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5 Tips for Taking the Best Holiday Photo Ever

October 19, 2014

I’ve been a parent now for about 5 years, 6 months,  and 1 day. I’ve learned a lot about parenting in those 5 years, 6 months, and 1 day and although I’m not an expert, I can say with authority that one of the more challenging group tasks we face is taking the annual holiday photo. You know, the one we send out to friends and family with three precious, smiling boys implying that all is well and good and pretty and perfect in our little world. And while our little world is most of those things most of the time, taking that one picture….. is hell.

Maybe its a boy mom thing and the fact that my kids seem absurdly incapable of sitting and smiling. If they are sitting, they aren’t smiling (one is usually crying), and if they are smiling its probably because they aren’t sitting (one is usually picking his nose or pretending to hug his brother but is really choking him and isn’t that funny to anyone else?) And if there is a baby in the scenario, well, then your chances of getting that perfect shot just decreased by about 50%.

But not all hope is lost…. I’ve learned some tricks in my 5 years, 6 months, and 1 day of parenting.

tips for taking the best holiday photo ever

Here are 5 Tips for taking the Best Holiday Photo Ever:

1. Timing is Key.  Whenever your kids are well rested and well fed that is the best time to take your picture. I know, I know, I know, sunset is so pretty, but that means your kids are going to be tired and hungry wildebeasts because its at the end of the day just before dinner. Your choice: Sunset with basket cases, or broad daylight with happy cherubs. Pick an overcast day and its a win-win.

2. Bring a Team. In order to get that perfect shot, you will need a team of 3 people: the photographer, the kid positioner and the person that acts like a wild goon behind the photographer in attempt to get the kids to laugh. All of these team members are equally important. My husband is for hire if anyone needs to fulfill the role of “wild goon”. At least my kids think he is hilarious.

3. Bring “incentives”. It’s not bribery, people, it’s positive reinforcement. “Oh, you are smiling so pretty! Here is a tic tac!” Don’t bring M&M’s unless you know how to photoshop out chocolate drool. Fruit snacks work well too.

4. Snap fast and snap plentifully. Your session should last no longer than 5 minutes when you are dealing with little kids. So be liberal with your trigger finger. At least one of them has to turn out decent, right?

5. Don’t force it. If your kids sense that you want to take a nice picture of them, they will likely do everything in their power to mess it up for you. (It can’t be just my kids who do this, right?) Act cool, act nonchalant, tell them they are wearing the same outfits solely so you can keep track of them better and and don’t DARE let them know that you are banking on their cooperation to get that one picture that shows the world how awesome your family really is. If your team isn’t buying it that day, deep breath, oh well, there’s always tomorrow. Repeat steps 1-4 and pray.

Ok so you have your best holiday photo ever, now what?

My younger sister instilled in me a passion for all things paper and she always uses Minted for her holiday cards. Her heart flutters when she thinks about stationary and invitations and holiday greeting cards. Her cards are always, well, perfect. It’s too bad Emily Post isn’t around anymore because I’m convinced they would have made great friends and they would have sat over tea and crumpets comparing their perfect holiday cards. But I digress….

So I started browsing the new holiday card collection at Minted, when it dawned on me that you really don’t need the perfect photo, you need the perfect card. So I’ve selected a few of my favorites and will show you how you can take that almost perfect picture and make it completely awesome.

minted holiday photo card

Complete Tree // Insta-Book

minted holiday photo cards

Amazing Comic Book //Have Your Selfie a Merry Little Christmasminted holiday photo card

Wreck the Halls  // All is Calm-ish and Brightminted holiday photo cardCalligraphic Flourish Holiday Photo Card  (or even better in real foil)

So what do you think? Which card suits your family best?

 This post was sponsored by Minted. All opinions and thoughts are my own, including delusions about who Emily Post should be friends with. 

  • Barb @ A Life in Balance
    October 20, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Oh, boy! Try getting 5 kids to cooperate! I’ve given up on serious pictures and just try to have some fun with the picture. Tip #1 is key to whatever I do.

  • Julia
    October 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I love these tips. My son instantly makes goofy faces the moment he thinks I’m trying to take a good shot.

  • Heather
    October 20, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Minted is always top notch – and that Insta-tree…OMG, love.

  • Tricia the Good Mama
    October 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    haha! This was too funny! It is difficult to take a photo of one child, I can’t image what it’s like trying to take a picture of three!

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