Halloween is out, Christmas is in, and Thanksgiving (the glorious step stool to Christmas) is creeping up on us. What does this mean? ‘Tis the season for holiday photos and you’re already late to schedule them. Don’t worry too much just yet, there are plenty of photographers that are still offering holiday shoots but I’d move quickly and book them if you haven’t already. For those who have booked a photographer, haven’t booked a photographer, are going to take their own pictures, or are going to let the ledge or a countertop take their photo-by-timer, we have all the tips you’ll need to make sure your pictures are merry and bright.
“Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.”
According to professional photographers, in order to receive and send your Christmas cards on time, you should schedule your session within the first couple of weeks in November (by Thanksgiving the latest). There are some photographers that might be willing to schedule holiday sessions in December but your selection of photographers will decrease drastically and sometimes with that, so does the quality of the photographer.
How do I know (s)he’s the one?
Choosing a photographer is a lot like choosing a husband. Just kidding. But as with most things, you want to do a little bit of research before you hire the first groupon you scroll upon. There are a few things to take into account when you look into a photographer. A large driving factor will be your budget. It’s easiest, and most times cheaper, to go to a one-stop-shop. Most photographers will design and order your cards for you so make sure that when you’re selecting your package, the cost of cards is calculated into the mix. Another factor is style, look into the photographer’s website and instagram and find one that fits your style whether it’s urban, rustic, classic, modern, or cubism. If you like portrait-style photos or candid photos, note what the photographer leans toward more. You also need to know what you want from your session, how many prints you’d like, whether you’d like rights to all of the images or a selection. In my opinion, the rights to all of the images isn’t necessary. Photographers will take a thousand gazillion pictures because one in fifty will be magical. The most important thing of all, is word of mouth. Online reviews can be helpful but the best recommendations will come from your friends, neighbors, and me.
The right person, the wrong time.
The best time to take your photos is two hours before sunset. If you can’t book a session at that time, there’s no need to panic, most photographers have the ability to play with the lighting to make your family look fabulous.
How much is too much?
As for props, sometimes one is one too many. Too many props will distract from the most important part of your pictures, you. Setting them up takes up time which takes time away from pictures. Many photographers will bring all the props you need but don’t become consumed in setting up a scene. Leave the bulk of the holiday decor for your home. YOU are the star, your background isn’t. Keep the same in mind when it comes to selecting multiple locations. Doing so cuts into your time. Keep it simple.
What to wear?
If you don’t listen to any of my advice, please, listen to this — matching color schemes, yes, matching outfits, no! Choose three or four different colors (not every person needs to wear every color). No need to put everyone in jeans and white button up shirts. You’re not the Goldbergs and this isn’t the 80s.
I like to DIY, where should I print my cards?
We’ll leave you with these final words of wisdom. TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER. There’s a reason they make money doing what they do, they do it well. You can pinterest all the photo locations and poses that you’d like but recreating an image is nearly impossible. Allow your photographer to create photos of your family that others will want to pin.
If you’re having trouble finding a photographer, here are some of my personal favorites. Please note, the following photographers did not sponsor or endorse this post, they were selected based on our research and personal preference. Any relationship is noted. Comment with your favorites (or comment your page link) so we can increase the list. Stay tuned, we’ll be adding more!
I have a few favorites in Utah, my second home. Depending on where you live and your budget, check out these gorgeously talented photographers.