Tips for Taking Holiday Photos! - Stamford Moms
We are all looking for the perfect photos for our holiday card or to frame as gifts for the holidays… but getting the photo you’re looking for is a lot easier said than done!
We all know that styling and planning for family photos can be a stressful ordeal for us moms! If you’re looking for some advice to cut down on the anxiety of styling and planning your holiday photos, we asked a few wonderful local photographers for their suggestions!

Check out their tips below and be sure to check our Family Photographer Resource Page for a list of local photographers!

Tips from Cortney Wood Photography

TIP #1: Keep the Background Simple!

When shooting holiday photos, I think it’s important to keep the background simple. I also prefer subtle colors. Grandma wants to see her grandchild’s face on that holiday card she receives, not the background or an outfit that takes away from the subject.

Tip #2: Laugh!

Always try to make people laugh. Laughter yields the best images.

Tips from Courtney Souza


It’s always helpful when children are on board and excited for photographs! Explain you are taking them to share with family and friends. Perhaps even show them holiday cards from years prior. Having a candy cane or two on hand as a reward never hurts either!


Layers and textures always photograph well. When deciding on wardrobe, consider whether these photographs will be displayed year round. If so, you may want to consider a more neutral scheme. If not, embrace the festive!

Tips from Karen Kahn,
Looking Up Photography


Your family portraits are all about you. That means they should convey your personality and style preferences. It’s important to be yourself during your session, so wear something that reflects you. If you wear something you’d typically never put on, you’ll probably feel uncomfortable, and that may show in your images.
Keep it simple, so the emphasis is on you! It’s best to stick with earth or muted tones so that your faces and your personalities are the main focus. Also, neutral tones will work well with every décor so no matter where you hang your portraits they will be sure to blend well in your home. Build a color palette with one or two neutral tones and an accent tone. When planning for larger groups stay in one color family, but avoid matching outfits.
A few nights before your session, lay out all the clothes you’ll wear. Make sure everything is ironed and clean. It’s also a good idea to get a quick manicure (guys, too!), a haircut, and even treat yourself to hair and make-up at the salon prior to the session. Be sure to look your best, so you will feel your best during the session.
Some final wardrobe tips:
Do… wear soft, neutral, muted, earth tones, bare feet, thin layers, fitted, flattering clothing & natural make-up.
Don’t… wear large bold patterns or prints, neon colors, all black or all white, thick clothing, baggy clothing, heavy make-up, or heavy tanning.


Getting everyone to cooperate and get ready can be stressful. On the day of your session be sure everyone is well rested and fed. Remember to give yourself and your kids plenty of time to get ready so that you don’t feel rushed.
During the session, allow your photographer to do her job. If you’ve chosen your photographer well, she will have tricks up her sleeve to help make your family smile. When mom and dad tell their kids to smile or behave, the kids usually rebel. By allowing your photographer to take charge, she can capture genuine personalities, and not forced or fake smiles.
Be prepared for some fun and silliness. When children get fidgety I like to suggest tickle fights, staring contests, thumb wars and more… so that I can capture those precious and real moments of love and joy.

Most importantly, have fun! If you focus on enjoying yourselves during your session, you will create precious memories along with beautiful imagery. It’s not just about the end result, but also about the experience. If everyone enjoys themselves, then next time your kids will be more likely to get excited for family portraits!

Tips from Maria
with Love & Limoncello


Location sets the mood for the shoot. It should be a place that is authentic to you and your family. Wether it’s at a beach, park or in your home – make it fun and true to you. Whatever you decide make sure there isn’t a lot going on especially if little ones are involved. If there are too many distractions they might have a difficult time focusing. Once you decide on a place then comes the outfits. 


Pick a color scheme and stick to it! If your location is at the beach you may want to choose more neutral colors such as whites, blues, creams and tans. If your shoot is at a park you may want to choose more earthy tones such as yellows, blush pinks, emerald and burgundy. Whatever you decide don’t make it too matchy matchy. If one person wears a pattern make sure everyone else wears solid colors and don’t wear the same color throughout. It’s important to dress so that the colors complement each other but aren’t identical.

Tips from Mima Fiorino


Have fun and if possible play games. Kids love to play and using them can provide the best natural poses and reactions. 

Some examples of games to play: 

  • Family Hug. I like to bring everyone together for a group hug several times during the session. …
  • Wiggle. I play the wiggle game at almost every session, and it always gets everyone giggling. …
  • Tag. 
  • Red light/Green light
  • Simon Says


Go outside and turn off the flash and look for shade.  Look for a tree or the side of a building that provides shade with even light. Bring your family to the edge of the shade where you can still catch the light in their eyes. The best time of day to photograph, or the “golden hour”, is the period right after sunrise or right before sunset, when the light is softer. 

Bonus Tip: The time of the day is so important – get up early or shoot until late.

Tips from Carolyn,
Tesora Photography


Arriving early, especially for a fall mini session, allows you and the kids to be calm and get familiar quickly with the location.  It also gives you a chance to make any last minute adjustments without stress (like giving out a snack or changing the baby). It also gives you the maximum time with your photographer to get the most out of your session!


Fall temperatures are all over the place, so whatever outfit you choose, always bring layers, blankets, etc. to have on hand. You can toss them out of the photo at any time, and it makes everyone just a little more comfortable.

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