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Taking a Last Minute Holiday Card Photo

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For the last couple years, the holiday card photo has been a struggle.  You’d think for a “mamarazzi” like me, I’d have no problem getting a holiday card picture. However, of my three children, only one likes to have her picture taken.  Most of my pictures are completely candid these days…the posed shots are very hard to come by.  My boys are a challenge, especially my oldest. I tried this summer to take one at the beach, with no success. I tried earlier this fall when the leaves were changing…no luck.  Now that we are running out of time, my husband gave them an ultimatim…coorperate with your mom or no internet for a week.  That at least got them outside.  LOL

My oldest son’s facial expression in all the group shots ranges from a look that says “I’m in excruciating pain, but trying to smile anyway” to “I can’t believe you are making us eat liver for dinner.” Needless to say, I don’t have any pictures of the three of them that I can use. I do have a couple of the two boys together that are ok, and one I snapped of him walking around the yard when he didn’t know I was taking his picture.   Helpful hint: for the child that hates to have his/her picture taken, the shots you take when he/she’s not looking may be the best ones.

Here’s some easy tips to help you get that last minute holiday card photo, and even how to avoid the last minute rush next year!

Tip #1: Take multiple shots.  I keep my camera on continuous shooting when I am taking group photos so I can take multiple shots quickly.  It gives you more options.

Tip #2: Pay attention to the background.  You don’t want to have a tree that appears to be growing out of someone’s head, or a shadow across the face.  Sometimes making a small adjustment, just by repositioning either yourself or your subject, will give you a better picture.

Tip #3: Be flexible.  If you can’t get one of all your kids together, use a card template that lets you insert multiple pictures.   Try to stick to using photos from a single photo shoot, or at least a common theme.  It gives your card a feeling of continuity.

 Tip #4: Take advantage of every opportunity.  Any family activity is a good opportunity to take a group shot!  The beach, a hike, apple picking…all great opportunities to take a fun group shot.  Take them whenever you can…you’ll have more options to choose from, and you won’t have to deal with the last minute rush of taking your holiday card photo next year!


Next year I’ll be trying to plan ahead better.  For this year, I’ll be taking advantage of tip #3!