Creating a family Christmas card each year is one of my favorite traditions. We typically schedule a professional photographer in even years and I take the pictures in the odd years with a tripod and remote. I shared a sneak peek of our family pictures a few weeks back along with my thoughts on using Minted for card design. Today I’m sharing the card I settled on as well as s my tips for a successful family photo shoot!
I love including individual pictures of the kids as well and this ended up being the back of our card. I just love these people so much!!
So how do we survive our annual picture and still have smiles on our faces?
Pick a date as far in advance as possible. If you are booking a photographer this is really important as the closer the holidays get the busier they will be. Honestly, in Texas we would have much better luck with spring or early summer photos to ensure ourselves the weather would not be an issue but that just doesn’t work for our schedules. We are so fortunate to have a photographer who comes from a big family and is use to some of the crazy that comes with shooting this crew.
Location, location, location! We are typically limited to the general vicinity where we live but there are some amazing backdrops for pictures in our own backyard. Places that work really well and are often found in most towns, both big and small, include downtown areas, museums, local parks (especially if there are some neat water features or cool bridges), college campuses or even a simple country road can be the best. Have a vacation planned for the coming year? One of the best things I ever did was book a photographer the year we traveled to Destin for summer vacation. It is really not hard to find someone in most towns you visit and as your children get older a family vacation may be one of the only opportunities you have.
Do not be afraid to bribe your family! Talk the pictures up and reinforce over and over how important they are to you. I am definitely the queen of guilting my family into this. They all know this is the only gift I want every year and they all complain just a tad but once we get there they all smile pretty. Set the expectations as to the types of pictures that will be taken and how much time you will need. Typically we end by having dinner together which is kind of a reward for us but I’m not saying cash wouldn’t work just as well. Ha!
Have a little fun! If one of your family members has a suggestion for a pose, try to make it happen. This year Riley suggested an Abbey Road picture and our photographer, Sarah, was all over making that wish come true! I honestly had to google it when I got home because I was not on top of the Beatles reference. How fun is this having them in line oldest to youngest?
What are your tips for creating a Christmas card to show off your family?