A Photographer's Guide to Family Christmas Photos

VIDEO: Los Angeles-based photographer Jill Mojica gives tips on how to get the best picture for this years holiday card.

Los Angeles based photographer Jill Mojica is no stranger to holiday images. This longtime still photographer was raised in Rochester, N.Y., and moved to Los Angeles 10 years ago to further her career specializing in headshots, family portraits, as well as acting.

Her interest in photography was sparked by her father, Michael Curran, an industry veteran who worked at Kodak for 32 years. When Mojica was a child, she and her whole family used to model for Kodak.

There is even a wacky Christmas photo from 1984, with Mojica and her family taken by Kodak, see below the story.

"One of my biggest influences was John Myers from Kodak," Mojica said recalling her upbringing. "He really showed me there are no rules, that you can take everything you've learned technically and make it fun and enjoyable for your clients."

Mojica recommends that you keep your portraits natural and genuine, preferring real rather than over-the-top photos. Her priority is giving her clients what they want while helping them avoid Christmas photo catastrophe.

"Some families have their certain traditions, the Griswold's did you know," she said. "But I would definitely want to do a safe shot as well."

1. There are lots of options. Whether you decide to turn the flash off and use soft, natural light or up close and personal shots, there are a lot of choices when it comes to holiday photos.

2. Take a safe shot just in case. Although families have their special traditions, Mojica said it's a good idea to take a regular photo in case the wackier ones do not work out.

3. Christmas cards have changed, keep it simple. Christmas photos are doing away with the fake props, opting instead for a more natural and intimate feel.

Image credit: Kodak

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