Family photo and caroling e-cards are great last minute gifts for friends and family members who live far away or those family acquaintances that you feel should probably get a gift but you just can’t quite figure out what to get them.
Now, if you have ever done professional family photos, they can be a bit expensive, especially the ones done “last minute”! It can get quite pricey with 6 people and getting an infant to cooperate in the 1 hour time frame you might have, is exhausting to say the least. Then you have the turn around time, you could have to wait a week or more before you get your final edited prints. So this year I decided to take on the challenge of the family photo!
Here’s what I did, don’t be intimidated by all the steps… you probably already know most of them!
- Look for a spot inside or outside to use as a backdrop for your photo(s) and video. For a festive, more personal backdrop, I used our Christmas tree with presents. You can also try adding props like the DIY Very Merry Elf Slippers we made for the 9th Day of Christmas or Christmas sweaters!!
- Here’s a trick I use when taking photos for a larger group of people. Create a triangle with your subjects. This creates a nice flow and elevation through your image, it also provides a nice space for adding text when you’re editing.
- Try doing your photos/videos during the day so you can take advantage of the daylight. I love using window light for my photos as much as I can, and it usually is the perfect amount of light. Make sure your subjects (your kids/family) are facing the window or at least a 45 degree angle towards the window.
- If you don’t have large enough windows or the chance to get it done during the day like me, than you can use artificial light (lamp light). For the best lit photos/videos, you will need 3 lamps/lights, one over head to light your background and one on either side of your subjects at a 45 degree angle slightly above your subjects head. Positioning your lamps this way will reduce the amount of shadows cast on their face. The image below only uses 2 lights, so if you look closely you can see the shadow of the Christmas tree on the wall.
- Position the camera on a tripod between the two lamps. If your using your phone, like I do, and you plan to be in the video, use a selfie stick… yes I said it… a selfie stick, to capture your photo/video.
- Pick a short snippet of a Christmas carol and do a couple practice runs for the caroling e-card, recording the entire time… you never know, you might get it in the first few tries!
- Take a billion photos while you are caroling… okay maybe not a billion, but take a bunch so you have a lot to chose from, and after the group photos take some individuals too.
- For editing photos taken on your phone, you can use your phones editor, Instagram, Facebook or you can try the app I talk about in the post 9 Most Useful Apps for Parents called Baby Pics! I used this app… I love the “artwork” they provide and it makes it super simple to do. If you are looking for an app with finer editing capabilities try Photoshop Express or Fotor. Sometimes I use these when I am on the go or when I don’t want to get on the computer.
- For editing photos on a computer, you can edit your photos with any photo editor you may have… I use Photoshop but you can also use a free online photo editor like Picmonkey, Befunky or Pixlr. Photoshop also has a free online editor, Photoshop Express Editor.
- For editing my videos I use Filmora by Wondershare. I used the free version for about a week and just had to buy it! It makes editing videos super simple or you can really get into it and get creative with it.
That’s it! Send off your caroling Christmas e-card via email, Facebook or Instagram, along with your print ready photos and you can check those distant relatives off your Christmas shopping list!!!
And here are the finished products!!
I would love to see what you came up with for your Caroling Christmas E-card!! Join the EOAM Community and send them on in!
Have a question on the process? Leave your question in the comments and I will be sure to answer!