Prepping for the Holidays: DIY Christmas & Hannukah Card Photo Ops

You still have about two months, but it never hurts to get ahead on the photo of your holiday card!

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Though Halloween is still on the brain, you may want to take the time to start getting ready for the holidays in a simple way – preparing for your Christmas and Hannukah card photos.  Before it gets too cold, you can have your kids get outside for a family photo amid the fall foliage, or set up your own indoor stage to save yourself the trip to a photographer, and the extra money.  There are many added benefits of doing your photos on your own – you can choose when you want them done, you can work around anything that pops up, such as casts, cuts, and bruises, and you can get your kid in their best mood instead of having only one opportunity and hoping that they can rise to the occasion. 

DIY photos and projects are certainly in style, so the more you can do yourself, the better.  Save yourself the grief this year by getting a head start on your holiday cards with these great picture ideas:

DIY Backdrops
If you want to do your holiday photos at home, you can follow some simple DIY tips to turn your living room or den into a winter wonderland.  Choose light or dark blue drapes or bed sheets as a background, and buy some clear fishing line and various sizes of marshmallows. Then, press each marshmallow into the line at varying heights, while also alternating sizes of marshmallows.  Hang the lines in front of the drapes, and have your kids cut out large snowflakes and add them throughout the scene.  Put down some fake snow, or just choose a favorite blanket for your kids to sit on while you take their pictures.

Photobooth Holidays
Give your kids some holiday props, such as Santa beards, menorahs, or snowmen, let them play, and shoot away!  Try to get at least four good pictures, then arrange them to look like a strip of photos from a photobooth.

Wooden Letters
For a timeless prop, purchase wooden letters from a craft store like Michaels or A.C. Moore to spell out a word for your card’s theme, such as hope, joy, peace, or anything else you can think of.  Paint them to make them extra special, and find interesting ways to display them, such as having the kids hold them, hide them, or put them at various heights in the photo.

Classic Pajamas
Kids in their pajamas are always cute, and a photo of all of your kids in their pajamas, regardless of age, is guaranteed to be adorable, and is super easy to do.  You can even coordinate their pjs, and get a shot of them tucked in in a large bed, or maybe even jumping on it – whichever captures their true nature.

Wrap ‘Em in Lights
For a quirky picture, get the whole family together in their brightest, most colorful clothes on a dark night.  To illuminate them, wrap everyone together into one bunch with a long strand of white lights.  Be sure to hang them both low and high so you can see from everyone’s feet to their faces.