It's no doubt that this year, time seems to be moving at a usually slow rate. It is likely because we have all been trapped inside our homes, for months, with little to nothing to do in the outside world. Our family has felt it too. We had a few celebrations just creep up on us out of nowhere because we didn't realize, Mother's and Father's Day were just all of a sudden. This being said, as much as it is just early July, Christmas is 5.5 months away and there's no time like the present to start thinking about those holiday cards.
This past weekend we took photos for our holiday PJ collection and after organizing our troops for the shoot we have some tips on how to prepare for those "perfect" holiday shots.
1. Decide on your theme ahead of time
What feel do you want to convey from your card? Something fun and friendly, warm and cozy, more modern or traditional. The theme will no doubt impact all aspects of the photos and so you must nail it down, well ahead of time. What works well is thinking back to your childhood and the memories you have. Perhaps it was a movie that you always watched and you want to recreate a scene, or maybe it was an activity that you and your family always did, or currently do. Let those guide you.
2. Decide on attire
It is best to match. This doesn't mean that everyone has to wear the same thing. This means that everyone should either be in the same theme or the same shade of colors. Consider the theme and the goal and then decide on: formal wear, casual, costumes, or our absolute fave, PJs!
3. Choose a location
This can be a tricky one because there are multiple things to consider when thinking of location. If you have children, think simplicity, where will it be the easiest to take photos? Is it far away and does it take a while to drive there? Is it outside and could there be inclement weather?
4. Choose either a photographer or ensure that you have the right tools for the job
Right now with the pandemic, it can be difficult to find a photographer who is willing to come into your home for photos, but likely you would be able to book someone for an outdoor shoot. If you choose to stay home and take your photos, make sure you have a camera with a timer, a tripod for stability, and extra lighting. We rented a lighting kit this weekend from one of our local camera shops. It was easy to set up and was exactly what we needed to control outside light coming in.
5. Be organized
This is the most important of all the tips, be ready! This includes: ensuring that you have any backdrops needed, or props (we bought many of ours at Party City), considering naps and meal times when working with kids, taking into daylight hours if you are outdoors, prepping your outfits the evening before and pressing anything, planning hairstyles the day before and bathing children the evening before or the morning of. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to have grumpy kids or adults on your hands.
6. Have fun!
Let your hair down and just have fun with it. Even if you are going for a super traditional look, you can still smile brightly and enjoy the day. If you have children, remember they aren't puppets and that you need to allow them their time of both fun, and being totally over it.
7. Edit and create a digital overlay
We LOVE being able to edit our pictures and create our content. Many online programs will allow you to overlay Christmas, or Holiday messages. Our favorite is Canva for creating; however, you can print or order from there. Another option would be using Shutterfly as you can do both create and order prints.
8. Send them out with LOVE!
Remember your timelines. You will want your recipients to receive your card starting in late November, so they can display them on their fireplace proudly. This means they need to be in the mail end of early November depending on where they live. Aim to have your photos completed by middle of October and ensure that any supplies, props or outfits get ordered sooner rather than later. Postal services are reporting higher volumes than Christmas right now due to the pandemic, and any backdrops or attire that you wish to order could take longer than normal. Tag us this season @popcultfamily - looking forward to seeing your creativity!