Day 1: Make it Simple: You don't need a lot of props, or fancy backgrounds. Just love.
Day 2: Enjoy Yourself: Enjoy Yourself. Make the memory the event not the photo.
Day 3: Work with what you have: Be inventive, roll with the obstacle, find creative solutions!
Day 4: Use your Flash!: Pro's use it outside, so should you!
Day 5: Slow sync Flash: The best way to get holiday lights, and your subject exposed correctly!
Which brings us to Day 6!
Location!There are a TON of ways you can go... all depends on the style and feel that you want to give to your cards. Part of what makes a great story, is all the details rights!?
So first, you need to decide are YOU doing your families images, a friend, or are you hiring a photographer? If you are hiring someone you should ask them, before scheduling what options they have.
Next, what kind of family are you? Single, couple, new baby, young child, grown kid, mufti-generational... are you the outdoorsy type? Country, casual, rustic... where do you live... in some parts of the country there will be snow... not mine mind you... but I hear on the news its out there! Are you looking for something way out of the box, or something new for your family? All of these are good things to think about... if your really stuck for ideas and working solo - Pinterist, and google image have some great ideas... you can start with my pins here. (Disclaimer: As a rule, I try to only repin photography images that appear to go back to the original photographers site or blog, if you ever notice a pin that does not, or is in violation of copyright laws, please let me know and I will be happy to remove it)
Here are a few spots I love to recommended, you will have to look around your town to see what you have available, and what could fit your families needs! (If going to a park, look for one with a bathroom or a coffee shop nearby where you can all warm up after, or in between shots)
The Zoo (great day trip, and they typically have carousals for day and holiday light displays at night)
Downtown - any city... Tall buildings, stairways, glass, urban mall, brick, graffiti... need I say more?
Parks / Open Space: From posed to playing in the snow... great for all ages!
Streams / Forest areas: Just good scenery!
YOUR home or backyard! DUH! What could be more personal!
Railroad tracks, with or without a train
Tourist Areas: Red Rocks, Galveston, Sea World... they all have lights, decor, or great natural scenes.
Find something to inspire you, a card style you love, an image, a color scheme... and put some thought into the story you want to tell! My inspiration for our images this year....