Tab’s Tips for your family photos

November 10, 2015

Written By

Tabitha Dumas

We’ve been taking a family photo every year and sending out holiday photo cards since our firstborn was a newborn in 2005 and photo greetings cards were a new concept. I feel like something of an expert so here are

Tab’s Tips for your family photos.

Tips for holiday family photos. From tabithad.sg-host.com

Our first official family photo when our son was 1 year old!

A few quick tips to start us off:

  • dress everyone comfortably (photos may not be a great time to introduce your son to a neck tie)
  • have someone behind the camera besides the photographer to check on errant hair, wardrobe malfunctions or kids who are making weird faces (it’s a bonus if they can also make your kids laugh)
  • choose a photographer who will bring out the best in you (contact me for Phoenix referrals)
  • shoot at a location that will be fun
  • make sure everyone is well rested and fed ahead of time
  • shoot mid-morning or late afternoon for the best light

Make sure you check out the Pinterest board at the end of this post, too!

Now here are my official tips!

1. Decide on a color scheme.

In 2013, I found this adorable plaid dress so I built our color scheme from that.

Tips for holiday family photos. From tabithad.sg-host.com

2013. I based our color scheme on my plaid dress.

We don’t always wear Christmasy colors, though. In 2011, orange and turquoise was my favorite combination so I first bought the headband and the ties at a craft show then put our outfits together to coordinate.

Tips for holiday family photos--decide on a color scheme! From tabithad.sg-host.com

2011. Turquoise, orange and brown in the green belt in our neighborhood.

Recently in 2019 I built our color scheme based on this kimono I loved.

Tips for family photos Tabitha Dumas image consultant

In January 2021, I wanted to wear teal and leopard print so I built everyone else’s colors around that. I chose shirts in colors the boys like. My hubby never minds wearing gray. (Notice the blue sneakers–not so great!)

Our family, December 2020

2. Wear layers and add texture.

I love the graphic tee under my oldest’s plaid shirt and I adored the scarf my friend made me.

Tips for holiday family photos--wear layers! From tabithad.sg-host.com

2010. Bright, vivid colors and jeans.

3. Choose a location with a variety of backgrounds to give you more options.

Tips for holiday family photos. From tabithad.sg-host.com

2012. Brown, turquoise and red. Anthem Park had water, cacti, rocks and a cute kiddy train that ran through every so often.

Tips for holiday family photos. From tabithad.sg-host.com

2012. Anthem Park water background.

Tips for holiday family photos. From tabithad.sg-host.com

2012. Anthem Park had a waterfall and cactus, too.

In 2013, we chose the location where we got married in 2002 as our background. That was fun. 

Tips for holiday family photos. From tabithad.sg-host.com

2013 at the Shenandoah Mill in Gilbert, Arizona where we got married in 2002.

CAUTION: Please stay OFF rail road tracks. Trains come quietly and often unexpectedly and you don’t want your photo shoot to end in tragedy. 

4. Take the same photo every year.

We try to get a “walking picture” every year, or at least holding hands. It’s fun to see how everyone grows and changes.

dsc_2381

2016

DSC_1432

2015

Tips for holiday family photos. From tabithad.sg-host.com

2014

Tips for holiday family photos. From tabithad.sg-host.com

2013

Tips for holiday family photos. From tabithad.sg-host.com

2012

Tips for holiday family photos. From tabithad.sg-host.com

2011

Tips for holiday family photos. From tabithad.sg-host.com

2010

5. Remember to capture the kids and Mom and Dad together, too.

When you work so hard to capture a family photo, you might forget that you’ll want photos of the kids (maybe individually, too) and Mom and Dad.

Tips for holiday family photos. From tabithad.sg-host.com

tabandrew

Brothers! Still one of my favorites.

Brothers! Still one of my favorites.

6. Consider using props, like our teepee from last year. 

We also used a chalkboard so I could go back and add messages in Canva later.

Tips for holiday family photos. From tabithad.sg-host.com

Consider using a prop like a tent or a chalk board. I later added a message on the board in Canva.

7. Focus on the details.

One of my photographer friends told me to think about our shoes. She’s so right–dirty old tennis shoes can ruin a great picture.

For this year, we all had brown shoes and it really made a difference.

Tips for holiday family photos. From tabithad.sg-host.com

Focus on the details–like shoes!

BONUS TIP:

Grooming matters!

The photos will look more polished and your photographer will have less editing to do.

  • Check everyone’s hair and facial hair
  • Trim nails
  • Clean up shoes
  • Give everyone a facial the night before
  • Ladies, consider getting a manicure and wearing extra lashes

8. Remember that the candid moments will often be your favorites.

Ask your photographer to include some that are not posed. A really great photographer can even stage those moments, like this one.

Tab's Tips for your family photos from

A brotherly moment that looks candid but was actually staged by our photographer.

Tab's Tips for your family photos from

This one was truly candid!

9. Get a few head shots done, too!

You need them for your social media profiles so why not do it when you have a photographer and a background??

Tab's Tips for your family photos from

Head shot during our family photo session.

10. Once you’ve got your colors and background, choose a card design that coordinates.

I’ve used Walgreens and Costco and have been very happy with them. You can also purchase a design from Etsy then have it printed at your favorite print shop.

I hope these tips help you with your family photos this year! If you have more tips, or questions, let me know!

For more ideas, check out my Photo Ideas board:

Follow Tabitha Dumas’ Blog’s board Tab:: photo ideas on Pinterest.

Please pin and share.

 

Tab's Tips for your family photos from tabithad.sg-host.com

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