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Tips for Holiday Portraits

Are you sending out holiday cards this year? Tis’ the season for family photo sessions. Here are a few of our favorite tips for taking a good family photo…

Tips for Holiday Portraits | Oh Happy Day!

If you can have a professional photographer take them then, GREAT! But sometimes everyone is all booked up by November. Here are a few tips I’ve learned for taking our own family photos.

1. Use Natural Lighting. Turn off any overhead lighting and stand near a window or door. This will make the tone and temperature of your photos look good and will help avoid any harsh shadows.

2. Choose a Fun Backdrop. I always try to plan something that represents our year. The year our family moved to a new apartment downtown we took a picture in the street downtown. Or the year we traveled a lot we chose pictures from our travels.

3. Coordinate clothes. I try not to be too matchy-matchy but I always lay out clothes in advance to make sure everything looks good together.

Tips for Holiday Portraits | Oh Happy Day!

4. Add props! This is a fun way to liven up photos. It gives you something to interact with and focus on, which helps the photos feel less awkward. Try confetti, tinsel, garland, lights, disco balls… anything that fits your style.

If you’re in San Francisco or New York this Sunday, you can head to special Gap stores between 11am-2pm to take professional holiday portraits for free and receive exclusive shopping offers! If you spend $100 on new clothes, you’ll also get $45 off your purchase AND $50 toward your holiday cards at Tiny Prints. See all the details here!

Tips for Holiday Portraits | Oh Happy Day!

Tips for Holiday Portraits | Oh Happy Day!

Tips for Holiday Portraits | Oh Happy Day!

Tips for Holiday Portraits | Oh Happy Day!

This post is sponsored by Gap

  1. Bella B

    November 5, 2015

    Great tips! I love the clothing picks. ♡♡

    xoxoBella | http://xoxobella.com

  2. Heather

    November 5, 2015

    OMG. Adorbs!

  3. Michelle

    November 5, 2015

    What a cute idea, I love the photos with the garland!
    https://www.makeandmess.com/

  4. Daphne

    November 6, 2015

    Tanks for those great tips, I’ll follow them for our next holiday cards portraits. But as I have a young boy, I noticed it should also be quick, and funky, music can put everybody in a good mood to take pictures.

    http://www.befrenchie.fr

  5. Laurie

    November 6, 2015

    My question is I really love your white walls and white floor backdrop. How big of a space do you need?

    Since I don’t have a wall or floor I can do that to. I’m assuming you could build one in your garage. But if you build your own wall out of plywood how would you hide the seam?

    I love shoes so I want a head to toe shot.

  6. Lori

    November 6, 2015

    I really love your white walls and white floor backdrop you use for photos. I’m thinking of building my own here. How big of a space do you need?

    Since I don’t have a wall or floor I can do that to. I’m assuming you could build one in your garage. But if you build your own wall out of plywood how would you hide the seam?

    I love shoes and accessories so I want a head to toe shot.

    • alison
      • alison
      • November 6, 2015

      Hey Lori! We actually get a large sweep from a local photography store (this removes the seam at the bottom.) We take photos like this a lot, so we have a whole mounting system for it. If you weren’t going to be taking photos like this often, you could just tape it up in your garage with gaffer’s tape. Hope this helps!

  7. Kari

    November 6, 2015

    Those giant confetti dots are awesome!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

  8. Anne

    November 8, 2015

    I absolutely love what you did with the garlands! So cute and bubbly!

    http://www.annescribblesanddoodles.blogspot.com

  9. Annie Abbey

    November 9, 2015

    These are such great tips! My husband and I are still trying to figure out at what age you start sending holiday cards, we feel a little too young to do it now but whats the etiquette for that!? Either way these tips will come in handy for any type of photography!
    XOXO
    Annie
    http://www.somethingswellblog.com/

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