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Saturday, November 30, 2013

5 Tips for Holiday Photo Shoot Perfection

Guest post from Mrs. Sarah Petracco

Hello! I'm Sarah from the local lifestyle blog, Simply Sarah Style. I'm a Campbell County native who enjoys making experiences unique and memorable. I'm excited to partner with Fort Thomas Matters to share some ideas on how to achieve a fabulously frugal lifestyle.

With Thanksgiving officially behind us, it's now time to focus our attention on the upcoming Christmas holiday. I personally love receiving the annual holiday card from my family and friends. It makes my heart smile when they cover our refrigerator each December. 

The holiday cards we send our loved ones should convey a simple message of caring and interest. My most recent experience with a photo shoot came with my engagement photos. We hired a professional to capture these special moments, but from that afternoon I learned some very important tips that can be factored into any photo session.

Based on my enthusiasm for styling and the lessons I learned, here are my top five tips to hit photo shoot perfection and make your Christmas card the ideal message of love and friendship this holiday season.


Tip: Whether it's you and your significant other or your entire family, sticking to a color palette will create a cohesive image. I recommend picking up to three colors and mixing in neutrals.

Personal Experience: Since our pictures were taken during the fall season, we went with cranberry and mustard. I also felt these colors would also carry nicely through the holiday season.


Tip: Try on the outfits you had in mind at least two weeks prior to your photo shoot. Once you're fully decked out, have someone take your picture in several different positions. If the clothing does not flatter your figure, it's time to alter your plan. 

Personal Experience: I researched outfit concepts, searched for the perfect pieces and remixed options for months. I eventually settled on an All-American inspired outfit. While it looked polished in the mirror, the blazer appeared boxy and the boots looked too slouchy on camera. When I saw a preview on my photographer's camera, I gasped at how my outfit appeared. I instantly decided to take off the blazer because it was not flattering for most of the positions and, not to mention, it was an unexpected 85 degrees out. While my outfit was okay without the blazer, I wish I would have chosen something completely different. 


Tip: Your photos will turn out better if you have some sort of pop of lip color. Whether you prefer gloss or a regular lipstick, pick something.

Personal Experience: When in doubt, reapply. I kept asking my sister, who was there to help out, if I needed more lip gloss. My photographer instantly answered, "Yes, you can always use a fresh coat."


Tip: Gather some props and throw them in the car as you head off to your photo shoot. Even though the picture may feel staged, they'll turn out great. Think editorial.

Personal Experience: We grabbed a blanket, a bottle of wine and two glasses. Our photographer set up a mock picnic in front of hay bales and it just so happened that there was a heart-shaped opening shining through. The heart made a perfect touch.


Tip: Think about the places and experiences your really love. Now think through ways you can incorporate that into your shoot.

Personal Experience: This barn scene was perfect for us. First, I grew up with horses. Second, when my husband and I first met, we often hung out at Keeneland with our friends. Lastly, horses are so Kentucky and we're both proud of our home state.


It seems like there are countless websites offering holiday cards. Last year, we ordered ours from Tiny Prints. I love their selection! Here's a list of safe bets, most of which are offering special discounts this week:

    Shutterfly is offering 10 free holiday cards today and tomorrow with the code, BLACKFRIDAY. 

    Happy holiday card shopping! 

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