The annual family holiday picture is a time-honored tradition and a perfect way to keep a record of your children as they grow up. But year after year, the classic posed photo starts to look repetitive and lackluster. This year, buck tradition and opt for a more creative approach with one of these five tips.
1. Add a Special Holiday TwistHow often have we seen the same photo of a smiling family sitting on the sofa next to the tree? Add a spin to this standard portrait with meaningful and personal details:
- Honor a milestone or special event that happened during the year, like an anniversary or graduation
- Find inspiration in a family-favorite book, movie or TV series
- Wear something seasonal like ugly holiday sweaters, or color-coordinate your clothes
- Convert your photo into a cartoon or drawing with online photo-editing software
Best of all, these unique photos capture the emotions the family shares: the excitement, surprise and warmth of the season.
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2. The Holidays in ActionThe holidays are filled with many great moments and festivities. Capture these by taking a series of photos during family activities:
- Baking cookies and cooking a holiday feast
- Decorating the house and the tree
- Singing carols
- Enjoying the holiday dinner and Granny’s special dessert
- Opening gifts and playing with toys (to contrast with pretty wrapped gifts under the tree)
- Watching a favorite holiday movie together
- A tradition unique to your family
Do away with staged photos and use the “burst” or continuous shooting mode on your camera to capture candid photos that show holiday fun in motion.
3. Venture OutdoorsBrave the cold for wintery, festive outdoor photos that will stand out.
- If there isn’t snow on the ground, bring your camera along on a walk just before dusk to snap cozy photos against a winter sun backdrop. For added charm, have family members hold hands as they walk
- If snow has recently fallen, head outside in bright and festive outfits to contrast with the white snow
- Incorporate props or toys from your backyard for a playful photo op, or try posing in front of your door or holiday yard decorations
- Explore a local tree farm, snapping photos as your kids venture through the trees or sip warm apple cider
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4. A Change in PerspectiveChoose a different angle or pose to keep everyone looking happy and bright:
- From above (stand on a chair or ladder) so everyone is looking up
- Holding hands and jumping with joy
- Arm-in-arm or cuddled together in your pajamas
- Snuggling with family pets
5. Photo Albums or CollagesA holiday album or collage is a wonderful way to remember the joy of the season without having to settle for only one photo, and they make great sentimental gifts for out-of-town relatives. Consider including:
- Photos celebrating baby’s first holiday
- Images of holiday guests and parties
- Holiday meal recipes, plus accompanying photos of your family baking and savoring these treasured dishes
- Pictures from the rest of the year, too
- Portraits including your family pet
Create a collage of images and place it in a frame as a present. Don’t forget to include close-ups for variety. Write captions to identify people and places, along with a fun or sentimental note to pull it all together.