How to nail a holiday card photo shoot

Whether you’re looking for something perfectly posed or candidly cute, four local photographers offer their advice on getting a great shot.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Funk Photography

With the holidays well on their way, now is the time to capture a charming photo of you and your kids and get those cards in the mail.

Though some may choose to try to take their own family photos, still others may opt for a professional to work their magic. Four area photographersSara Thom, Rebecca Danzenbaker, Jessica Funk and Bridget Eldridgeshare their experiences and explain how to get the best shot.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Funk Photography

Jessica Funk Photography

With a husband and three boys of her own, it’s no wonder why Funk finds fulfillment in shooting family photos. Her style places an emphasis on timeless family portraiture while also capturing unique personalities and relationships.

Her biggest tip for family photo shoots? Avoid stress.

“Sit back, trust your photographer and enjoy this fun family time together,” Funk said. “You will want to look back and remember how picture-perfect the day truly was and how perfectly your family was captured because you were all yourselves.”

Photo courtesy of Sara Thom Photography

Sara Thom Photography

Thom has specialized in capturing precious family moments since 2012, with images boasting rich colors and moody tones. For holiday cards, Thom thinks it’s fun to stray from your traditional, posed shot.

“My family sessions involve a lot of laughter, running around and silliness,” Thom described. “I love seeing the interaction between kiddos and their parents during our sessions and it always makes for the sweetest photos.”

While Sara might be a master behind the lens, she has some tips for how families can help her ensure that they are happy with the results. She also tells parents to leave their stress behind and recommends that children eat before their session.

“So many parents get worked up about their kids misbehaving and not being able to get that one good photo, but if parents are relaxed their kids will be too,” Thom said.

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Danzenbaker Photography

Rebecca Danzenbaker Photography

Danzenbaker’s images are flooded with natural light and soft hues. She’s a seasoned family photographer with more than nine years of work in the field, time she’s spent enthusiastically creating memories that will last families a lifetime.

Many of Danzenbaker’s clients were so overjoyed by the results of their first session that they return to Rebecca Danzenbaker Photography each year.

“I love seeing the same families every year and watching them grow,” Danzenbaker said. “It’s always fun to catch up on everything the year has brought and to help them make new memories.”

Danzenbaker says that parents should play along with their children—being silly and tickling one another. Even if everyone isn’t looking at the camera, these images often make for the best shots.

Photo courtesy of Bridget Eldridge Photography

Bridget Eldridge Photography

Eldridge takes a documentary approach to photography, capturing images that tell a family’s story. Her work focuses on candid moments that highlight the way the family feels about one another as opposed to how everyone looks.

“I really think we look and feel our best when we are enjoying [time with] the people we love,” Eldridge said, noting that putting children at the center of the fun is her favorite way to obtain photos where personality shines through.

To capture a candid photo that conveys familial relationships, Eldridge also asks that adults abandon their anxiety.

“It’s hard, but the more relaxed you are, the happier your family will be,” Eldridge said. “Children will often reflect the moods of their parents on shoot day, so remember to stay calm, have fun and be present with your children.”