When it comes to special gifts, I always think that homemade is best. I still have some of the arts and crafts projects that the Madhouse kids made for various mother's and father's days when they were small and I still think they're incredibly cute. If your kids are too old to be cajoled into making special unique handmade gifts for the grandparents this year, or if you're totally lacking in creative flair (and don't want to be hoovering glitter out of the carpet until Easter !), photo-gifts could be the way to go.
Why not take inspiration from the ever-popular festive celebrity snaps and make your own set of personalised Photo Cards ? A jolly photo shoot is the perfect recipe to get the family together and make beautiful memories to document year after year. Trumping bog-standard shop bought cards, they’re sure to make it to the front of everyone’s mantelpiece and with Snapfish creative tips, just about anybody can take that perfect festive family photo!
8 Creative Tips to Shoot the Perfect Christmas Family Photo
1) Get an extra pair of hands. Rounding up the troops for a family shoot is tricky enough without the added stress of positioning the camera, setting the timer and then sprinting back into position. Grab a friend or neighbour to play director, you can always return the favour to spread some Christmas cheer!
2) Lighting, crucial to any photoshoot, is the trickiest of elements to get right. Natural light is your best friend, so if you’re indoors, set up near a window to take full advantage of the winter sunshine.
3) Look the part! Matching accessories will add a touch of festive fun and help take your shots to the next level; think Santa hats, woolly reindeer jumpers or even matching Christmas mugs!
4) Prop it up. Christmas is all about fun, so why not jazz things up with a few Christmassy props? Your family photoshoot doesn’t need to rely on the house being transformed into Santa’s Grotto or a Winter Wonderland - a few tinsel touches or the odd sprig of mistletoe will do the trick.
5) Pets complete your family! So whilst your puppy may be hell bent on getting his teeth around the fairy lights, including them in will be well worth the hassle when you see the finished result. (See Tip 6 for how to do this!)
6) Rewards (also known as bribery!) are the easiest way to keep pets and children interested! Guarantee their full attention throughout the photo shoot by keeping a suitable stash of treats to hand. (But keep them in separate bags… Health and Safety!)
7) Tell a Story. Snapping people when they least expect it often results in the best photographs. So tell a funny joke or encourage them to, and be ready to capture candid, relaxed moments instead of saying ‘cheese’ and hoping for a few stiff grins.
8) Keep it fun! Your family shoot doesn’t have to be a solemn occasion. Get everyone involved in the planning process and encourage them to contribute their ideas to make for a happy, relaxed atmosphere and a truly memorable shot.
Alternatively, let young children loose with a (cheap !) camera, tablet or smartphone and ask them to take some photos and selfies with visiting friends and relatives. They never bother waiting for the perfect pose so they catch candid moments and natural shots of people that adults just can't manage. Here are some of Pierre's recent shots - they might be slightly blurry and not perfectly centred but I love them !
Once you've got the perfect photo, you just need to decide what to make with it. I highly recommend the photo placemats, which are great for remembering special memories every time you sit down to dinner. They are cork backed, big enough for a dinner plate and cutlery to sit on and the photos look really vibrant and glossy. They're a big hit with the whole family, along with everyone else who comes to visit The Madhouse !
For more information please visit: www.snapfish.co.uk
Disclosure : I received some Snapfish credit to create a special photo gift.