We are barely done with the month of April and yet families already have "Christmas Mini Sessions " on their mind.
The holiday family photo season is the period of time leading up to the holiday season when families schedule a photo session with a professional photographer to capture a those special family moments. This crazy season for all professional family photographers typically begins in late October or early November and runs through the end of December.
Why do families LOVE holiday family photos?
1. Capturing memories: The holiday season is an occasion for families to come together from all over (kids come home from school, extended families gatherings) to celebrate and make memories. A family photo session allows families to capture those moments and freeze that moment in time all together. 2. Family growth and changes: Families change and grow over time, and a yearly family photo session can capture the changes and provide a record of how the family has grown and changed over the years. 3. Tradition: For many families, booking a holiday family session each year has become a fun tradition that they look forward to and enjoy. 4. Create a Christmas card: Families use the photos from their holiday family session to create personalized holiday cards to send to friends and family. This is a great way for them to share their holiday spirit and send well wishes to their loved ones.
The tradition of sending holiday cards is believed to have originated in ancient China where people exchanged messages of good will to celebrate the New Year, and therefore has existed for hundreds of years. The first known Holiday card of our time, was sent by Sir Henry Cole in England in 1843. He commissioned an artist named John Callcott Horsley to design this card that he could send to his family and friends. This card depicts a festive scene of people enjoying food and drinks, with the message, "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You." Then the idea of sending Christmas cards spread quickly, and had become a tradition in North America and Europe by the end of the 19th century. Today People all over the world send holiday cards to their loved ones to spread happiness and goodwill during the holiday season.
Many people in the United States like to send and receive holiday cards as a way to connect with friends and family during the festive season. It is a way to share warm wishes and express gratitude, and it's also an opportunity to catch up with people that you may not have spoken to in a while. Today with digital communication being the popular way of sending messages, some people have shifted to sending e-cards through social media platforms or emails. However traditional paper cards, are still widely used and valued, and many people still enjoy the experience of opening a physical card, reading a handwritten message and displaying it in their home.
Planning your holiday photo session
It's important to plan in advance for a family photo session during the holiday season for several reasons:
1. Availability: The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for family photographers, and their schedules can fill up quickly. Planning in advance will help guarantee that you are able to secure a date and time that works for you and your photographer. 2. Preparation: Planning in advance will also give you time to prepare for your photo session. This may include coordinating outfits, choosing a location, and discussing any specific shots or poses that you want with your photographer. 3. Holiday deadlines: If you plan to use your photos for holiday cards or gifts, it's super important to allow enough time for printing and delivery. Many photo printing services have holiday deadlines for guaranteed delivery, so planning in advance will help make sure that you get your cards or gifts in time. 4. Weather: The holiday season can be unpredictable (even in Florida), with snow (ok, maybe not us... but elsewhere in the US!), rain, and cold temperatures possible. Planning in advance will give you time to adjust your plans if needed based on the weather conditions.
Choosing or changing photographers?
There is no set rule for how often you should change your family photographer, as it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs. However, here are some factors to consider:
1. Quality: If you are consistently unsatisfied with the quality of your photographer's pictures, or if you feel that their style or approach does not align with your preferences, it may be time to consider switching to a new photographer. 2. Personal connection: Having a connection is so important to have with your photographer, for them and for you! If you feel that you and your photographer do not have a good rapport or connection, or if you do not feel comfortable communicating your preferences or concerns, it may be worth seeking out a photographer with whom you have a better personal connection. 3. Changing needs: As your family grows and changes, your photography needs may change as well. For example, you may want to switch to a photographer who specializes in newborn or family photography as your children grow older.
4. Syle: Trying different styles? Look for a photographer with a specific style or an idea that you haven't tried before to get the look you've been craving.
What to wear?
If you're having a holiday session with a lifestyle photographer, it's still important to choose outfits that make you feel confident and reflect your personal style. A lifestyle photographer typically captures candid and natural moments, so no need to wear coordinated or special outfits. However, there are some tips you can follow to help you choose the right outfits for your holiday session with a lifestyle photographer:
1. Coordinate colors: Lifestyle Photographers won't ask you to wear matching outfits but rather choosing colors that complement each other as to create a cohesive look in your photos. Choose a color scheme that coordinates with the season and with each other. I usually recommend neutral earthy tones instead of bright tones but every photographer has their preferences. 2. Consider the location: When choosing your outfits, you also have think about the shooting location and environment of the photoshoot. For example, if you are taking photos outside in the snow, you may want to consider wearing warmer clothing and accessories like scarves and hats. 3. Avoid busy patterns: Avoid wearing clothes with flashy patterns or logos that can be distracting in photos. Instead, choose solid colors or subtle patterns that complement each other. 4. Comfortable clothing: Make sure that you and your family can move around easily in your outfits. You want to be able to enjoy and not feeling constricted or uncomfortable during your photo session. At the end of the day, it's best to wear clothes that you feel comfortable in and that make you feel confident. This will help you feel relaxed and natural during the photoshoot, resulting in more authentic and candid pictures. 5. Add some accessories: Consider adding some accessories such as hats, scarves, long knits or blankets, this will add a wintery touch to your photos.
There are several settings where you can shoot your christmas family portraits, depending on your preferences and the look you're going for. Here are some common settings for holiday photo sessions:
1. Outdoor locations: Outdoor locations are popular for holiday family pictures, especially if you want to capture the beauty of the winter season. You can take photos in a park, on a tree-lined street, or in front of a festive holiday display. Huge bonus here in Orlando is that we have the Disney resorts for those on vacation. Extended family and family shoots have become the thing to do while on vacation. Something to think about! 2. In-home sessions: In-home sessions can create a cozy and intimate atmosphere for your holiday photos. You can take photos in front of your decorated tree, on your couch with blankets and pillows, or in your kitchen while baking holiday treats. 3. Studio sessions: Studio sessions provide a controlled environment where you can create a specific look for your holiday photos. You can choose different backdrops and props to create a festive atmosphere, or keep it simple with a plain background. 4. Holiday-themed locations: You can also take photos at holiday-themed locations, such as a Christmas tree farm, a holiday market, or a gingerbread house display. 5. Urban locations: Urban locations can provide a unique backdrop for your holiday photos, especially if you're looking for a more modern or edgy look. You can take photos in front of city landmarks, graffiti walls, or busy streets with holiday lights.
Ultimately, the best setting for your holiday photo session will depend on your personal preferences and the look you're going for. Discuss your ideas with your photographer and they can help you choose the perfect location for your holiday photos.
Choosing the right Offer
Photographers may offer different packages and services in their holiday offers, but some common features and options include:
Special pricing: Photographers may offer discounted rates or special pricing for their holiday sessions, especially if you book early.
Mini sessions: Holiday Mini sessions are shorter photo sessions, typically around 15-30 minutes, that are designed to capture a few great shots quickly. These are often offered as part of holiday packages, and can be a more affordable option for families who want to capture a few special photos.
Digital images: Many photographers include digital images in their holiday packages, which can be downloaded and shared online or printed at home.
Prints and products: Some photographers offer prints and products as part of their holiday packages, such as holiday cards, canvases, and photo albums. Some add some holiday discounts... huge bonus!
Location options: Photographers may offer different location options for their holiday sessions, such as outdoor sessions in a park, indoor sessions in a studio or at your home.
Wardrobe advice: Some photographers may offer wardrobe advice or styling tips to help you choose the perfect outfits for your holiday session. Make sure to ask!
Customization options: Depending on the photographer, you may have the option to customize your holiday package to fit your specific needs and preferences.
Photographers offer a huge range of different services and features in their holiday offers, so it's important to carefully review the details of each package to find the one that best fits your needs and budget.
Planning your holiday family portraits? Good news, you can check my holiday specials to book an in-home Christmas tree sessions and outdoor sessions: