Getting a good holiday group photo that includes your kids, or even a pet, can be a challenge. But taking a portrait that jumps off the page because it’s so memorable is even tougher, especially if your goal is to print the photos out and send the pictures as holiday greeting cards.
We got in touch with Sina Duvinage, a mother of two, who has amassed quite the following on Instagram account called HappyGreyLucky because of her keen eye and witty take on family portraits.
“There are so many great ideas out there and you don’t need to spend money on fancy props. I like to take photos in my house so my kids will be more at ease,” Duvinage said.
“For the first one you take a simple sugar cookie of a snowman and bite the snowman’s head off. This is a perspective shot so you hold the cookie between the camera and the person and it turns out looking like the cookie snowman body is the person’s. It’s really cute.”
Anyone with young children knows how challenging it can be having everyone remain still and looking at the camera at the same time. Duvinage had some simple tips.
“Have your camera ready on a tripod if you’re using one. Have any props handy and practice your shots with just a grownup first. Props help because they give something for kids to focus their attention on,” she said.
“We use mugs a lot — mugs with filled with hot chocolate work wonderfully as bribes for little ones to hold the shot.”
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Duvinage, who also blogs about specific ways to pull off creative family photos on her website happygreylucky.com, said matching outfits help set a theme
“They don’t have to match perfectly, for instance, one person can be wearing red stripes, the other green stripes. It’s all about repetition of pattern, so everyone in red or plaid for instance,” she said.
“And the more people in the photo, the more clearly the repetition pops out. Mini-me photos work really well too. I take a lot of portraits with just my daughter, wearing matching outfits. They turn out great.”
The goal is not to take a perfect photo, but a memorable one your friends and family will want to put up on their mantle or Christmas tree that you had fun making along the way.