Yes, I know. The very idea that Christmas is coming up is about the last thing anyone wants to think about right now. (We’ll ignore the fact that as of today, there are only 102 days left!)
My first pointer for great family photos is:
Seriously. Everyone still has their summer tan so they look great, and life isn’t as hectic as it gets to be closer to the holidays. It’s one less thing to think of by the time November rolls around.
My next pointer is this:
If anyone wears glasses, get with your eye doctor to borrow a set of empty frames for your photos. I’ve said it before, but it really does interrupt the flow of a portrait session if I have to keep reminding people to “keep your chin down” in order to prevent glass glare. There are other tricks (such as raising my lights, having you tilt your glasses, etc) that I use, but they create their own set of problems. (Lowering your head often creates a “second chin”, raised lights creates a lighting effect I don’t care for, and tilting your glasses is often very uncomfortable.) Children especially are very difficult as they are always on the move.
It takes a very long time to successfully remove eyeglass glare from photos. Sometimes I simply can’t do it, and have to have my lab do it. Their quote starts at $45. Per eye. That also being said, because of the time involved in removing glass glare, I am instituting a retouching fee of $15 per set of eyes, per pose. This is the first charge I’ve ever had for retouching. But believe me when I say I can spend an hour (literally) on glass glare, and if I have several poses that all require it, my processing work involves many late nights preparing orders.
So, eliminate all of that, and get some empty frames. 🙂
Color coordinate clothing.
You don’t have to all wear the same color. Different shades of the same color work well. As do complimentary shades. What doesn’t work well are clashing colors, and bold designs. There are exceptions to every rule. (An example would be a family who took a summer trip to Hawaii and all want to wear their new Hawaii shirts, being one of them!) However, for a timeless, classic look, I really recommend simple styles. That gives you a family portrait that you will be proud to have on your wall for the entire year.
So. Those are my tips. Just for those who are planning on scheduling their family photos, here is the break down of my holiday deadlines.
November 14th – last day for portrait parties.
November 19th – last day for family sessions.
December 1st – last day for normal orders
December 15th – last day for rush orders.
December 16th – January 1st – no portrait sessions or orders taken.
These deadlines are the very last days I will accept orders for Christmas delivery. Rush orders will be charged a 50% rush fee. I get very busy with both Joyful Heart Photo as well as my day job in the months of November and December. The professional lab I use for Joyful Heart Photo also gets extremely busy. Due to the seasonal nature of the business, I do not guarantee a specific turn around time on portrait orders placed after November 1st. The closer we get to Christmas, the longer things take, simply due to the mass quantity of work.
I really love this time of year. I get to reconnect with a lot of previous customers and see how their families are doing. And it’s fun simply to be busy with photography. It’s amazing how creative families can be when they’re planning their family portraits, and I get such a kick out of the children.
Thanks again to everyone!