friends, too.  Ellie, our beloved, 8 year old cocker spaniel LOVES hotdogs.  You can’t say the word hotdog in our house unless you plan on giving her one.   Yesterday, we brought a piece of hotdog and put it on top of the camera.  She’s the only one out of the 4 of us looking at the camera in every single picture.

Don’t forget to print your pictures!  I’m guilty of this year round, but you will be so glad you did every year.  Start an album, mail out picture cards to family you haven’t seen in years, or frame it in your home.  I can’t wait to see your holiday pictures, friends!

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