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Local Photographers Explain How to Master Your Annual Family Photoshoot

It's almost time to get your holiday cards in the mail. Here's what you should know about taking your family photo ahead of time.

It’s just about time to send your annual holiday card, and what’s a Christmas card without a smiling, happy portrait of your whole family? But everybody knows the process of taking that photo is anything but happy. Babies are crying, kids are untucking their Christmas tartan button-downs, and the dog is eating something.

On these occasions, it’s best to enlist a professional who knows a thing or two about lighting, framing, and posing. Here, four local photographers share their best tips and favorite DFW locations for creating beautiful holiday photos. Whether you lean lifestyle or prefer personality-driven portraits, your recipients will be oohing and aahing over your Christmas cards in no time.


Domus Aurea Portraits

Renee Streett’s timeless style and heirloom-quality prints bring a special touch to family photography. While Christmas portraits tend to be on the formal side, she advises clients to keep spontaneity at the forefront. “My clients appreciate the relaxed, natural, and easygoing atmosphere of my sessions,” she says.

Xmas Marks the Spot:

Flippen Park 

“The morning light there is so dreamy! Prather Park is also great, with ample shade and beautiful backdrops.”

Kate Marie Portraiture

With nearly two decades of experience, Kate Marie has a knack for capturing the authentic personalities of her subjects—especially the little ones. “Rushing through a session only leads to forced smiles,” she says. “When you take the time to connect with the kids, you’ll capture much more natural expressions.” 

Xmas Marks the Spot:

Her Lewisville Studio

“I have everything to accommodate busy moms: a full client wardrobe with over 100 outfits to choose from.”

Lauren Peterson Photography

Lauren Peterson’s top tip for an authentic family photo? Let your kids do their thing. “Yes, they might scrape their knee running around in circles or playing games, but we’re going to capture that, too,” she says. “In 15 years, you’ll be able to reminisce on just how tiny that knee was.”

Xmas Marks the Spot:

Sunnyvale’s Samuell Farm North Park 

“It has a bunch of evergreen and cedar trees, so it gives you that look of a Christmas tree farm.”

Jessica Price Photography

Former wedding photographer Jessica Price is now known for her “personality sessions”—black-and-white studio shots that showcase kids’ true selves. “It’s a great alternative for a Christmas card if you only want to showcase your little ones,” she says. “It’s simple and less complicated but still something you’ll cherish.”

Xmas Marks the Spot:

Downtown Prosper

“It’s almost a rite of passage now to have family photos taken in front of the silos!” 


Say Cheese 

If being in front of a camera makes you feel like pre-Christmas-gratitude Scrooge, Studio Ambient has the solution. The Plano photography company’s newest venture, Self. by Studio Ambient, allows you to become the model and photographer, all in one. The aptly named Self. is a self-service photo studio: Simply book your session, pick your outfits, and show up—then the Studio Ambient team will have various props and backgrounds ready upon your arrival. The best part? You control the camera yourself with a clicker—perfect for camera-shy adults and kids alike.


Lydia Brooks

Lydia Brooks

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