10 Photo Tips for Fabulous Holiday Cards

If you haven’t already ordered your holiday cards, it’s not too late to get some great shots of your family to create a fabulous card commemorating your year. Don’t worry about trying to book a session with a professional. Shots taken with your point and shoot camera in the comfort of your living room or in the backyard your kids love to play in will capture their spirit just as well as a pro would.

What else do you need to know about getting great photos of your kids? Rather than turning to the professional photographers, I queried some of the top bloggers who spend lots of time looking through the camera lens to capture great shots of their kids for blog posts. Here’s their advice on how to get the best shots, what to wear, where to go, the best time of day for photos (not during naptime!), and more!

  • Bribe your children with whatever they want if they promise to wear what you want them to wear and smile like it’s the best day of their life! —Jenn Quillen, The Rebel Chick
  • Young kids? Schedule around naps, because we all know how crucial naps are for their moods! Hmm, that might work well for all the subjects in the photo! —Rajean Blomquist, RajeanBlomquist.com
  • Eat after the photo. Bring extra clothing for little kids. If you must bribe with treats, give something non sticky like a cracker. DON’T do what I did and bribe my toddler with a tube of mini M&Ms. What was I thinking?! Her mouth and hands were covered in blue dye for the Christmas photo! —Jill Berry, Musings From Me
  • Embrace the idea of a candid shot. Kids don’t want to sit and pose over and over again, and candid shots can showcase little personalities in a fun way. —Roo Ciambriello, Nice Girl Notes
  • Kids feed off of mom and dad’s attitude. Make it FUN. Fake it if you have to. Talk with each other. Joke with each other. As a photographer, the favorite family photos that I have taken have been the ones where the family members are interacting in a real way. The kids end up forgetting that the photographer is even there. —Lolli Franklin, Better in Bulk
  • If you can’t get a good group shot, make a collage with individual shots. —Kelly Whalen, The Centsible Life
  • Have a sense of humor. ‘Perfect’ family shots come with the frame. Replace it with a photo that shows your family’s personality. — Robin Elton, Simple.Green.Organic.Happy
  • Comfortable clothes, snacks and a relaxed attitude. Try shots from different angles too – up high, waists down with little hands holding something special. — Hillary Chybinski, hacscrap.com
  • Get outdoors, at twilight, for best lighting. Coordinate, but don’t match. Be comfortable and let your kids personalities shine through! —Melissa Angert, All Things Chic
  • 1) Clean lens of the camera with a proper lens cloth. 2) Make sure kids are well rested.  3 ) Take the shots on your largest and highest resolution it will give you a lot to work with later allowing you to crop and edit. —Sherry Aikens, Super Exhausted

Now that you have these great tips, know you don’t have to spend a bundle of money on stylish holiday cards that match your family’s personality. Sites like Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, and MyPublisher are looking to appeal to parents who haven’t yet ordered cards by offering substantial discounts made available through their email newsletter. Subscribe to keep up with the best deals on cards to order yours at a discount.

Mother taking family photograph on winter beach via Shutterstock

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  1. by Lani

    On November 10, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Love these tips! We use to do the whole sit and smile for hours at a professional studio for our holiday cards, but now we just make a candid one. We switched over after one studio session where we sat in a waiting room with another family prior. Our kids got into a little tiff over a toy with the other family’s kids. Our lovely holiday portrait had smiling parents and some pouty, red-eyed, upset toddlers!

  2. by Elena

    On November 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Fabulous tips! My favorites are the idea of getting outside and embracing candids!

  3. [...] bloggers who just happen to send awesome holiday cards featuring their super cute families shared 10 Photo Tips for Fabulous Holiday Cards on my Parents.com Tech Savvy Parents [...]