7 Tips for Making the Perfect Holiday Card

It has become a popular tradition during every holiday season, to send out a family holiday card to your friends and loved ones. It is safe to say that this is a last minute task for most families, and if you haven’t been able to cross this task off of your list, here are some helpful tips to help you take the perfect family picture.

Have a Plan
Make sure that the area where the photo will be taken is prepared before you bring the whole family into the situation.  If you would like the photo to have family members at different levels, such as sitting, standing, and kneeling, be sure to arrange the furniture accordingly, and bring blankets should you decide to go outside.

Choose Clothes Carefully
This is often a surprisingly difficult task. You want to coordinate outfits, but you want to avoid excessive matching. Avoid crazy patterns and remember to dress classy, yet comfortable and true to your family’s style.

Finding the perfect lighting can be tricky. Natural light is preferred, but make sure you plan to take the photos in the morning or evening. Midday sunlight can lead to a lot of squinting and awkward faces. If you are indoors, you want the light source to be behind the photographer.

Avoid Background “Noise”
In the end, people want to see a great photo of you and your family.  Be sure to frame the picture closely with little background distractions.  The photo should not include highlights of your living room or porch.

Look Natural
It is important to have natural smiles in a good family photo. Try to engage your family and make kids, as well as adults, feel as comfortable as possible. Have some jokes or stories planned to initiate honest laughter and genuine smiles. You want to straw away from making your photo look overtly posed.

Avoid the “10 Pounds”
Everyone is aware that the camera appears to add 10 pounds. There are some easy tricks to prevent this when taking a family photo. First, position yourself so that your lower body is to the side and your upper body is slightly rotated toward the camera. Next, in order to prevent the double chin, position yourself so that the camera lens is either eye level or above.  This allows you to tip your chin up just enough to hide any unflattering features.

Give Yourself Options
When looking for the perfect photo, you will want to make sure that the photographer takes plenty of shots while you and your family are posing. It is likely that it will take up to 50 photos to find the perfect one.  Also, keep in mind that the best shot may be when the family is not expecting a picture to be taken because that is when they are acting and smiling naturally. A good photographer will be snapping away, even when you aren’t posing.

Last but not least, send your printer the highest resolution image you have (e.g, 150 dpi or greater at 100% size) and if you’re savy in Photoshop, save it as an RGB .tif or CMYK PDF. We have many different backgrounds and borders that will make your card stand out.  Alpha has a variety of stocks from which to choose including our standard card stock to 100% cotton cream and Ecru Letra.

If you find yourself scrambling last minute to organize a family photo for a holiday card, these few easy steps and reminders can help make the process a whole lot easier for you and your family.  For more helpful tips and news, please visit our Alpha Graphics blog!

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