|Empty box, but so pretty!|
Shots at a festival of trees - pose with the beautiful (and empty) packages on display. :-)
Sweatshirts are comfy, but they look bulky and sloppy in photos. The fewer who wear them for photos, the better.
Don’t make everyone pose in matching outfits—though coordinating colors is nice—and keep prints to a minimum. A photo where you see polka dots, stripes, flowers, and plaid is a photo that causes eye strain. ;-)
Coordinating or matching pajamas make a fun shot. One of my favorite family photos has my husband in a red bathrobe (over pajamas) sitting in front of the tree, while our daughter and I wore red plaid flannel gowns and our son wore plaid pajamas and settled in around him.
Do not hide behind the camera. I don't care how much you fret about your weight, hair, or aging face. You are more than your outsides. Your family loves you for who you are inside, and depriving them of family photos because of your dissatisfaction with your reflection in the mirror is selfish. That’s right, I said it! Our families, for the most part, see us through eyes of love; they don't see all the flaws that make us cringe. Look. Someday, you’ll be gone. Those photos will be a comfort to your loved ones only if you are IN them.
You can't threaten someone into looking relaxed and happy. If someone is taking a photo of kids, try jingling a bell to get their attention. If you use a timer, decide where you would like the group to look, and place a wrapped gift there. Tell the kids that once you get some good pictures, you will open the gift. Ask them if they think Frosty the Snowman's magic hat is in the box. Fill the box with something that everyone can share, like candy, snack mix, or little party trinkets.
Think about taking silly pictures first. People are often more relaxed and natural after that, so you may get a better normal shot. Of course, if you have a child who would be wound up and unable to stop being silly, save the silly pics for last, letting the child know that after you get a "good" group shot, you will take a silly shot.
Distract children who don't want their picture taken by giving them a small toy. They may not look at the camera, but they also won't pout or cry and ruin the shot.
That’s all for now! Christmas breakfast is calling my name. May you all have a warm and wonderful family Christmas.