How to Take the Perfect Holiday Photo

Holiday photos are your opportunity to share a snapshot of your life with friends and family. It may seem early to start thinking about the holidays, but summer and fall are the perfect time to get the family together for an outdoor photo and it'll help get one more thing off your to-do list come the holiday season. Getting the perfect photo can be tricky, so we're here with a couple of tricks to help you take a wonderful photo for your holiday card.

Do Some Research

Step one to taking the perfect holiday photo is having an idea of what you want it to look like before stepping in front of the camera. Browse through Pinterest or look at past holiday cards to get a sense of what you want. Take note of what you like and don't like about certain photos. This will help you decide everything from the setting to the clothing, to the positioning of your photo.

Be Prepared

If you are taking your photo indoors, make sure everything is set up in advance. Clean the room, move the furniture around - whatever you need to do to make the photo look just right. Do this all before everyone comes to sit down and becomes impatient. For indoor lighting, have the primary light source behind the camera. You want to avoid anyone being backlit or having shadows on their face.

Nature serves as a beautiful backdrop for photos. For outdoor photos, decide on a particular time of day to take your photo. With natural light, we suggest shooting in the morning or afternoon. The lower position of the sun will add a softness to your photos, which is much more photogenic than a harsh light. As with indoor photos, try to keep the light source behind the camera.

It's also a good idea to get everyone's outfit squared away prior to the day of actual photo shoot. Choose a color palette to focus outfits around and it will make the finished product more aesthetically pleasing. We suggest staying away from loud prints and patterns and keeping it casual. You want your photo to feel professional and authentic. Of course you want to look your best, but try not to stray from everyone's individual everyday style.

Act Natural

When posing for your photo, try to look relaxed. Have fun! Bring a family pet, crack a couple of jokes, and try moving around to get a shot that doesn't look awkward or overly posed. Try not to let your hands dangle at your sides. Keep them to your front or back or wrap them around each other - look like the big happy family that you are!

One of the most important tips we can offer is to take lots and lots of photos. Capture as many moments as possible. Every picture tells a story, and though many family portraits make for wonderful holiday cards, candid moments are even more meaningful, for they feel more intimate and personal. If everyone is setting up or taking a break, snap some individual photos of each family member.

Remember, these holiday photos are to update loved ones on your family's year. Any event you may want to share, take a photo! From someone graduating high school, to adopting a puppy, to a fun family vacation, little and big moments are what others want to see so make sure you snap a few photos.

In the end, it's up to you to decide what makes the perfect family photo. Take as many pictures as possible and identify the ones that show the family at its best. Which photo are you most excited to share? That's the one to go with!