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5 Surefire Steps to Nailing the Holiday Card Photo (Or Else!)

We’ve come upon the time of year that I both love and dread at the same time. Our annual holiday card photo shoot. What I love about it? The optimistic anticipation that fills and satisfies my creative lust at the thought of unsolicited time to capture my littles with the breathtaking golden colors behind them. What do I dread about it? The reality of the Whole. Darn. Thing. This year I vowed that I would do some serious prep work before hitting the location of our photo shoot. My children are older and require some less conventional approaches than Amy’s wonderful suggestions. Desperate times call for desperate measures – so here goes:holiday card

Step 1: Consult the weather.

It can neither be too hot not too cold, too windy nor too humid. A mild 70 degrees is just right for my subjects. Adding less than ideal weather conditions means we might as well just pack it all in and go home. You also need the perfect spot!

Step 2: Carve out at least 3 hours.

Rome wasn’t built in a day nor was my holiday picture captured within an hour span of time. It takes multiple hours for those children of mine to get it together and realize this mama isn’t playing. We aren’t going anywhere until you both flipping smile. And do I really have to add that it must be in the same darn shot.

Step 3: Bribery.

I made sure to inform my kiddos that we were going to be taking some special pictures for our holiday card and that it could either be easy or long and hard and painful for everybody involved. Seriously – no pressure. The easier it is, the bigger the pay-off. Ice cream with two toppings became my bargaining tool for this year’s shot.

Step 4: Coming to terms that is will never be fun.

For some reason the holiday card photo shoot has higher stakes for me. Perhaps it is because of the unpredictability of Autumn weather. One week, the backdrop is gorgeous and within a few days, it can be bare. I know this is my own perfectionist problem, but if we do not get the right shot NOW, we ain’t never gonna get it.

Step 5: Laugh at yourself.

230 pictures and two hours later, perhaps you got one Christmas card worthy shot in the whole bunch or maybe just some fun outtakes for the memory books. In any case, there is always next year! holiday card

 Step 6: Never reveal the holiday card photo until the cards have been sent!

How do you prepare for your annual holiday card?

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