This time of year many families are gathered together and decide to take family portraits. We had even planned on getting them done over Thanksgiving weekend, but our session was rained out. Here are some tips for your family as you are preparing to take pictures for Christmas cards, or just for yourself:

1.) Wear coordinating colors, but don't look too matchy matchy. Use an accent color with accessories such as scarves, headbands, boots, etc.

2.) Be well fed. Being hungry can lead to hangry...especially for kiddos. Taking pictures with the whole family can be hectic, so be sure to have a full stomach to eliminate a potential problem.

3.) Go with the flow. Photographers know what they're doing...even newer ones. Let them pose you and be willing to try out things that they suggest. If you have an idea going into the photos, communicate that before hand.

4.) Shoot outdoors. The lighting looks better and the setting is more fun. Shooting in a studio limits the options for posing and types of photos.

5.) Have fun! Most importantly, enjoy the moments. Make it a memory that when you look at these photos later in life, you enjoy the memories connected to it more than the actual photo.

For those in Southern California in need of a great photographer, I suggest Emma Hopp Photography. I have used her for a couple occasions and am impressed by her photography skills, work ethic, and energy.

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