Ways to get the best from your family photos

Staff Writer
The Steuben Courier Advocate

(StatePoint) With the holidays approaching, it’s time to gussy up your family, book time with the local photographer and pick the photo you’ll display for your annual holiday cards.

No doubt you’ll want a photo that shows off your family, and the clothing you choose to wear in your photo can make or break your holiday card. But with a little planning, you can be sure your family will look its best.

“The right photo with the right card design can make all the difference and add a real ‘wow’ factor to your holiday card,” said Mariam Naficy, CEO of Minted.com, the online stationery store.  

Here are tips to make sure your holiday photo brings out the best in your family:

• Darks vs. Lights: Wear dark clothing colors on photos set in areas with light backgrounds, and light clothing for photos set in areas with dark backgrounds. The contrast helps ensure your family isn’t washed out in the photo.  

• Casual = Natural: Go casual (especially with kids) to ensure a natural-looking photo -- and happy faces! There is nothing worse than a staged photo shoot gone wrong due to uncomfortable outfits and poses. Sometimes an action photo, such as one showing everybody walking towards the camera, will produce a more natural-looking result than when everyone is forced to stand still.

• Keep It Simple: Avoid patterns or “busy” clothing that may conflict with the card design or be hard on the eyes. Or, if you have a complex photo, pick a simple card design. You can find a variety of decorative and simple Christmas cards online at sites like Minted.com.

• Complement Each Other: Choosing clothing that is complementary, rather than matching, will bring the photo together in a natural way. For example, each family member can wear a bright, bold hue against a white background. And as a general rule, identical outfits only look cute on little children.

• Leave Some Room: Tightly cropped photos leave little to work with if the photo needs adjustment for spacing.

Allow some breathing room in your photo edges. Plus, many great holiday cards feature text to one side, so take some photos to the far left or far right.

More tips on creating a great holiday photo and card can be found at www.minted.com.

Above all, relax and enjoy the moment. This way, your smiles will warm the homes of many relatives and loved ones.