How to Plan Your Christmas Card

So the weather around here finally dipped below 99, I swear I saw the leaves starting to turn, and my kids are begging for Halloween costumes. Know what that means? Time to plan your Christmas card. 🤦‍♀️ I know…but, seriously. 

If you’ve ever tried to plan a family Christmas card, then you know there’s so much more to it than you might think. I never really even thought about sending out cards before we had kids. Then our first came along and I had the urge to send his sweet, freckled face out to every single person we knew so they could smack it on their refrigerator and think about how precious he was every time they went to grab the milk. 😂 Finding his outfit and making one kid smile was easy enough. Then #2 and #3 came along and I can honestly say that Christmas card season makes me cringe a little.

Yes, I know I’m a photographer. But let me tell you, sometimes that makes it even harder. My kids see me coming with that camera and scatter like I’m a nurse coming at them with a syringe. Wrestling them into the perfect outfits I picked out and taming their wild (and gorgeous) curls…well I should get a medal for that alone. 

So this is all to say…I hear you. I’m with ya, mama. Picture time can be stressful, but I’m also here to tell you that it’s so worth it. They’ll never be as little as they are today. They will change just a smidge by the time the sun rises tomorrow. So I keep at it, even if it’s an exhausting, sweaty, thankless job. You should too.

Now that I’ve shoved you into thinking about family photos and holiday cards in October, let me share a few things I’ve learned from being on both sides of the camera over the years:

  • Think about what kinds of backdrop you want. Do you prefer indoors or outdoors? If you want outdoors right now in South Carolina, you’ll most likely have more of a fall look since the leaves are just now starting to change.
  • Are you interested in a themed session with Santa, elves, etc. or are you wanting something more neutral that you can possibly put on the walls all year long?
  • Are you planning on having special photos taken? Contact your favorite photographer today.  This time of year is crazy packed with photos and you definitely don’t want to wait until the last minute and find out that she’s totally booked up.
  • When you do schedule a session, be sure you’re calculating in the time it will take to get your photos back from your photographer + order a card+ wait for cards to be delivered + address and stamp your cards. That means waiting until December to squeeze in a session can be a dicey move!
  • Think about what story you want to tell. My favorite photos show a connection: a sideways glance, a head thrown back laughing, a tight snuggle. It’s okay to want a shot of everyone looking at the camera, but also find the treasure in the photos where nobody’s looking.
  • What shots are most important to you? Be sure to share that with your photographer. I always make sure to grab the whole family shots, but also close ups of each individual child and siblings together.
  • Think about your colors. Choosing the right outfits can be a task, I know. But you’ll be so glad you took the time to do it. The colors you choose will affect the overall look of your card. It will also play into the card template colors that you’ll want to choose. I suggest laying out all of your clothing on a bed so you can see what it looks like together.

If you want to incorporate red in for the holidays, here are a couple of tips:  1-Think about choosing a more muted red such as burgundy or garnet. These tend to look better on camera than a bright red. 2-Reds come in SO many shades. It’s really tricky to match them exactly and you never know how two different reds will look on camera next to each other. I suggest only having one person in red or just using pops of red (hair bows, shoes, lipstick, etc.)

If nothing else, I hope that I got you thinking about getting those Christmas photos on the calendar. I know it can sneak up on you because it sneaks up on me every year!

If you happen to live in the Columbia, SC area, come check out what I have in store for Christmas this year. I’m booking my styled sessions now and would love to have you join me!

Until Next Time,

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