One thing I have learned in the past 10 years of being a parent and sending out yearly Christmas cards is…stop trying to outdo yourself! You think that your friend’s adorable Christmas cards are your competition but really you are thinking about last years cards and how to top that.
Stop it momma! Now is the time to take a breath and make it easy on yourself, let’s keep it simple and make these cards happen. Step 1 if you are going to take the pictures yourself find a fun local place that is already decorated for the holiday season! My friends in Rochester, NY this treasure in Pittsford called the Pittsford Dairy has been my location for 2 years. It actually saved my children’s lives one year but I will explain that a little later in the post. Also feel free to bring your own props, signs etc. Step 2 WARDROBE, are they going to match? Is there a color theme? What little touches can you add to make this year a little different then the last? Will the outfits determine the print on the actual card? These are all things to think about. Step 3 this is where you think less of me friends, bribery and/or threatening will work and is sometimes necessary. Christmas pictures and potty training is the only time I resort to these measures but it’s time for the big guns, these cards are going to everyone! Step 4 take a ton of pictures, play with the lighting, keep testing smiles! My son who is super handsome cannot smile in a photo to save his life but the bloopers are sometimes gems as well. Step 5 Remember you can crop, edit, red eye reduce etc these pictures and they do not have to be perfect (well the one that goes to your mom’s best friend maybe does but everyone else gets it). Step 6 Look for card deals! Who has promos going on? If you take your cards before December 1st a lot of companies will give you 50% off printing! That’s a huge win when you are sending out 50+ Holiday cards.
Using fun items around the farm like these adorable reindeer and moose make such great additions to my photos and paired really well with the rustic plaid theme we went with this year!
And then you also get the moments where my daughter thinks it’s hilarious to have a spotlight on her butt! Something to treasure for years to come LOL!
Take it from me friends, I have taken these pictures way to serious for many years and the years that I make it casual and easy makes it a whole hell of a lot smoother for mom and for the kiddos (not to mention poor dad). It’s a true testament to happy wife happy life when Dad is involved in the photo process!
But for real is the hype worth the trouble? Here is the best story for you, the one I promised earlier in the post. I had an epic Pinterest moment where I saw the perfect card idea for us 2 years ago. I would draw a giant Christmas tree in chalk and the kids would lay next to it stacked on top of each other as though he was lifting her to put the star on the tree. Well my blue eyed baby girl could not keep her eyes open to save her life, I’m yelling from the ground and blowing into her eyes between shots. My husband is up on a 12 foot ladder above trying not to spike our expensive camera, and my son…looks like a Gap Kids model, I told you threatening works (lol he was told if I didn’t get my pictures he wouldn’t watch TV under New Years).
So what did we do that year? We drove around to the Erie canal in the Village of Pittsford and took pictures there and then decided to drive to the tree farm at Pittsford Dairy and took the most amazing photos there as well, less pressure, less setup, less time arguing happy mom happy kiddos!
So take it from me…
you know I’m just kidding, but seriously set yourself up for success and take it easy this holiday season!
Any tips you can share with me about how your family photos are successful? I would love to hear them!