ParentClick Santa Barbara

Getting the perfect family selfie


Once Halloween is over, we fast forward to the holidays which for me means a lengthy to-do list that includes ordering holiday cards. I love this time of year because when I go to my mailbox, I find real mail! Facebook and Instagram are great for keeping up with friends but it doesn’t replace the wonderful tradition of cards. I look forward to everyone’s family photos and recaps of their year. The part that causes me anxiety though every year is putting together my own family’s card and finding the perfect picture.


Do I use a professional photographer or candid shots? I don’t know about you but I find that most families have one parent that becomes the photographer and that parent is rarely ever found in any of the family photos. In my family, I take all the pictures. I love taking pictures, however I am a little disappointed each year when I look through our online albums trying to find a picture for our card only to find that my family does not appear to have a mom. We have hundreds of pictures from family vacations, events, sports and I am not in any of them.

This is why we seem to always be scrambling in November to hire a professional photographer. I drag my husband and kids to the photo shoot and always question whether it is worth the hassle and the expense until I get my pictures back. I love the fact that we at least have a photo history of our whole family each year (mom included) that we can reflect back on. Remember to ask your photographer whether you will be able to use the image for a holiday card since some will charge extra for this.


There are so many cards to choose from and it is so easy and affordable to do online. Decide where you want to have your cards made (Shutterfly, Costco, TinyPrints). Decide on a message for your card and whether you want to include a letter. Buy stamps early so you are not waiting in lines. Make a list of everyone you want to send cards to and update your addresses (and don’t take people off the list just because they didn’t send you one last year… remember the holidays are about giving). Plan ahead so you have time to put together the perfect card.

Plan ahead so you have time to put together the perfect card.

November 4, 2015

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  1. Nancy says:

    We use Vita Bella Photography ( for our family pics. She emails her clients in September to get ready for Christmas cards (brilliant!)

    I order my stamps online (– no line at the post office. They have all the stamps I want. Yes, it costs $1.85 in shipping, but think of what you can do with all the extra time!

  2. Norma says:

    Deluxe Photo and Video (Edward, 805-302-4449) is a great photographer. His creativity is amazing and he is wonderful w/kids! Plus he always has Holiday specials for family portraits.

  3. gabriela says:

    Savannah Johns-Pedrocchi is the best family photographer!