Hey CKers! Deena Wuest here! The holidays are right around the corner and that means it’s time to capture that favorite photo for our holiday cards. A lot of times when we envision that perfect shot, we visualize the entire family perfectly composed, wearing perfectly matching clothes and perfect smiling faces. (After all, this is your family we’re talking about. They’re awesome!) So it’s no wonder we get overwhelmed when we take 40 shots of closed eyes, children trying to escape, a finger up the nose or that one pre-teen who simply refuses to smile. If you’ve ever found yourself in a similar situation, I want to encourage you to try something different this year. Forget any form of perfection and strive to capture personality instead.
I want to share with you a trick I discovered a few years ago that has saved my sanity. Instead of photographing all three of my children together, I photograph them individually. This ensures there are no bunny ears, no elbowing and no “Mom, he’s touching me!” Giving each child individual attention also allows me to engage them in conversation and capture their true personality instead of just a smile. When you have your individual photos, you can place them in separate frames to use on your card, or you can merge them together in Photoshop Elements. Here’s how:
1. Place your child in front of a solid background. (My favorite is black velvet because you won’t have to deal with shadows.)
2. Take photos of each child making sure there is background visible above them and on both sides.
3. Open Photoshop Elements and position the photos side by side.
4. Select the Eraser Tool (E) and simply remove the excess and overlapping background. Voila!
Peace Love & Joy by Deena Wuest, as seen in the November/December 2011 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine, page 91.
Super simple! Super sanity-saving! Use the new group photo on your holiday card or layout. More tips? Keep it fun! Use props. Have your child dress up. Hook up the camera to the TV so they can watch themselves. Let your child direct the shoot. Allow them to go with their own natural movements instead of instructing them on how to pose. Keeping it short and sweet will produce much more willingness on your child’s part.
Photos by Becky Pogatchnik
Be sure to check out my Photo Tricks article in the November/December issue for more fun holiday photo ideas and two free downloads! If you’ve already taken some less than perfect group shots, check out this video tutorial on how to merge several photos into one.
P.S. Don’t forget to download CK Anything Goes for Free Font Friday!