It’s that time of year…Say Cheese

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PhotoCred: Amyaiello Photography

There’s something in the air. A subtle jingle and twinkle can be heard and seen in all the shops. The scent of pumpkin spice lingers heavily outside of every Starbucks like the smell of smoke outside a cigar store. Yes, the jolliest, busiest, most expensive time of the year is fast approaching. Time to unearth the decorations and dust off the twinkle lights, time to prepare yourself for the madness of black Friday shopping, and most importantly, time to get your holiday photo shoot in for the Christmas cards!

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PhotoCred: Meredith Rowe Photography

I love photography. Love it. But I am, at best, a sometimes looking through the wrong side of the lens, why are these turning out so blurry??, oops, I accidentally took a photo of the ceiling, amateur photographer. My sister-in-law, on the other hand, is a real photographer, and an amazing one at that (I’m not just saying that because she is my sister-in-law, her photos are seriously AMAZING). Unfortunately though, she lives about 700 miles away in the Sunshine state. If she were closer, I would just say “Hey Meredith, do whatever you think looks good because you are amazing, and I know whatever you do is going to turn out great”. But since she’s not here, I am left to my own devices.  Ha haha HA hA haHA (insert scary piano music soundbite here) Okay…well maybe not so much a scary laugh.. But anyway…

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PhotoCred: Vanessa Kuehne Photography

Grandmas, Great-Grandmas, Aunts and Uncles, and far away friends; they are all waiting in solicitous anticipation for that one glorious holiday family photo to arrive in the mail. So much is riding on this. It’s the photo that Great Aunt Lilly will whip out at bingo night to show all her friends, and Uncle Roger will pass around to his hunting buddies at the lodge. It has to be perfect! And now the question of what style photo to do? What should you wear? Color-coordinated or matching? Inside or outside? Just the kids or the whole family including the dog, the cat, and the rabbit? There are so many choices and so little time. While my photography skills may be sorely lacking, I do know a little bit about composition and styling. So, in an attempt to help ease a bit of the Holiday hassle, I’ve narrowed down a few of my favorite photographs, along with some fun styling tips that will hopefully make the quest for the perfect family photo a little less scary and a lot more merry.

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PhotoCred: The Sweetest Thing Blog

1. Wrapped in love. Nothing says warmth and love like being wrapped up in a cuddly blanket with the ones you love most. This is an adorable way to capture the family no matter how big your family is or how old your kids are. This works just as well with couples, furry friends, and/or kids. It’s so simple too, just grab a warm (both physically and in color) blanket, and cold backdrop. If you live in a cooler climate finding a cold backdrop is easy, but if you live somewhere warmer the “look” of winter can still be achieved. Christmas tree lots make a great backdrop for outdoor photos. Can’t find a suitable lot? A distressed wood, brick, or stone wall can make a great backdrop as well and can say “cold” even if the weather’s not cooperating.

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PhotoCred: Alissa Saylor Photography

2. Family Picnic. If wrapping the blanket around the family isn’t working, you can always throw it on the ground as a “family picnic” prop. This creates a relaxed, natural, candid looking atmosphere.

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Photo Via: MEOWCHIE’S HIDEOUT

3. Wrapped in light. Similar to the previous idea of wrapping up in a blanket is the twinkle light prop. This one is probably my favorite. I love the simplicity and how it shouts “Holiday’s” in such a subtle but effective way. I also like that there is a little bit of humor in it, as anyone who has ever tried to untangle Christmas lights can see how easy it would be to actually find yourself such a predicament. The lights can be on for a magical glow, or off for a more candid ‘we were just decorating the house and this happened’ sort of feel.

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4. Inside Christmas Land. Indoor photos can be tricky as you want to make sure you have proper lighting. Anywhere you have an open space of wall can work though. Some fun indoor ideas include: hanging ornaments from the ceiling, placing twinkle lights on the background wall but keeping them slightly out of focus for the photo, and any other Christmasy props like presents, small trees, etc. If you are one the overachieving-I’ve-already-decorated-for-Christmas-and-finished-my-shopping types, then your Christmas tree or fireplace can make a fantastic backdrop as well.

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PhotoCred: The Milky Way

5. Styling.  I, personally, prefer color-coordinating to matching. I think choosing colors that go together creates a far more natural appearance than everyone dressing the same, however, I am a HUGE fan of matching pajamas and, better yet, long johns. Anytime you can successfully incorporate a family wearing long johns in a holiday photo, it’s probably going to be among my all time favorites.

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PhotoCred: Pink Pistachio

I’d love to hear some of your creative Holiday photo ideas! As for what style I chose this year… here’s a little peek

 

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