How to Make Christmas Family Photos Stress-Free + 20 Holiday Dresses

family christmas card photography tips

dress: chicwish c/o | girls’ dress: similar

Hello, loves! Let’s take a poll – how many of you have already taken your family photos for the holidays? I feel crazy saying this, but we took ours in October in hopes that we can have our cards sealed, stamped, and ready to go the week after Thanksgiving. I know a lot of you are gearing up to take yours in the next couple of weeks though. This is the perfect time, honestly. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooler, and we’re still 2 months away from Christmas.

family christmas card photography tips

Growing up we always sent out Christmas cards with our family photo – a tradition most of us hold – and it’s something I still enjoy doing today. I love receiving Christmas cards just as much as I love sending them out. I think it’s so neat to see how people are changing, how much kids grow up, and stay caught up on everyone’s big life changes.

Let’s be honest with each other though, there’s a lot behind the photo that we don’t see. You know what I’m talking about…tears, screaming, rolling on the ground, etc. Maybe we’re alone on this, but I would bet we’re not.

family christmas card photography tips

The actual act of taking the family photo can be quite the ordeal. Honestly, I usually walk away praying that at least one photo turns out and that my kids don’t have a full on melt down. I used to think only kids dreaded taking Christmas family photos, but now that I’m on the other side I see the challenges of the parents. So, each year we’ve tried to ease the pain for our girls and ourselves by making family photos enjoyable. Now, please hear me when I say that we do not have this down to a science. Of course we still have meltdowns and challenges, but we’ve at least gotten to the point where we can laugh about it and enjoy the ride!

How to Make Christmas Family Photos Stress-free:

  • communicate what you want to your photographer beforehand – to avoid any stress during or after, express to your photographer exactly the type of photo(s) you’re wanting. This saves you from frantically trying to express your desires to your photographer while your kids run circles around you and make you want to pull out your hair. It also saves you from post-photo shoot stress of realizing you never got the show you truly wanted.
  • choose a photographer (professional or friend) that is comfortable around kids – y’all, I can’t stress this one enough. Choose a photographer that is not only comfortable around kids, but knows how to work with them. My sweet photographer is so great with our girls and knows exactly how to get them to laugh and work with her. It makes the biggest difference, helps keep the mood light, and actually helps the kids focus.
  • go for candid shots – you never know how the images will turn out, truly. We’ve found that sometimes the best mantra is to just go with the flow. Let your kiddos run around, tickle them, laugh together, just let them be kids. Honestly, sometimes the best photos turn out to be random candid moments. We didn’t use it for our Christmas card, but how awesome is the shot above? Is it not exactly how photo shoots go? We loved it! The one of the two girls running was also a candid shot. We were letting them get their wiggles out and that photo turned out to be one of our favorites of the girls.
  • don’t be above bribery – y’all, we are only as good as the bribe we have with us. I don’t like to use food as a reward, but you bet your bum I’m giving my kids an incentive in a situation like this. It doesn’t have to be crazy, but maybe a piece of candy or extra TV time. Something to motivate them to attempt to behave, haha.
  • make it fun – if you create a stressful, rigid environment, it will reflect in your photos. The last thing you want is everyone feeling stressed and forcing fake smiles. Have fun, make it fun. Run around with your kids, be carefree, and get everyone to loosen up and enjoy their time. That’s when you get the best smiles. 🙂

family christmas card photography tips

20 Holiday Dresses Under $200

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photography: fort lion studio