Photo credit: Dream Art Photography

It’s that time of year when you scour through all of your photos from past the year in search of the perfect family photo to use in your Christmas card. Do you use one of the kids on Santa’s lap, or perhaps a casual photo where everyone is looking at the camera taken at an event earlier in the year? My recommendation is to use a vacation photo in your Christmas card.

I recently went through this exercise and as I looked through all of our photos from the year, the ones where our family looked the happiest, the best were those when we were on vacation. Besides making those who receive your card jealous of your travels, the only problem with vacation photos in Christmas cards is they are sometimes not the professional quality that many feel is necessary for the yearly card sent to all of your friends and family.

Earlier this year, on a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, we were approached on the beach by a representative of a photography company affiliated with our hotel. The sitting fee was free so we decided to go for it. We met our photographer before sunset and followed him around the hotel property into seasoned locations for the perfect photos. An hour and a half later, the sun was down and the memory card from the Dream Art Photography camera was filled with gorgeous photos of our family.

The hardest part came a day later when we had to sift through over 100 photographs and choose only ten. We couldn’t do it and ended up paying for a couple of extras. The cost for extras was high so if you decide to pursue professional vacation photos of your own, I highly recommend negotiating the cost of the digital images ahead of the photo session. I’m not sure how open they would have been to such negotiations but it is worth a try. My other recommendation is to bring a portable USB memory stick to transfer the photos so you have a back up to the CD from the photographer.

A beautiful setting, casual attire, huge smiles on everyone’s faces, I think it was worth it. What do you think?