It's that time of year again when your mailbox will soon be filled with greeting cards that wish you a wonderful holiday season. Many of these cards may have photos of family and friends on them.
If you're in the market to take your own family photo to send out to your loved ones and want it to be "perfect," Sarah Hedden of Sarah Hedden Photography has these five tips for your family holiday cards:
TIP 1: Get them done early
Christmas in particular is less than a month away and Hedden said "this time of year, it's crazy." She said waiting too long to take a picture and then send them out could bring you unnecessary stress.
Speaking of stress...
TIP 2: Don't stress
Hedden said it's important not to stress, especially if you're dealing with children.
"I find when the mom [is] stressed... it causes the kids to stress out and then they're cranky," she said.
Hedden understands that it's easy to get frustrated when you can't get a good photo because your kids can't sit still. As a result, Hedden suggests creating a contest to keep your kids entertained and engaged may help the photo-taking process.
"I have a contest who can laugh the loudest or who can stay still the longest," she said. "I play with children to make sure that they look great and they're smiling and they're laughing in their photos."
TIP 3: Complimenting outfits
Hedden said complimenting outfits makes a photo look all the more better, but this doesn't necessarily mean matching clothes.
"Most people try to come wearing the same outfit, but I think it's better to compliment each other," she said.
Hedden said usually picking the same color and finding outfits that have that color helps make a solid photo.
TIP 4: Time and location
Hedden said her favorite time of day to take photos is known as the "golden hour," or an hour before sunset.
"[It's] the perfect time to take pictures," she said. "It's beautiful this time of year, especially here in Florida."
Hedden also suggests taking the photos in a park. In Jacksonville, specifically, she said Treaty Oak Tree, Walter Jones Historic Park or Alpine Groves Park are perfect locations.
"If you just Google 'Jacksonville parks,' you can find amazing spots to take pictures."
TIP 5: Have a good time
The photos you plan to take will last a lifetime, Hedden said. As a result, she said it's important to make sure you and your family are having fun and a good time at the photo session.
"Because it will deathly show through in your photos," she said.
Hedden also reminds you that it's ok if the photos don't turn out "perfect."
"Sometimes, the imperfect picture turns out to be the perfect one for your family," she said.