In Part 1 of this series, we explored some artistic ideas for creating your holiday cards that hopefully relieves some of the pressure of getting the “perfect” family image. Let’s face facts. Our imperfections are what make us truly unique and beautiful! But hey, those perfect holiday images sure sometimes get that competitive feeling going! Sometimes, for families struggling with different issues… recent deaths, disability, separation… this whole holiday card thing can bring sadness and regret and no one wants that feeling stressed at the holidays. At least I don’t want that for you.
So. As I mentioned in Part 1, this whole idea stemmed from the difficulty I had getting a “perfect” family image around the time my youngest was 2. Smiling on command was pretty much out of the picture… pun intended 😉 When he was playing and running around like the little Energizer Bunny that he is, his smile would naturally, subconsciously appear. Not always, but ever so often. I literally started carrying around my camera with me all the time so that I could prove to myself that it was really there. (Yep, always been a camera sort of girl. I like my camera on my phone but there is just something different about holding a digital camera in your hand… anyway…). When placed in front of the camera, however, my son, knowing how hard the whole thing was, would walk away, would put his hands on his mouth and push it in the direction he thought it would go, would open his mouth wide as if yelling “MOM!… I don’t want to do this.” I remember taking thousands of pictures one year and not one of them was “perfect family” holiday card worthy. Then I decided… never mind. Stuff the whole thing. My family is beautiful and perfect. I just have to show it!
That’s when a different sort of photo card ideas came to mind.
- Take the family as you are picture. Make it intentionally silly or crazy or whatever really suits your family. Maybe each of you stand in your own hobby/sport sort of representation- uniforms, holding paint supplies and pose mannequin style. Whatever face encouraged. The photo will have a ton to look and and discuss for anyone receiving it. And honestly, that to me makes any photo worth while.
- Take multiple photos and create a collage! Again, let the collage tell the story of your year… vacations, activities, your kiddo running with your new puppy… the spiffy new wheelchair, the new AAC device, the brace after surgery… it’s all fair game since it is your life! Yup, it is messy but beautiful!
- Go for the gag! Does your family love to pull pranks on each other? Are you known for your wit? Pose and caption something that goes along with a different sort of image and message other than the typical “Happy Holidays.” One year we received a card from a cousin… the wife was dressed beautifully, sitting in a chair. The husband, standing next to her, had his pants down around his ankles. Both were stoic faced. The card read, “Seriously. Have a classy holiday.” Another card was a group of softball game images with a quote that read “Wishing you all the best, even if you can’t make it home this Christmas.”
- Consider different sort of “poses.” The year I took a thousand pictures, I started coming up with images like this…
Back lighting cool silhouettes, focusing in on the important things, lots of group shots from the back (which I totally love), feet and hands busy at work… they all became precious memories to share without the “forced smile” feel. (Do I still do that sometimes… you betcha! ) What is important to you and your family? Share that in your photo card… via pictures!
Well, hope this gave you a few ideas to get your creative photography mode going! Skip the “posed perfect family” image this year and come up with something that is uniquely you! I promise those receiving it will love it.
Do you take “different” sort of images for your cards? Would love to see them! Please feel free to post them in the comments.
Thanks for stopping by!