Thanks to a poorly timed blink and that obnoxious smirk, your family holiday card is hardly a Kodak moment. (They’re charming in real life, you swear.) Get it right this year with tips from pro photographer and mom Nancy Alcott.
Keep it simple.
Dress the fam in solid colors rather than busy prints to help ensure that faces are the main subject of your photo.
Tell a mini story.
Capture kids in their element: playing, napping, and just being kids. Search out cozy, comfortable settings (bed, playground) and uniform backgrounds (sky, a brick wall, grass).
Natural light makes faces glow more beautifully than artificial light or flash. Get outside or let the sun shine in by opening shades and doors and pushing aside window-blocking furniture.
Timing is everything.
When the sun is directly overhead, it creates harsh, distracting shadows under eyes, noses, and chins. The best times of day to shoot are morning or late afternoon, when the sun is lower in the sky (and when tots have had their snacks).
Still dreading a DIY session? Alcott will trek to your home or favorite stomping grounds to snap a winner. For more information and to book an appointment, go to nancyalcott.com. Tell her we sent you and she’ll knock $75 off her fee.
The Laurie Berkner Band’s Pajama Party Concert
What: Nick Jr.’s most famous indie pop act dons sleepwear for a concert to benefit The Pajama Program.
Why: Rock to sleep.
When: Fri., 11 a.m.
Where: The Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland. Tickets at 510-465-6400 or The Paramount Box Office.
Jewelry-Making Day Camp
What: A post-Thanksgiving tot drop where aspiring baublers ages 6 and up create handmade gifts, with breaks for yoga and hiking.
Why: String them along.
When: Fri.-Sun. Times vary.
Where: Dragonfly Designs, 55 Nursery Way, at Chestnut Ave. Register online at jewelrybydfly.com or call 650-303-1900.
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party
What: A unique-to-the Bay Area period reenactment packed with magic and puppet shows, juggling, and chance encounters with holiday visitors.
Why: It’s a most excellent outing.
When: Fri.-Dec. 20.
Where: Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave., at Santos St., Daly City. Tickets online at dickensfair.com or call 800-510-1558.
Photos: Nancy Alcott