I usually make handmade cards for the Holidays but one year we decided to change things up with a Christmas photo shoot. Keep scrolling to see how ours turned out.
Anyone who knows us will agree we can be a bit quirky. And when we get a goofy idea, we run with it! Well, I happened onto Amazon one day and stumbled across super funny Christmas sweaters. If you glanced quickly, the sweaters had a nice traditional Fair Aisle style, just in red and green. But if you looked closely, instead of trees, there were rows of tyrannosaurus rexes staring at you. I am rarely impulsive, but I had to have them! The Christmas sweaters were hideous and hilarious all at the same time. And this was before the craze started where everyone buys ugly Christmas sweaters and hosts ugly Christmas sweater parties. (You can see Amazon’s current selection of dinosaur themed Christmas sweaters here).
When the box arrived, I excitedly called Al to come help me unpack my surprise. He opened the box and thought, “Oh, no! What is she up to now?” Of course, there were two sweaters, matching. He also then gave me “the look!” He knows I have a total pet peeve about couples matching their clothes. It was such a thing in the 1990s and 2000s for people to travel in matching jogging suits. We’d see older couples in the airport all the time. It always made me snicker.
Why a Christmas Card Photo Shoot?
I then told Al my plan to hire a photographer. We were going to do a Christmas photo shoot. I needed to take professional photos for this blog anyway, so it was the perfect time to add in a few Christmas photos too. I figured we’d do a mix of serious, normal people photos and then do an outfit swap out and do fun photos in the dinosaur Christmas sweaters.
We had an awesome Christmas photo shoot. Here are some of the lessons we learned so you can plan your own:
1. Brainstorm Ideas
We quickly came up with the hair brained idea to run with the dinosaur theme. We decided on Jurassic Park type photos. So that meant doing our Christmas photo shoot outside and then using Photoshop to add in a few hungry dinosaurs to our final pics.
2. Pick the Right Location
We chose a local park for our photo shoot. There were open spaces, beautiful, wooded areas and benches and rustic buildings located throughout the park. This gave us a variety of backdrops for both our serious photos and our funny photos.
3. Get the Right Vibe
What personality do you want your photos to convey? Serious? Warm? Cheery? Funny? Ironic? Loving? The photo shoot itself usually goes very quickly, so having a sense of what you are going for ahead of time is very helpful. We went with a funny “running from dinosaurs” theme but also thought it would be entertaining to do completely serious photos in our dinosaur sweaters and see who actually noticed them.
4. Discuss Your Vision Ahead of Time With Your Photographer
It helps to chat about what you want out of your Christmas photo shoot ahead of time. Most photographers are highly creative and often have additional ideas for your shoot. They may also have props they can bring to add to the charm of the photos. A good photographer also serves as a director, helping to set up the shots and posing you in a way that will capture your best images.
5. Have Fun!
And most importantly, laugh and have fun during your photo shoot. Even if you are doing a serious Christmas photo shoot, people tend to look stiff if they have been smiling for too many photos in a row. Rule of thumb, mix it up! Take a random silly photo in the middle of the serious photo shoot. It gets everyone laughing and relaxing again so that the next set of photos look more natural.
Of note the Christmas card we ended up sending our friends and family is still talked about to this day:
A Christmas photo shoot can be a lot of fun no matter what type of photo you are aiming for. A touch of planning and a few fun ideas make it a very memorable experience.
You will find additional photos from this Christmas photo shoot with us in normal clothes on the About page.