Photography Tips – Kids Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot

I love sending Valentine’s Day cards. And I love taking photos. So, we decided to have an office Valentine’s Day photo shoot with our own kids. Fun day in the office, right? Then, we decided it’d be fun to make a video to share the results with you—not just our cute Valentine’s Day photos, but also a few photography tips on achieving some of those big smiles we all love. For added fun, we threw in some behind-the-scenes video footage because, as a photographer, I always wonder what the real ‘set’ looks like! So check out the video and the tips below to make your Valentine’s Day cards sparkle. :)

Now here are some photography tips and ideas to help you achieve the actual photos you saw in the video.

Valentine's Day Photo IdeasFor our main background, we painted a 4×4 section of plywood with chalkboard paint. Chalkboard paint wasn’t entirely necessary since we didn’t write on it, we just liked the black background against our garland. And speaking of the garland, you can get it as a free printable! It’s easy to cut out and a fun activity to do with your kids.

Photography Tip: Try placing something on your head and asking the child to blow it off. Just about anything works. I used a paper heart. It should either be something the child will physically be able to blow off, or that with a slight tilt of your head, they’ll think they did! Also setting the child on a box or a crate typically keeps them in one spot, long enough at least for a few quick photos!

Valentine's Day Photo IdeasFor this background, we used two sets of gold metallic curtains, right on top of each other. Inexpensive, and they come in many colors!

Photography Tip: Giving kids a prop like sunglasses allows them to interact and play with something, which keeps them occupied long enough for photos. And even the motions of taking off the glasses can be really cute!

Continue reading

Related posts:

Using photo filters to enhance your photos

Using photo filters to enhance your photosThese days you don’t have to be a professional photographer to follow the latest photo trends. We all now have the ability to create special effects and filter colors and light with a simple click in our photo editing software—no messing with lenses, filters or film.

These three very different looking photo Christmas cards were created using Pear Tree Greetings’ easy-to-use Personalization tool. After choosing a card and uploading our color photo, we clicked on the photo filter tab and tried two different filters on it, saving each card to see which one we liked best. The first is the original photo; the second was made using the black & white, plus contrast filters; and the third using our vibrance filter.

Continue reading

Related posts:

Top 10 Family Photo Tips

Family PhotoGetting ready to take the annual family photo for your Christmas cards, New Year’s cards or Thanksgiving cards? We see a lot of family photos, and wonder how our customers manage to take such great ones. To make your photo session easier, we’ve compiled our top 10 family photo tips, especially for those who have lots of family members to organize or little kids to corral.

10. Choose your time carefully
Make sure the kids are fed and rested. We all know what happens when we skip nap time, and even adults get cranky when they’re hungry.

9. Bring toys or treats
Don’t be caught empty handed. You’ll need to take quick action if you have to turn that frown upside down or want to reward good behavior.

8. Set a rain date
If you’re shooting outside, or are hiring a professional photographer, be sure to set a rain date in case someone gets sick or the weather isn’t perfect.

Continue reading

Related posts:

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

Continue reading

Related posts:

Back to School Photo Contest

Happy Back to School Week! It’s a time of mixed emotions for kids and parents, as summer draws to a close and the excitement of a new school year begins. We hope you’ll be capturing this special moment by taking plenty of photos, because we’re having a photo contest!Back to school photo ideas

Submit a photo of your child, taken on their first day of school, fall 2012, and send it to contests@peartreegreetings.com along with your first name, your child’s first name, and the grade they are entering. We will be posting each photo on our blog so friends and family can see the photo!

We will draw three winners at random to receive $100 towards www.peartreegreetings.com. Just in time for Halloween photo cards, Christmas cards or teacher gifts! This back to school contest ends Monday, September 24th.

Image by: Tracy Enoch Photography

Related posts:

First Day of School Photo Ideas

e694d98c778980dc05595c224a8808b3
1169142492f7549822688366100cc88d
Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the photo so many times, but I remember my first day of kindergarten with perfect clarity. I was terrified, and it showed in my face. Thanks, Mom.

There are certain landmark days in a child’s life that Mom somehow just knows to capture in a photo. And the first day of school is one of those photo ops you just don’t want to miss.

Continue reading

Related posts:

Planning a summer vacation? Think Christmas photo ideas!

Whatever you do, the experienced moms at Pear Tree say, don’t forget to bring the camera along on your summer vacation. Not just for the memories, but because those vacation photos may just be the best family photos you get all year. And come November, when you’re looking back over the year’s highlights for something to include in the annual Christmas photo card, you’ll be awfully glad you have them.Christmas in July photos

Continue reading

Related posts:

Featured Favorite

Real cards created by real people like you!

save the date cardsAndrea and Justin’s wonderful Save the Date cards started with the photo shoot. They had a good friend shoot their engagement photos, and they turned out fabulous! Though they hadn’t thought about a save the date card at that point, the photographer suggested using the framed chalkboard as a prop to incorporate their engagement and wedding dates into the photos–one of the all-time-great save the date ideas! (See our blog post on engagement photos for more ideas.)

Continue reading

Related posts:

Have fun with engagement photos

We see lots of great engagement photo ideas here at Pear Tree, happy couples filled with excitement, sharing their joy in very creative ways. But the pressure to be creative and stand out while staying true to your personalities can be daunting.

For those who may need a little help getting started, we’ve created a Pinterest board to share the engagement photo ieas we love. Feel free to use our ideas, or create your own board of ideas you love.Unique-engagement-session-Michelle-Gardella-11
Image by: prettylittleweddings.com

Continue reading

Related posts:

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.

Related posts: