Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Guest Post: The Perfect Holiday Photo

Today we have a guest post!  Fabulous photog Emily Snyder is gracious enough to join us here at Hot Dinner Happy Home to provide some photography tips as we delve into the frightening season of holiday cards.  If, like me, you're quaking in your boots at the daunting prospect of the perfect family photo, read on.  And after that, pop on over to Emily's website to learn more about Emily Snyder Photography.
It's December 1st, and you don’t have your Christmas cards made out yet. When you peruse your photo library, you realize that you've gone years without appropriate photo documentation of your family get-togethers. There is no evidence of your jollity, your perfect vacation, your third child!   

Well, it's time to pull out your camera.  You will have no longer have a need for those “generic” holiday cards.  Forget Rudolph with his big red nose staring at you like a deer in the holiday headlights.  And “HO HO HO MERRY XMAS” is getting kind of old.  The twelve days of Christmas and the eight days of Hanukkah with all of their pragmatic, bullet-pointed, family highlights...Are you tired of this yet?  Because I am! 

So, let’s make a card together that doesn’t result in a quick flick into the bottom of your recycling bin.  It does not matter what type of camera you own; you don't need the top-of-the-line camera to take the best photos. These tips will allow you to capture the perfect family photo and create a precious holiday photo card.  

Location: My first suggestion would be to take photos outside away from all of your day-to-day clutter.  No one wants to see the fifteen-year-old Santa standing on your mantle collecting dust.  If you can’t shoot outside, choose a neutral location indoors that will not take the attention from your beautiful family. Try to use existing lighting; a generic flash can ruin a perfectly good photo. There are so many places around you that would be perfect- a nearby park, a long, quiet road, the front porch, or an old barn.

Time: If you are shooting outside, don’t shoot in the mid-day. Often times you will create large shadows and squinty eyes.  Instead, choose a time where the sun is setting or rising (either behind you or in front of you).  This will give a nice, natural glow on the face.

Wardrobe: NO MATCHING SWEATERS! Choose outfits with good texture (i.e. jean jackets, cable-knit sweaters) that are in the same color scheme, but not the same color.  If your husband is wearing red, don’t wear PINK.  And if you're in doubt, print your photo in black and white.

Printing/Processing: Avoid your local pharmacy photo printer and take your fabulous new photo to Delphine Press  or Minted.  These two companies provide fast service, excellent print quality, and a plethora of templates that will fit perfectly with your family’s style. 

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