I have an article over at GalTime titled Plan Ahead for Perfect Holiday Photos. I am currently in shock that in about a month, my Christmas cards need to be in the mail, unless I default to doing sending New Year's cards AGAIN. I feel like Halloween JUST ended (I still haven't put away all my decorations) and now it is time to put up Christmas stuff and take a family photo! (Have I mentioned that I am SWAMPED at work with the new TN state teacher evaluations). Anyway, the GalTime article was all about ideas to help get a better family photo, should you want one for your Christmas cards. You can read the whole article on the GalTime website, but here are some of our pictures to illustrate the main points.
Have a color scheme in mind, and don't feel like you have to stick to red and green. Plan coordinating clothing in that color range, but don't go over board with matching. The first family Christmas picture we did featured the pedal car that PJ painted. ( I like to plan on "stuff" to interact with, climb on, lean on, sit on, etc. Especially with kids, I think this helps give a more relaxed and less posed feeling to pictures) The car had tons of colors in it, but we all had clothing in the purple range, which accented the car better than something green might have.
That same year I also wrapped up some boxes like presents to use as props. As long as I was buying paper, I bought some that matched our outfits. Lydia sat on her Bumpo seat inside the box and we put a tutu around her to hide it. The pictures were taken early, so the boxes were all empty. It actually made them easier to transport as I left the bottoms open and they stacked inside of each other. Weeks later, as I did my Christmas shopping, I just slid the gifts in through the bottom and closed the boxes up.
This picture was also unplanned and is my FAVORITE. Lydia playing with her American Girl "Nelly" during a quiet moment. Nelly's Christmas dress just happened to match Lydia's dress, without me having to make anything special to match. I also really like that the ornament behind Lydia is one that she made in day care, because that is OUR tree and those are OUR ornaments.
So, now we have arrived at the planning stage for THIS year's photos. I saw this birthday card on Pinterest and immediately got the idea to incorporate the 1967 Chevy Impala station wagon that PJ is restoring, lovingly refered to as "The Daddy Wagon". Unlike the drawing above, our station wagon is teal and white, but I do like the idea of loading it up with packages, just using Christmas packages instead of birthday stuff.