Creative Holiday Card Photo Ideas

How’s everyone doing out there?  Yep, me too.

I’ve been a bit quieter these past few months.  Fortunately, it’s been because I’ve been busy photographing clients in addition to managing online learning for 2 teenagers (yes, they’re independent but they still need help because this stuff is all so hard).  I can’t express enough how thankful that I’ve been to have clients who continue to hire me and trust me to work safely especially through the current pandemic.  That said, beyond delivering work for my clients, I haven’t had a lot of energy to do much more.

I’ve fiercely embraced the importance of grace and self-care.  We all need to try to do that and especially show that to our kids.

Now as the holidays are coming, I’m feeling the pressure to keep up traditions as best as I can.

So holiday cards…

To send, to not send.  To keep it happy and funny like every other year or to address the elephant in the room with a little bit of humor.

Since we’re having to spend more time away from family and friends this year, I’m feeling that it’s more important than ever to let them know that we’re thinking about them.  We all could use encouraging and happy distractions.  And cards in the mailbox are the perfect distraction. So I’m sending cards.

Now, what to do about pictures.

When you spend just about every day at home, it doesn’t make for a variety of fun snapshots.

How do I manage a family picture?

I know firsthand how challenging this can be during a typical year.  I wanted to share some creative ways to grab a photo for your card, without the stress of having to have happy, cooperating people.  And I’m only using my cell phone camera to hopefully encourage you to use whatever you have.

Substitutions or Stand-ins

If you have a crew that is super camera-shy this year, consider replacing them with stand-ins.  This could be done with favorite toys, favorite ornaments, or other decorations.  Be creative.  No rules.  No wrong choices.  Have fun with it!

Masked and Ready

I’m sure this is one that many will do.  I definitely recommend having a photo of your crew all in their masks whether you put it on a holiday card or not.  Why?  This is going to be part of not only world history but part of your family’s history.  And our masks are such a huge part of 2020.  But feel free to get more creative.  Break out Halloween masks or create your own.  Again, just have some fun.

Online Meeting

Too busy with online meetings to grab a family photo?  Schedule your own online meeting and grab a screenshot.  These days many of us are online video experts.  But if you’re new to online meets, the key to getting a good quality photo is lighting.  To help with the quality, have everyone position themselves so that they’re facing a window.  If a window isn’t available, position yourself so that whatever light source you’re using is in front of you and not behind you.  And once again, give yourself permission to be creative.  No pressure, no wrong choices.  Have fun.

The Traditional

For some, having that traditional family portrait is important.  I completely understand preferring routine especially when it feels like everything else is upside down.  If you are attempting to take your own portrait this year, I’m happy to help.

  1. Plan to take your photo when it’s overcast or find a spot where everyone can be in the shade.
  2. Try to choose a location without lots of “stuff” in the background.  Avoid buildings or playground equipment.  Things that will distract from your people.
  3. Have your people get close to each other.  Connection is important so have your people at least touch shoulders.
  4. Be on the same level as your people.  If kiddos are sitting, get down on the floor.  If your people are standing, stand with them.  And I highly recommend having everyone sitting on the floor for a nice relaxed photo.
  5. Finally, don’t be afraid to turn the camera from vertical to horizontal to get a different composition.

Hopefully, that’s a start for helping.  If you would like to learn more about taking better photos of your family, contact me to schedule your own private lesson.

Whichever way you choose to connect with family and friends this season,

be sure to give yourself plenty of grace.

More than ever, it’s the thought that counts.


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Hi there, it's Jodi!

I hope you enjoy my work and please let me know if you have any questions about photography, art, or anything at all.

When it comes to portrait photography, there are a lot of options. It's important to me that I help my clients create the session and have the products that are the best fit for their family!

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family, senior, headshot, and creative

portrait photographer for the Pittsburgh area including:

Cranberry, Fox Chapel, Mt Lebanon, Sewickley, Upper St Clair, and Wexford