Now that the cards have been mailed, and you're left with those lonely JPEG files ... in collaboration with Jacque Austin Photography ... we are going to show you how to make your Christmas Card pictures multitask! So, here are some of our thoughts and tips on how to take the BEST pictures to use your for family Christmas Card photos that will double as new prints or mattes for your home decor:
First things first ... PERFECT does NOT equal PRETTY. ;) Real life is what you want to remember. Real expressions. Real interaction. Real relationships with real people.
Anti-fake. You are NOT going to fall in love with fake smiles, fake hand holds, and fake poses. So if you have a chance maybe, sit with your photographer for a viewing session with fresh eyes and perspective. Look for pictures that reflect the true nature of your family. Maybe your home needs to be infused with laughter, or you would like to have a reminder of JOY to lighten your load. So, pick an outtake that is cry-from-laughing-so-hard funny, or that shot when you got caught giving your best Blank Space-T. Swift-"I WILL CUT YOU" face, or an in the moment family interaction to embody the heart of your home and hang it on a focal wall! And let's be honest, even though you may be sick and tired of HEARING your babies crying, there is something so sweet about seeing those sweet tear-stained cheeks!
Color schemes. If you feel challenged by color, by all means, ASK FOR HELP. There are people out there (like us, wouldn't ya know?!) who actually offer professional services for helping you balance color in your makeup, your wardrobe, and even your home decor! If you are dead set on traditional Christmas colors for your cards and know that they will look crazy as colored prints in your home, opt for sepia tone or black+white prints OR maybe even the original unedited image. Doing this will allow the pictures to flow more freely between varying room decor as well as give them a timeless heir. Here are some side-by-sides to show you a few options of how editing colors can effect the images.
Ladies: makeup. Wear color. Wear lipstick for Pete's sake. Or your own sake ... And don't be afraid to bump it up a notch with your color saturation so that any photo editing does not wash you out. What we mean is that you can be slightly more heavy handed with contouring or blush application so that it will pop in your photos. Just make sure that you BLEND well! And if this all becomes overwhelming, call in some help (*ahem* Us! We would LOVE to take care of you.)!
||Bring On the Layers||
Bring on the Layers! Last, but by NO MEANS the least, we want to share with you a step by step look at how layering your outfits makes for more visually interesting and impactful works of art instead of run-of-the-mill photos. Let's begin:
STEP 1 | BASIC outfits. Not terrible, but let's be honest. Kinda blasé. Neutrals are ALWAYS a great starting point for a clothing palette, but DO NOT stop there. You don't necessarily have to add bold color, but even differing neutrals with different textures will add more depth.
STEP 2 | BAM! Adding just a statement necklace and vest totally amped up this image. Flip back between the two and tell us you don't like the second one better. Dare ya! So, especially for warmer weather photos, accessories are going to be a huge asset in bumping up the dynamics of your photos.
STEP 3 | Boom. Drop the mic and walk away. More pattern, more texture, more impact. Now you have an excellent shot paired with visually pleasing layers, textures, and colors. We don't know about y'all, but we LOVE scarves because they make your hair look more voluminous, too! You have a miriad of layering pieces to choose from: scarves, vests, ties, cardigans, gloves, hats, boot socks, statement necklaces, statement earrings. Just Have Fun!!! And when in doubt, don't be afraid to call (us!) for a second (or third) opinion.
STEP 4 | Totally optional, BUT you need not forget about your outerwear. These are Christmas photos after all, and most of us will have them taken when the weather is cooler. So if you need to wear jackets, work them in to the layering scheme, have a fantastic shoot, and everyone will stay happy and unfrozen! ;)
We hoped this helped you to take a second look at your expectations for your family shoots and to get motivated to get those images printed and on your walls! If you don't feel up to it this season, just plan ahead for the next! And who knows, maybe you'll knock out those family pictures when it's still snowing this Spring.
Much love! XoxO