DIY Christmas Card Photoshoot
The holidays are, without a doubt, one of the most expensive times of the year. Between gift giving, holiday parties/outfits and pictures with Santa at the mall, to name a few, it starts to get a little crazy. One area I try and save on each year is our annual Christmas card, where I choose to take our own photos. Before Madeleine was born, Sam gifted me a nice camera so I have made it my mission each year to use it for special events like this. Here are my tips for getting the perfect shot.
Use a good camera. I use a Nikon D3200 (new version here) but honestly if I had the new iPhone I may default to that. The portrait mode takes incredible photos.
Be creative. You don't have to travel far and wide for the perfect spot. For Maddie's first Christmas I used our own fireplace as the backdrop. The following year I used the red barn at our town lake. Last year, when Maclan was only a month old I used a white blanket on our couch!
Be prepared. Plan your outfits and setting ahead of time. Pack snacks, a hairbrush and any props you want to incorporate.
Be patient. You really only need one good shot to make a nice card and if you are patient you will get it! Take a lot of photos, try different angles, you can really never have too many.
Edit your photo. I can't emphasize this enough. Brighten, crop, rotate, adjust shadows, sharpen colors, soften backgrounds, retouch to remove chocolate from your child's face...do whatever it takes. I use iPhoto on my MacBook.
Use a quality card designer/printer. I have used Simply to Impress the past two years and have been happy with the quality. I also love Minted, Tiny Prints/Shutterfly. They often run promotions throughout November so keep your eye out for the best deal.
Before & After: Christmas card 2016
Before & After: Christmas card 2017
Here are some of my favorite outtakes from the past two years...there were about 100 of them!