We spent an entire weekend day looking for a good location for a family Christmas photo.
Since this will be Arya’s first Christmas, we wanted to take a cute picture for use in a family Christmas card.
With the temperature in the high 20s we tried to find a good location that was both close to home and indoors.
A large shopping mall within walking distance from our house was an obvious first choice. The mall had a special holiday area offering pictures with Santa as well as trees and other decorations scattered around the grounds.
Since Arya didn’t like her first picture with Santa, we decided against forcing her to sit on the lap of another strange bearded man. We considered the mall Christmas trees, but changed our minds after taking some test photos.
The mall trees were wrapped in ribbons with ornamental lights strung around the branches. While the trees themselves made for a decent backdrop, they were placed near benches and other gathering spots throughout the mall. In addition to the people moving in front of the tree, most of the benches were occupied by shoppers. As we were using our tripod to take a family photo, it would have been difficult to get a picture without random shoppers visible next to the tree.
Our next option was a large display of three ornaments stacked in a pyramid shape. The display was outside and given the cold weather we were able to take some shots without anyone else around.
Unfortunately the buildings in the background weren’t a good backdrop and we were not able to find an angle that made the display look like ornaments rather than a sculpture. Several stores had window displays that we considered as well. But since the displays were well-branded with retail signage we couldn’t find any good backgrounds for our family photo.
Finally we gave up on the mall altogether and left to look for outdoor picture ideas. Finding a good location for a family Christmas photo was more difficult than we expected and the idea of using a shopping mall was a bad one that we likely won’t repeat in the future.