It doesn't matter if your family photo is made up of infants, great grandparents, or puppies, try to keep the session fun and lighthearted. Especially when children are the focal point of your photo card. Engage their imaginations. Make the whole experience a sleepover theme and encourage them to pretend they are trying to catch a glimpse of reindeer in the moonlight. Let them pick their favorite flannel pajamas and throw on coordinating fleece robes and kids' slippers to unify the crew. Go completely matchy-matchy in Christmas matching pajamas for the whole family. Accessorize the set with cozy fleece throws, fluffy pillows, a plate of cookies, and a countdown calendar. For the perfect quiet time photo, read your kids a classic holiday book. The most cherished photos are most often captured during unplanned moments.
There's nothing like natural light to frame your festive group. Note that early mornings and dusk provide the best light. If you plan ahead, catch the golden hour with your family in a mix of fleece pullovers and jeans. If temps take a dip (or you're like most of us who wait until November), don't be afraid to wear your warm coats and jackets and snuggle up. A focus on red cheeks and bright smiles is what you're after here.
Men of all ages, from proud papas to toddler boys, rely on the tried and true: dark wash jeans, men's button up shirts, and chukka boots. A boy's flannel shirt in a tartan pattern for starters, then pick Grandpa's shirt and Daddy's shirt in solids according to the colors in that pattern. Now your favorite men have coordinated looks, without dressing in the same outfit. After all, why have them pose as John, John, and John, when everyone knows them they are Jonathan, J.R., and Johnny 2.0?
Start at the base and work up. Grab black footwear for all. Then center everyone's wardrobe around three colors. 'Tis the season for red, ivory, and green, but there's no rule that says shades of blue won't work just as well. Santa and elf hats, a big velvet gift bag, a string of jingle bells, antlers for your pooch...and you've created a great way to capture what may just be their last year believing in The Jolly Old Elf.