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Practical Photo Tips for Great Christmas Cards

Little kids beg to be captured on film. It’s just not always easy to get the perfect shot! These few tried and true mom tips will help you take pictures of your kids that are full of life and personality—the kind of photos that will make your Christmas cards truly stand out from the crowd.

  1. Take tons and tons of pictures.

    Most kids freeze up at the sight of a camera. They start to pose. They act goofy. They plaster a cheesy grin on their face. And they become a child you don’t know. The more pictures you take, the less they’ll act up in front of the camera. After a few dozen shots they’ll get bored and go back to being themselves—that’s when you get the really great shots.

  2. Never say “Cheese!”

    Kids are used to cracking an incredibly posed, totally unrealistic smile as soon as you break out the camera and say “Cheese!” That’s not the child you want immortalized on film or on your Christmas cards! Don’t worry about making them smile and face the camera. Follow them around and see if you can capture the emotions and facial expressions that are truly their own. Those are the pictures you’ll want to be remembered.

  3. Get down.

    We’re all so used to looking down at our kids that we forget what they look like face to face. They’re stunning! Get on your knees. Lie on the floor. You’ll love the resulting pictures.

  4. Get in their faces.

    Push your camera up close, use a zoom and fill the frame of your viewfinder with your child’s face. Don’t worry about cropping out some hair, an ear or even a chin. Get right in there and capture the twinkle in those eyes!

  5. Focus on the eyes.

    Speaking of the eyes… Whether or not you’re filling the frame with your child’s face, focus on the eyes. It’s an infallible way to make sure that the rest of the face is in focus and will bring the whole picture to life.

  6. Have fun!

    Goof off. Make your kids laugh and giggle. Be silly! Fill your photos with life, love and laughter.

  7. Be flexible.

    Clearly you need a great picture for your Christmas cards, but you’ll just get frustrated if you try to make everyone behave and sit still. Besides, who needs another picture of kids sitting still? The one of your brood all piled in a heap is going to get front and center placement on the mantel.

  8. Keep your eye on the background.

    Is a pole sticking out of someone’s head? Is there a huge pile of trash or laundry in the back? You may not notice while you’re shooting, but it’s all you will notice later.

  9. Don’t make anyone pose.

    Stalk your children. Capture them being themselves. You’ll treasure the photo of your daughter reading to the family cat much longer than you’ll keep the one of her sitting primly on the couch.

  10. Use the Child Mode or the Sports Mode on your camera.

    Those modes are perfect for capturing moving objects. Kids move—a lot. Using these modes is the amateur way of capturing professional looking shots.