Family Christmas Photo Ideas – What to Wear for the Family Photo

It’s time to start collecting family Christmas photo ideas if you haven’t already taken that perfect photo. For us, one of the most important (and difficult!) decisions when planning your family photo is deciding what to wear. But it’s worth the effort. Coming up with some sort of theme, even a simple color palette, can turn an ordinary family photo into a portrait worth hanging on your wall—not to mention a beautiful Christmas card!

If you’re having your photos taken by a professional photographer, be sure to ask them for clothing ideas that will work best in the location you’ve chosen. He or she is certain to have a few ideas. To give you some examples, we’ve gathered a few family Christmas photo ideas that we love, focusing on the clothing choices and how they affect the photo.

Light colors
When the whole family is wearing light colors, it focuses attention on the darker colors in the photo, such as facial features, hair color, or the beautiful scenery in the background. We like a mix of light colors, which looks more natural than everyone wearing the same color.
Light Colors
Light colors
Top photo by: Christy Bode Photography
Left photo by: Ashlee Raubach; Right photo by: Ashlee Raubach

Dark colors
The dark colors this family is wearing make them stand out against the lighter sky and field. The dark blue color solidly grounds them and gives them the appearance of a tight unit, which is a nice subliminal message for a family photo.
Dark colors
Photo by: NikkiJamesPhotography.com

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Featured Favorite

Real cards created by real people like you!

Bubbling with JoyThe Lont Family is way ahead of the game. Their Christmas cards are already printed and ready to address, and it’s only October 1st! Says Amber, chief card picker-outer, “I really love all the Pear Tree Greetings’ Christmas card ideas – there are SO many wonderful options to choose from!”

Amber says she chose the Bubbling with Joy Christmas cards “because of the fun layout and graphics and the ability to change the artwork colors to coordinate with the photos. We recently had a fun family photo shoot in downtown Seattle and we knew right away we wanted to display a lot of those photos in our Christmas card.” We love the photos, too, Amber. Very colorful! Continue reading

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Modern Christmas cards with vintage-look photos

Holiday photo card ideasLately we’ve seen a lot of unique photo Christmas cards that make use of an age-old technique: the use of antique props or weathered backgrounds to bring a nostalgic, vintage feel to a modern photo.

-A rusty metal sign in the background that makes the subject of the photo (you) look stunningly beautiful in comparison

-An antique picture frame that appears to corral an active modern-day family for a portrait frozen in time

-A vintage, grocery-store scale that proudly displays the birth weight of the new baby sleeping peacefully on top

It’s the juxtaposition of the old and the new, or the ugly and the beautiful that makes the photo interesting and draws your attention to the faces within. So how can you use these vintage photo ideas to make your holiday cards stand out?

If you’re hiring a professional photographer, tell him or her about any vintage photo ideas you have in mind. They most likely have a selection of props and backdrops in their studio that can lend a vintage feel to your portrait. If you’re shooting on location, most photographers have plenty of pre-scouted locations they’ve used, and by letting them know you’re interested in a vintage feel, you’ll be helping them narrow down the options.

If you’re taking the photo yourself, start by looking around your own house. Do you have an antique piece of furniture, picture frame, mirror, or old toy that would make a nice prop? Is there a wall or corner in your house with interesting woodwork? Outside, is there a weathered fence, or exterior wall with peeling paint or wood siding, perhaps? Remember, you don’t need to show all of it, just enough to give a vintage flavor.

If you can’t find anything at home, expand your options. Explore industrial areas, looking for old signage, corrugated metal, stone and brick walls. Explore rural areas for bridges, barns, fences, warehouses, and train or gas stations. Perhaps grandma and grandpa have an old toy or bike of yours, stored in their attic? If your prop has sentimental value, all the better.

Good luck on your hunt. We can’t wait to see the beautiful holiday photo cards our creative customers come up with this holiday season! And if you’re still undecided, read more family photo ideas on our blog.

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Autumn inspires colorful Christmas card photo ideas

Fall photos
As we enter into the peak season for beautiful fall foliage, don’t miss this narrow window of opportunity to take advantage of a stunning color backdrop for your holiday photo cards, courtesy of Mother Nature. The warm yellows, oranges, reds and browns of autumn, are eye-catching, flattering to faces, and available only for a limited time!

A path through the woods, a pile of fallen leaves, or the textural interest of dried grasses and blooms in your garden make wonderful backgrounds for your Christmas card photo ideas. Whether it’s a shot of you with your dog, your significant other, or your family of five, the focus of the photo should be your smiling faces, but it’s fun to play with different angles and aperture settings to bring that colorful background into sharp focus (larger f-stop numbers) or to blur it (smaller f-stop numbers). Themomtographers.com has a great explanation of aperture settings if you want to experiment, but check your camera first. Many newer models have automatic settings that achieve the same results.

What if you miss the boat and all the fall leaves are gone by the time you start thinking about Christmas card photo ideas? Don’t worry, there are plenty of fall activities that make great photo opportunities, such as the all-important pumpkin-choosing day, pumpkin carving, raking leaves, apple picking, hayrides—even Thanksgiving if you can wait that long! Since great photos are the key to fabulous photo Christmas cards, the more photos you take, and the sooner you start taking them, the better your selection will be.

Once you have a photo you love, you’ll be ready to start creating your holiday photo cards. Still looking? Read more family photo ideas on our blog. The holidays will be here before you know it!

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Tips on how to make your Christmas photo great

Nothing makes Christmas photo cards unique, personal, and memorable like including a great photograph. It offers the perfect opportunity to let your personality shine.
Christmas Photography Ideas
While this is all tons of fun, taking a great photo for your holiday photo cards can be more difficult than you might first think. The hardest part is deciding what kind of picture you’d like to take. From formal posed portraits to candid and funny shots, here are a few Christmas photography ideas for taking great holiday pictures for your Christmas cards.

What Comes First, the Picture or the Card?
This question can lead to quite a debate between people who take their holiday photo cards seriously. Some people choose a card that suits a picture already taken while others like to choose their Christmas photo cards first and then take their picture so it matches the card.
Christmas Photography Ideas
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