There are a few things in life that get me really excited. To clarify, I don’t mean that it takes a lot to please me or make me happy. In fact, I get excited about a lot of things, like good cake or new shoes, but there are a few things in particular I consider to be that ‘top level, unbeatable, nothing makes me as giddy as this’ kind of excitement. These include (but are not solely limited to) my husband, that first morning you walk outside and feel a chill in the air after the long dog days of summer, and the return of the holiday season every year. Who’s with me on these three? I love Thanksgiving, I love following traditions my family has had for decades just because it’s simply too late to change it up now anyways, and putting up Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. (Assuming I make it that long.) A new favorite thing of mine to do every year is take Christmas card photos with my hubby. I get it, though. I hear you loud and clear when you say, “Sure, photos are a great idea… but coordinating outfits… that’s a nightmare.” Or, “Yeah right, good luck trying to get _______ in front of the camera.” I am here to help, to bring relief to this grand idea that Christmas photos have to be this extravagant ordeal. Listen to me, they don’t have to be. But, they can definitely be fun and frame-worthy!
One of the questions I get emailed the most is what couples should wear for their engagement photos, and I am telling you the same answer today for coordinating outfits for your holiday card. Hint: it’s super simple… Be you. Don’t do or wear anything that is out of your wheelhouse. If you and your significant other like to dress up and be fancy, then do it by all means. Wear your tux and red ball gown in the middle of the city for some knockout Christmas pictures. (I envy you if you have a gorgeous red ball gown casually sitting in your closet and a tux for your boo.) But, if this isn’t you, don’t try to be something you’re not. If you and your significant other opt for a more casual daily attire, or perhaps you’re like me and live in yoga pants more than anything else, then jeans and a casual look are the way to go. Simply put, let your Christmas photos reflect you both, true to your core. In the end, this will produce the best photos you will be most happy with.
My Top Tips to Holiday Photos:
1. Find One Outfit & Build The Second Off Of It
For us, as you can see in this photo, it is usually my outfit that we have to cater to. (I am always the more complicated one in this relationship.) This top is from Free People and is certainly busy. But, I loved the colors and how perfect it was for a cozy fall shoot. So, we tailored Paul’s outfit accordingly. I liked that my shirt had navy strung through lightly in the pattern, and I chose to pull it out for Paul’s outfit. Usually we would put Paul in a cool flannel, but because of my top, we had to go far more neutral. Rule number one in coordinating, only one of you can be busy.
2. DON’T Be Matchy Matchy
Contrary to what your mom or grandma might suggest (uh, did anybody else have siblings with the same dresses just in different colors?), you don’t have to match identically. (GASP!) You can see our outfits compliment one another, but don’t match per se. I have creamy undertones in my top, and he has on a true white button-up. That’s the key to coordinating, the end goal isn’t to MATCH.
3. Set The Stage Accordingly
Paul’s vest is a cool quilted navy vest from J. Crew. Because we are in Texas and our “winter” can easily mean 40’s in the morning (if we are so lucky) and 70’s as the high, I put him in a short sleeved button up rather than a long sleeve of any kind. Again, this tip comes down to tailoring to you specifically as a couple: your lifestyle, personal styles, and location. It all matters! If you aren’t in the bitter cold states who experience a true winter, don’t dress like you are in your Christmas photos for the sake of being “wintery”. As for a backdrop, you can’t go wrong with a big field like this or downtown in the middle of your city. Another great spot for a lifestyle Christmas shoot could be in your favorite local coffee shop!
4. Find A Lifestyle Photographer
If you don’t take photos on a regular basis, the idea of getting your picture taken can be intimidating and overwhelming. Find a lifestyle photographer who will do more for you than still photos. You want someone who will bring out your relationship through a camera lens, and capture movement. THIS IS SO KEY TO GOOD PHOTOS. Point & shoot, pose and shoot = no good. Find someone who knows how to capture movement.
I hope these simple tips help you as you plan your holiday photos with your significant other this season! Make light of it, have fun, and remember to dress like yourself. I promise that the more comfortable you feel, the better the final product!
All photos provided by Cottonwood Road Photography
(I have had to keep myself from sharing all of these for the last two months- with a slip up here and there-… sooooo sorry I’m not sorry for the overload below. But seriously, how incredible are these shots?! By far some of my top favorite photos of us together.)