A nice photo can make a lovely gift at Christmas and in this day and age you can do so much with the images – canvas, calendars, cups, keyrings, magnets, t-shirts, baubles and so on. I tend to buy the school picture every year at this time of year, but with the children being in different schools I never get one of all four of them together. When I saw an offer for a family shoot I thought that it was a perfect opportunity to get some pictures of us all, which would be ready in time for Christmas. They suggested bringing three sets of clothes each so off I went to get some ideas of how I’d like the shoot to go.
Christmas Photo Shoot – What to wear
A good photography tip is to make sure you do not clash the objects with the surroundings or background – so with this in mind it is important to pick clothes that complement each other. Last time we had a family photo shoot I decided that we would all wear tops in a similar shade of green.
I think it is really important that you have a look around at other people’s photographs and see what appeals to you. I have been pinning on my Christmas Photo Shoot board for ideas and have to say I prefer white, red and green combinations for a Christmas feel, as opposed to a Christmas jumper which is just too noisy for me.
Or do you want lots of colour as it will help really with the absence of lots of natural light at this time of year. Lighting is really important, try to get as much natural light as possible or maybe some Christmas lights would add to the feel of the picture. If you are taking the pictures yourself then adding desk lamps to either side of the room can help if it is too dull.
How about letting the children dress up in a costume – maybe a gingerbread man, a snowman, a sheep, a shepherd, or Father Christmas himself – there are all manner of fun ways to dress at this time of year and they do not have to be expensive. Or may be their favourite character – from a book, comic, film, tv series?
Did you want pyjamas – as is so much associated with Christmas? Personally I really liked the idea of having a Christmas dress for myself – like a fairy or an angel.
Christmas Photo Shoot – Props
Props and or accessories can also really make an image look great – especially if you are looking for a bit of festive fun. I am looking forward to using the Christmas photo shoot as an excuse to put on my tiara again (that I bought for my wedding over a decade ago). For young girls what about fairy wands and wings too? Or make them an angel.
Image is everything and if you get a good photographer you can get some really nice realistic, natural looking photos. I think to achieve natural photos is to relax and have fun. What could be more fun than having some props to play with, I found all manner of fun props that could be made, then there is Christmas decorations (tinsel, baubles, Christmas lights), Father Christmas hats, and so on. Maybe you want a key to let Father Christmas in – you could make a giant one out of card. Or maybe you want to take some reindeer magic dust to sprinkle. Or a plate of cookies and some milk – to give it that night before Christmas feel.
I also really like the letter props – spelling out something festive in bricks, tiles, bunting, etc. I guess I especially like these because not only can you do a traditional ‘Merry Christmas’ but there’s a lot of use of the word ‘Joy’ – which happens to be my name.
Christmas Photo Shoot – Framing
A technique for producing good photographs is to use framing. One of the sweetest ways I have seen this achieved in a Christmas Photo Shoot is by using two candy canes together to form a heart to frame a couple holding them.
Another good way of using framing is to make a frame around the images after they have been printed – such as by turning the people into Father Christmas, snow people, reindeer or gingerbread people – these can then even be hung on the tree, or turned into Christmas cards.
Christmas Photo Shoot – Reflections
Another good photography tip is using the reflections – I love the images where the family have been framed by utilising their reflections in a Christmas bauble – very clever.
Christmas Photo Shoot – Positions
Then I guess considering what kind of positions you want to form, or whether you are leaving that up to the photographer. I do like some of the star formations made with people’s bodies. Or do you want to create some humour – tying the children up with Christmas lights, and gagging them with Christmas tape, the youngest stealing what was left for Father Christmas, or knocked over the tree holding onto the star from the top. The possibilities are endless.
Do you have any more suggestions for me? Or have you seen any good outfits for myself and my family? I booked our shoot in plenty of time to get the first Sunday in December (which happens to be the 1st so the start of advent). This means that the magic of Christmas will be around but plenty of time to get the photos back and do something with them.
All words and opinions are my own.