While Christmas cards are meant to be sent around, well, Christmas, you don't have to take your family's photo during the winter. In fact, any time of year is fair game for posing in your favorite red-and-green attire (or any outfit at all, really). You can even take a moment out of your family vacation this summer to snap a few shots. Of course, if you want to get your Christmas card pics out of the way while lounging on the beach, you should use a few of these tips:
Pick a spot
Once you've been on your vacation for a day or so, scope out a good backdrop for your family photo. It could be the beach, under that old tree or in front of your hotel, it's up to you! Ideally, the location of your photo shoot will be lovely to look at and free of passersby – you don't want a random pedestrian photobombing your Christmas card!
Set a time
Avoid adding stress to your hiatus by planning when you'll take your picture. You don't want to be lounging at the hotel bar and suddenly be flung into a photo! Decide which day during your trip is best for the picture and what time of day it should be taken. Avoid midafternoon, as the sun could be too overpowering for your photo. In fact, overcast days are the best for pictures. Consider planning your shoot for morning. That way, you'll have just showered and be looking your best. Let the whole family know precisely when you expect them to be on location for your shoot.
Bring a tripod
You can hire a photographer from the area in which you're vacationing to take your picture, or you can do it yourself. If you plan on setting a timer on your camera and jumping into the shot, then bring a tripod. These devices allow you to pick a height for your camera and ensure that the shot is steady.
Make adjustments first
If you're taking the photo, arrive to the location before everyone else does. This will give you time to set up your tripod and correct the settings on your camera. Your family will appreciate a smooth and quick photo shoot because they'll likely want to get back to relaxing. Test your camera's lighting and other settings by taking a few test shots and seeing how they look.
Talk about the trip
When you do finally send your Christmas card, be sure to mention your wonderful vacation in your note. That way, friends and family who receive the card will get both a visual and textual look at your time away.