Holiday family photos shouldn’t be stressful, but for some reason they always end up that way. This year I decided that things had to be different. Holiday time should be cheerful, somewhat relaxing and fun. I was determined to make our holiday photo session the best one yet. “How?” you may ask. Here are my 5 easy tips to take the best holiday family photos.
Holiday Family Photo Time!
Clothing Crisis Averted
Every year I run around looking for the perfect holiday photo outfits for the boys. The clothes I ultimately choose need to match their personalities just as much as they match each other. Start to look for ideal pieces way ahead of time. I initially picked out these beautiful v-neck sweaters for the boys to wear over their button down shirts, but I showed them to the boys I learned very clearly that they didn’t like them. I have to pick my battles, so the sweaters went back to the store.
Base your choice not only on the person (people) wearing the clothing, but on where you plan on taking the photos. If the photo shoot is going to be inside a studio, the options are endless but if they are outside, let’s say at the park, you may opt to avoid green and brown colors.
Location, Location, Location
We are thankful to have mild weather this time of year, which makes outdoor photos ideal. I am a proponent of natural light and there’s nothing better than being in the great outdoors for that! The beach, a local park or a beautiful streetscape are awesome options. Watch the weather a few days before the shoot and have a backup indoor plan in place. Where I live you can never tell when it’s going to just start raining.
Other prime locations would be indoors such as:
- In your home around your holiday decorations
- At a local museum
- Beautifully decorated hotel lobby
I recommend contacting the last two locations ahead of time and ask permission to take photos, just in case.
Prep the Models
I start to talk about the photo shoot to my boys a few days before the big day. We talk about the location, I show them what they are wearing (and get groans or nods of approval), and go over how it’s important to be good listeners for the photographer. The better they listen to what is asked, the faster the photo shoot will be over.
Relax. Perfect is so boring.
I want my family photos to be beautiful but not at the expense of them looking “plastic” or unrealistic. It’s usually the shot that you think wasn’t that great that turns out being “the one”. We had a few posed shots, but the unposed ones of me fixing my husband’s cheek area or laughing with my little one have quickly become my favorites.
Finding the Perfect Photographer
I actually think this is, by far, most important. We’ve taken photos ourselves in the past but there’s something about having a professional behind the camera. For one, my boys listen a whole lot better to the photographer than my husband and I. I always look for someone that is really good with children (translation: can resonate well with them and has a lot of patience). This year, we opted for Rosie Sparacio of Rosie Pose Photography and I am so glad we did.
If you don’t know where you’d like to take photos, a well-versed photographer should ask you what your preferences are offer a few options. Rosie mentioned Worth Avenue as a possible location – I love Worth Avenue’s architecture, and of course the shopping. She found a beautiful courtyard that served as the perfect backdrop.
The boys were a bit giddy when we arrived and I was so nervous that they would mess around the whole time but was pleasantly surprised! They instantly took a liking to Rosie – she came across as fun but in control.
As you can see in the photos, she successfully captured their personalities, which I attribute to the way she works so well with the kids.
In less than 45 minutes, our shoot was over. I had such a great feeling when I left – I knew Rosie was going to send over exactly what we were looking for! If you live in New York, New Jersey or Florida you are in luck – Rosie travels between FL and NJ/NY. You can check out her Facebook page as well as Instagram to get a sneak peek at her latest sessions.
It was hard to pick my favorites as they all were GREAT, but here are some I narrowed down: