Say Mistletoe! Taking Holiday Photos

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My family adores receiving photo cards during the holidays and opening each one like a little gift. We also love sending photo cards as it allows our friends and family all over the country to see how our children have grown. But putting together the perfect card is often an ordeal for all involved.

Writing and mailing holiday cards can be daunting enough, but taking the perfect picture of your family can be stressful. From shopping for the perfect outfits to coaxing smiles and eye contact out of children, the anxiety may have you reaching for the spiked eggnog. And that’s before you brave the post office lines!

Professional photographer Tracey Bower is the mother of two young boys and understands how difficult it can be to capture the ideal shot. “It is much easier to photograph other children than it is to photograph your own. My kids are always running in two separate directions.”

If you choose to take the picture yourself, Bower suggests trading photography favors with a friend. You can take their photos and have them take yours. That frees you to jump up and down and clown for their smiles and promise shopping sprees at the candy store if they will just look into the lens.

As for the biggest mistake that people tend to make when taking their own pictures for cards, Bower says, “People tend to not crop in close enough. Having too much in the background can be distracting. The focus should be your family.”

Luckily, once you have selected your favorite shot, the possibilities are endless. Sites like www.tinytots.com have adorable cards with fresh, contemporary backgrounds. www.shutterfly.com and Target have great photo cards at reasonable prices, too!

Or you can just leave it up to the pros to create the perfect card for you. We had our family pictures taken this year. They came out perfectly and with our sanity still in check. Instead of photos of tears (from me), we are all smiles.

Kelly Yale is a Charlotte Parent blogger, freelance writer and mother of two boys.