One of my favorite things about the holiday season is getting dressed up and ready to take our annual holiday card photos. Last year I was VERY pregnant so getting in front of the camera was not top of my priorities. I was so excited to start planning ideas for our holiday card, now that Harrison has joined our little family. I had a million ideas and locations I wanted to check out, but as we all know, 2020 had other plans. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we are opting out of professional photos this year for our holiday cards. However, I was definitely not going to let 2020 completely ruin our first holiday card as a family of 4 (can’t forget about miss Lola). This year we are going to do a DIY holiday card photo shoot at home! I am really excited to share all of the details and my plans with you all, and eventually, share the final results!
One of the first things I decided on when I started planning our at-home holiday photoshoot, was our outfits. Initially, I was going back and forth between formal looks and matching pajamas and ultimately decided to be true to 2020 and keep it comfy! Harrison was so tiny at Christmas last year that we didn’t have matching pajamas in everyone’s size, so I am really excited we can capitalize on it this year. Some of my favorite places for matching family pajamas are Target, Hannah Anderson, and Macy’s but I am adding a bunch of options below for you to shop!
Here is what Harrison, Kevin, and I will be wearing for ours!
As much as I would have loved to have our family photographer do out shots this year, it just isn’t the right choice for us. That being said, I do consider myself pretty good with an iPhone camera! Those with the iPhone 8 and up can take advantage of portrait mode, which is how I take a vast majority of my photos. You would be really surprised with how incredible a phone photo can turn out. There are two tips when it comes to taking your own photos. The first is lighting. I would highly recommend taking your photos in a space with amazing natural light. Something about overhead lights always seems to make my photos yellow-ish. We have a huge window in our office space, so I planned to set up a cozy scene in there, and will likely take the shot midday when the light is best in that area of the house.
My second piece of advice, is to invest in a sturdy tripod for your phone. I have had many opportunities where I needed a good photo of myself and propping it up on a shelf just didn’t cut it. I decided to invest in a tripod for my phone a few years ago and I will never go back! Sometimes when Kevin is working late, I will grab a few pictures of Harrison and I for future blogs, or even just for fun! Below are a few options of tripods, depending on how often and what you will use the
Setting the Scene
While many people around the world will start seeing cool weather and snow, here in San Fran we don’t get the classic winter weather. That being said, I sometimes try and shoot in good lighting inside, but often we find ourselves taking photos outside simply due to the incredible natural light. For our shoot, I have come up with a few options for set up and I wanted to share those, along with some others that I consider
- Bedroom – This is a classic for holiday cards! I love seeing little ones all cuddled up with their parents on the parent’s bed. This setting might be a good fit for those who make their beds everyday and have a good duvet! I found a few items that we might purchase to make our bedroom seem a bit more in the holiday spirit for this pose.
- Couch – Another classic spot to pose, the couch is the center of the home for many! If you have a nice couch that faces some good natural light, I recommend adding a few holiday themed throw pillows and a cute throw to spruce up the couch and get into the holiday spirit!
- Outdoor living space – Kevin and I absolutely love hosting in the fall and winter outdoors so our space is always set up and photo ready. If you have a good furniture and outdoor living space, spruce it up with a few items I am mentioning below and viola! You have a beautiful setting with the best lighting option.
- Holiday Decor – If you’re just as eager as I am for the holidays, you can always put your decor up early enough to incorporate it into your holiday card shoot. I love getting cards from friends gathered around their tree with all of the stockings hung and decor set up! Our living room has some really great natural light in the morning, so I am considering putting up the decor, or at least some of it, to snag a few photos of Harrison (before he rips it all down) in front of the tree.
Here are a few items I have been eyeing up as props for our setups!