Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Planning your Christmas Photos

It's  December 2nd, crunch time. That calendar switches over just after Thanksgiving, and this wonderful time of the year turns into a rush. Suddenly, you need pictures because those Christmas cards need to get out ASAP.

For me, even as a photographer, I tend to stress a bit about our photos. We don't have the extra money right now to buy all new outfits for the family, so that means I have to get creative. I like to keep the clothes in a neutral or similar color palette. (Check out more about this in my post about family photos here.)

I love taking my own Christmas photos because that means that I have them right at my disposal immediately. And by me taking them, I mean my dad. I also have control over how the look because I may, ahem, have a little issue with control.

Need some great options for budget friendly photos at home?

1. Make sure you take photos in front of a window, with diffused lighting but not direct sunlight. 
The biggest thing that can make a difference between looking professional and look like you took snapshots is the lighting. Being in a dark room and using a flash will make the photos often look amateur, but direct sunlight could also be too harsh. The best bet is diffused through blinds or on a slightly cloudy day, my personal choice.

2. A Christmas tree can be cute, even if it is predictable. 
Did you always take a picture in front of the tree like I did as a kid? When we were planning photos this year, I figured if there was no snow what says Christmas more than your tree? I don't mind that it was a "predictable" choice, because let's face it, what isn't predictable during the Christmas season? It's not about being innovative necessarily, it's about creating a Christmas memory for you and your family.

3. Check Target, Hobby Lobby, or something similar for a cute banner. 
These are in abundance this year, and all that I have found have been a great price! Specifically at Target, I scored a few in their $1 and $3 bins and absolutely adore them. Not only can you use them for photos, but then you've got a cute new banner to decorate your home.

4. Search Pinterest for some great backdrop options. 
I'm not sure it's possible for me to go a post without mentioning the love of my life, Pinterest. There's some really great ideas out there for easy photo backdrops. One of my faves is the twinkle lights. You just need lights, a sheet, and a little creativity on where you will take the photos. It's especially good for pictures of kids.

5. Have fun and make it simple. 
A lot of photographers have adorable setups for the holidays that are completely decked out. Although they may be adorable, if you are doing it yourself, keep it simple and easy on both you and your wallet. The focus is you and your family. The props are great but shouldn't be the main focus. Have fun and keep it light and you're guaranteed to get some great photos.

When do you start taking your Christmas photos?

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