Thursday, December 12, 2013

Picture Perfect

Y'all, I love Christmas cards!  I usually start to think about and browse card sites in August, (yes, I'm crazy.)  I start to think about our outfit and photo options.  By October I'm stressing over when we're going to be able to get the perfect family shot.  I can't wait to show y'all this years card but I'm late getting them out so you'll have to wait.  While you wait here is my thought process when it comes to choosing the perfect photo for your card.  I have a few musts when it comes to our Christmas card photo.
 First, it must be a family picture.  We take pictures year round, but for our "perfect" card photo I like for it to include Ally Bama (our poodle that I rarely mention any more because I had a kid and I'm a bad poodle mom.)  When we first got her she went everywhere so this was not a problem.  Since having Barrett she goes fewer places so I had to make an effort to have her in the picture.  We also have two other big dogs.  Sometimes I catch flack for not including them but lets be honest 3 dogs, a baby and two adults is just not going to happen. 
Second, since we now have a baby (almost toddler) the picture has to be fairly recent.  Babies change so much and I want everyone to get the most current look at our boy.  (When it was just Patrick, Ally and I we used a pictures from earlier in the year because we hadn't changed that much!)  This year we took our photo in early October and I already feel like Barrett has changed so much but it will have to do.  We usually take one on Thanksgiving but Patrick had to work this year and we knew it wasn't going to work out time wise.
Lastly, I want it to look like us.  I like décor but not over done.  I'm not really into all the props and things that photographers are using these days.  Don't get me wrong I think the pictures are adorable and if that's your thing great.  It's just not my taste for our Christmas card.  I usually like a card with an actual design and I don't want the props from the photo to make it too busy.  (If you chose a more simple card with the photos with the props would probably be cute.)  I like to find an outdoor location with minimal background "noise".  This year I was going to use this really pretty field but it was raining so we went to a local park that has a brick concession stand with an awning.  It turned out better than I'd imagined it would.  Now that we have Barrett, I want to have family photos done professionally at least once a year.  We had some done in June but they weren't recent enough and Ally wasn't in them.  I think I'll wait and maybe do a mini family session with a professional next year.  Then again I may not.

I took these pictures for a my friend Natalie of her sweet little family.  Perfect example of photos with kiddos.  Caden is in that fake smile stage and sweet little Emory just goes with the flow.  I felt like this perfectly captured the Campbell in this stage of life.  We chose a nearby park and it was so natural and simple.

When it comes time to actually choose that one (or two or three) picture(s) I try not to stress.  I want the one that has the most people looking and the most natural looking smiles.  I probably put way to much time into this process but it's important to me.  When our friends and family open our card I want them to think, "that is so them!"  You know what I mean?
This is one of my favorite Christmas card photos.  I took it a couple years ago of these sweet newlyweds (well they had just celebrated their first anniversary).  I feel like you can just tell they love life.  Those smiles made me smile when I looked at their card.

Here's one of the photos from our little session.
I'll share our adorable card from Tiny Prints one day next week.
I can't wait to share it with y'all!

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