The Tale of the Not So Perfect/Perfect Christmas Card

Let’s keep it Real: Christmas Cards or any kind of family portrait is difficult with a Toddler involved.

You might as well just embrace the fact that the youngest person in your photo shoot is going to run the photo shoot just like a true Diva.

No matter how much planning you do to schedule family photos around their happiest times of day, more than likely they will become a horse of a different color when you want them to stand there and say “Cheese!!!!”

So, this year I decided, instead of the Pinterest worthy, perfectly posed Holiday Card that this year we would embrace our personalities and show that through our holiday photo card to our family and friends. My goal was to have a lot of laughs and hopefully no tears in order to have a great photo to send to our family, especially those who are far who may not have seen us in a while.

This is the tale of Rolling WITH Resistance when you have two year olds.

I picked the late afternoon just before sunset right after nap time to take family photos. I thought my daughter would be rested and ready to “play”.

I think before every shoot, I hold my breath because God only knows how my child is going to act on a day to day basis…

Just look at this little mischievous face … she just looks like “what can I get into…”

Then of course, she is in that phase of “monkey see, monkey do” where she imitates what she sees and hears. So, if the photographer is bending down to get on her level, she squats down too and refuses to stand.

FINALLY, for a split second she stands and the photographer got the cutest shot of Gracia.

When selecting your photographer, make sure that they continue to shoot beyond the poses. Here is why… you get the best natural shots while walking and having personal moments. Life isn’t posed therefore, make sure your entire photo shoot isn’t either. It is how you capture your family dynamics and personalities best.

I suggest picking a location that you love to frequent, where you can run and play if need be.

Some suggested places could be:

The Park (which is where we were – including a pond with ducks)

The Playground

Your own kitchen

Your favorite activity center

Embrace the world you live in.

Literally two shots in, she made us put her down and wanted to go do her own thing. Iris kept shooting away…

Where was she going you ask?

She wanted to sit down.  Great.

We got her to come back to us, but she preferred not to be held but instead wanted to stand and watch the ducks. I would’ve let her play with the ducks, but these ducks were about the same size as she is.

We decided that if we walk away from the family of ducks, we could get her attention back and continue.

Clearly, she did not want to go.

I believe she was even saying “NOOOO” and was trying to pull us in the opposite direction.

And then all of a sudden, the struggle stopped and we have a shot we can use.

The rest of the afternoon was spent embracing “The Gracie Show”.

She does not lack in personality and determination to do what she wants, stand how she wants, go where she wants. Our talker, walker, climber, and helper (who loves to clean-up) enjoyed herself in the Park and luckily didn’t want to pick up every leaf she saw.

In the end, it was a great afternoon that we had just walking around the park and spending quality family time together. We occasionally looked at the camera, but mostly we embraced that whether we are at home or out and about, our two year old kinda runs the show. Like I said, let’s be honest.

So she was rewarded with plenty of high fives and treats for doing such a good job.

She made it through an hour or more of photos while only having 10 min attention spans.

Now there is no point in investing in great family photos, if you don’t select a great card that will help your photos look their best!

Thanks to TinyPrints, we were able to gather plenty moments for this years Christmas Cards.

They have plenty of new Holiday cards including glitter cards, metallic foil, even a Christmas Ornament card that you can send to family and friends.

TinyPrints has so many selections that truthfully, it was very hard to decide which card I wanted to go with this year.

I selected a card that I felt would be able to tell our story.

We only send out cards once a year and I want them to make a last impression on my friends and family so that it will be worth posting or sitting on the mantles just like we do with the cards we receive from friends.

This year, because my personal desire was to show more of an experience, I went with a Tri-Fold Card that I would be able to include 6+ pictures on the card as well be able to show both looks for that day on one card.

If you want to select something similar, I chose to go with the Tri-Fold version of the Antique Glow in Linen.

This is what the back looks like when you select the Linen color.

As you can imagine, Gracia was just about through with taking pictures at this point.

As we waited for Gracie to join us, we decided to just take some couples shots, which we hadn’t done in over two years. Our last was my pregnancy photos.

Gracia had taken a break and decided she would simply prefer running and chasing leaves close by. I on the other hand decided that I would not chase her. That is why most of our second look, she is no where to be found or captured in poses that have us “talking to her” or preventing her from running away.

I say, thats fine. If she wants that black mail photo of year 3 of our pictures with her on a toddler leash, so be it. (I’m kidding) but just because we aren’t looking at the camera doesn’t mean its not a great photo. It’s the experience of our family. It’s our current season. It’s our story.

Eventually all cooperation ceased. This was her, “Are you ready to go Mommy and Daddy?” look.

Yes Diva, it is time to go.

If you are looking to send out Cards this year and perhaps even considering sending New Years Cards, take it from me TinyPrints is the way to go.

They make it super easy to do.

You upload your favorite pictures into your account and then drag and drop them into their beautiful card templates. You can preview your design and they even have a Designer who will review it for Free before it goes to print.

It doesn’t get any easier or better than that.

And so, I hope you have a Merry and Bright Holiday Season.

Special thanks to Iris Mannings Photography and TinyPrints

*Full Disclosure: TinyPrints provided my Christmas Cards in exchange for telling my story in making my Christmas Cards this year. No other compensation was provided. Review of product is 100% true and my own experience and opinion and in no way influenced by TinyPrints.