To get the best holiday photos, you're going to need to do a little homework and planning--but it's always worth it. Festive photography is honestly one of our favorite things about this time of year. It adds a certain sentimental magic to cards, gifts, decor, and the season's celebrations in general. Keep reading for our three tips on when and where to get the perfect holiday pictures taken.
1) Schedule Your Photo Session Early
Most people use Holiday mini photo sessions specifically for the festive cards they plan on mailing that season. Because the entire process (from getting your photos taken all the way to a loved one receiving that card) needs to be completed in just a couple months (or less!), you need to schedule a photo session early. While mini sessions are designed to be fast and affordable, double check before booking! Be sure to find a photographer with a turnaround time of only 1-2 weeks. You'll also want to give yourself at least 1 week for printing and shipping your cards. Many printing services (such as VistaPrint) will offer Express shipping. However, this can be pricey and still can't guarantee that you'll get your cards in time. If you want to save on shipping, give yourself at least 2 weeks. Next, when mailing your cards, remember that the USPS experiences delays this time of year. You'll definitely want to send them out with at least 7 days until the holiday. All in all, you need to schedule your Photo Session about a month before you want your card to arrive to your friends and family. If you're more crunched for time (or looking to cut out shipping costs) E-Cards might be more your speed. You can get your photos taken 1-2 weeks before you want them delivered, since you only need to wait for your Photographer's processing time.
2) Find a Mini Session Package
On your search for the perfect photo session, find one that has the set and props that complement your family's look. If you're going for cozy pajama vibes, you don't want an elegant dinner party or outdoor background. Meanwhile, if you're trying to keep things traditional and classy, you don't want to be posing next to a snow-covered pick-up truck. Find a photographer with a set-up that's right for you. As we mentioned above, check on the timeline for delivery of your photos. How many photos are included in the price? Do you have to pay extra for more? Some photographers (like us!) offer a set number of photos with the session, with the option to purchase more. Others offer very low session rates and require a la carte payment for each photo you would like. Make sure to check all these details before booking. Angela Wolf Video has held Mini Session weekends, where we decorate our studio with a holiday scene. Events like these allow us to keep our background set up for the entire event, enabling numerous shoots in one or two days. This makes for fast, affordable, and accessible sessions.
3) Order Your Cards
Thanks to the Internet, you have a wide variety of options when ordering your cards. First, many photographers offer photocards through their gallery website. You can order them directly through the website, making things quick and easy! However, if your photographer doesn't offer that (or if you just want to check out all your options), there are plenty of other third-party printing websites. For casual cards going out to family and friends, we recommend websites like VistaPrint. Rates start at $1.20 per card, with a minimum order of 10. If you want to go a little higher-end with your holiday cards, we would recommend MOO Print (this is one of our go-tos for our clients). While rates are a bit pricier (starting at $1.60 per card, with a minimum purchase of 25) the final product is polished and professional, elevating the photo itself. For E-Cards, we recommend Canva. Upload your photos and use a template for free, easy designing and sharing. This is a great option if you're looking to minimize cost or go paper-free for a more eco-friendly holiday.
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