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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Family Photos

With all this Christmas card talk going on, it has me thinking of Christmas photo ideas. I ran across a website with funny awkward family photos the other day and wondered, do people really do this? Do people really think a photo where they are being beamed up into a space ship is ok? I can't make that up, by the way. It's a real thing.
Since Thanksgiving is a pre-cursor to Christmas and a good time for your family to take a photo for Christmas cards, I've rounded up some cute and some not-so-cute Christmas photo ideas for you to do and for you to definitely not to.
Let's get started because some of these are a real doozy. By the way, I don't know any of these people.

If it's just you and your husband/wife it's cute to take a picture somewhere you frequent in your city. Think of a coffee shop, a park, even your porch or in front of your home if you've just purchased one. Dress for cozy winter weather-don't match but have a cohesive look that allows the tow of you to blend together. I love the idea of holding up a garland of good tidings like the cute couple did below:

If the two of you have a furry child, it is fine to include little Sparky in the photo. Just do it in a classy way. Here's what NOT to do with your poor pet:

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

I know this photo is a lot to take in with the awesome Christmas sweaters (awesome=awful in this case), blurred dreamy lights and that minty ballerina tutu she has on. Did you notice the lovely little goat with the Santa hat on? I didn't at first. I like goats, they are cute. I'm sure they make lovely pets since they can eat all your leftovers and prevent you from having to mow frequently. However, DO NOT INCLUDE THE GOAT IN YOUR CHRISTMAS CARD. This entire photo is just a big Don't.

Ok, this clearly is another Don't. Don't use a celestial background, Don't wear patterned shirts (it dates you, although in this couple's case it just doesn't matter), Don't include Fluffy if she's going to go all risqué kitty on you. My cat does this sometimes and I have to remind her to be a lady. This is not ok in any way, shape or form. Besides, most people don't like cats enough to be excited that you included the kitty in your photo. There are so many other Don'ts in this photo, I'm just going to stop here.

This is a good example of a classy way to include a pet.

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

If you have added a little guy or gal to your family, it's a fun way to show off their cuteness. Make your kid the focus of the photo for a fun take. A sweet kiss on the cheeks is an adorable way to make him or her laugh, which results in a good smile while not putting the focus on you as parents but still including you in the photo.

What not to do in this situation? Hold your child upside down as if she is a terrible misbehaving brat. This just says bad parenting. I understand that this photo is meant to be funny and cute, and it does have a fun factor to it. I just think this could be taken the wrong way really quickly. Do you want someone calling child services on you? Just keep the kid in an upright position. It can still be a funny, cute photo.

Using a simple background, a cute kiddo and Christmas lights or ornaments is always precious. I like this guy.

Most families consist of more than one child and if you want a full family photo, I love this photo where just the kids coordinate. Use a simple background like the woods, a field, or a snowy hill. Again, I love spelling out a Christmas tiding like Peace, Joy or Love in big letters.

Please please please DO NOT incorporate costumes into your family photo. Just don't. Save it for Halloween next year.

Also, just never do this. Ever.

Source: via Laurie on Pinterest

If you have a big family or want to include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins go for it! I love this snowy photo in black and white.

I do not love this redneck crazy family photo. I'm thinking this was a joke, in which case it's hilarious. Let's imagine this was for a Christmas card though, even in jest...not ok.
There is a trash can in your photo. A trash can.

You don't have to have a professional take your photo for Christmas, just be sure it is framed well and is a good clear photo. If your skills are proficient in Photoshop, use it to crop out unnecessary spaces and to eliminate debris in the background if there is any. If you don't have proficient skills let a professional do it for you.
I know it is easy to take your photo somewhere like Wal-Mart or Walgreens to get one of their designs. However, everyone is going to do that probably and the quality is not as good as it should be. There are so many great websites with unique designs you can use that no one else will have. is a great site for this. Let professionals do it, you won't regret it. Most places are running specials now anyway.
If you want to contact me about personalized Christmas cards, I would be delighted to create something festive for you. My designs are exclusively yours, no one else will have them. The starting price is $40 + cost of paper. If you want to see some past designs go to the gallery page of Fanciful Ink. Or purchase one of my Christmas cards in the Etsy link on the top right.

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