Many families look forward to the tradition of taking a family portrait during the Christmas holidays. If you want your family to capture the best Christmas portrait possible, here are some helpful steps for you to follow.

1. Know What You’re Doing With The Photo

Don’t go through so much effort to get the picture taken, then upload it to social media and forget about it. Instead of treating it like a regular photo, you can preserve your special portrait in printed minibooks, wall calendars and customized yearbooks. You can go to the photoroost USA website to see how you can make your own high-quality print-out — the website’s easy-to-use software will help you design your special creation, which you can then proudly display all year round.

2. Get Creative With Your Photoshoot

A family portrait doesn’t need to feel formal, so get creative and have some fun with your photoshoot. Your family can get into the holiday spirit and pose in festive costumes like antler ears, red Rudolph noses, Santa hats or gaudy holiday sweaters. Choose a location that fits the holiday season like a Christmas tree lot or a field covered with white snow. If it’s possible to put a cute costume onto the family cat or dog for your Christmas photoshoot, you can always try and hope that they keep it on long enough to snap a photo.

3. Hire A Professional

Don’t take the an important photo with a camera phone — hire a professional photographer to make sure that your holiday family portrait turns out amazing. An expert may cost more money than doing it yourself, but their high-quality equipment and knowledge of lighting, angles and poses will make them worth the price.

4. Be Prepared For Problems

If you have small children, babies, or some very needy pets, you are bound to encounter some problems during the photoshoot. If you want to make sure that you take some great holiday photos, you will need to prepare for a few obstacles when picture day rolls around. Have a set of back-up clothes for kids of all ages, in case they manage to rip, stain or dirty them before the photoshoot. Have a container of wet wipes handy to wash off messy faces and hands, and a brush for any tangled or frizzy hair. When it comes to pets like cats and dogs, don’t include them in the photoshoot if they can’t stay still. If the photoshoot is at home, place the pets in a separate room so that they can’t walk through the photo.

If you follow these simple steps, you will have an amazing family portrait that captures the spirit of the holiday season. Remember to get creative with your portrait theme, hire a professional photographer, and be prepared for obstacles that small children and pets can make on picture day. Most importantly, remember to preserve your portrait by printing it, so that you can display it in your home all year round.