It’s not just the most wonderful time of the year. Between the holiday cards and the fancy parties, it’s also the time of the year where you might feel some pressure to be at your most photogenic. Don’t fret over the perfect pose. We’ve got you covered with these foolproof tips for taking festive and fun pictures you’ll be proud of!

1. Mix it up

For the best results, don’t restrict yourself to just prim-and-proper poses or only goofy faces. Take a range of different types of shots that showcase your personality, and choose your favorite (or a selection of your favorites) to showcase. You’re sure to make friends and family smile when they receive your card, or see your new Facebook profile picture!

Little Girl And Christmas Tree

2. Get creative

Think outside the box when it comes to the look and feel of your photos. Can’t get everyone in the same room — or even the same state — for the annual photo? Consider doing a cheeky selfie or FaceTime collage that brings the whole group together in an unconventional way. Look through your pictures from the year, too, and see if there are any unique ones that might make a memorable statement. Or, gather a few of them for a themed collection, like travel, accomplishments, or funny candid moments.

Christmas Selfie

3. Let there be light

Lighting can really make or break a photo, and sometimes, no amount of Photoshop doctoring can save a snapshot from the effects of strange shadows and dim dining rooms. Make sure that any indoor location is as bright as can be, whether by natural lights or lamps. If you’re trying to capture the gang on the slopes during your ski vacation or with a snowman on your front lawn, experts say that early morning or late afternoon are the optimal times for outdoor shots.

Kids in Santa Hats

4. Add props and pets

Who doesn’t love an adorable kitten or puppy, especially when it’s decked out in antlers and/or a cozy holiday sweater?! Let the family pet take center stage and do all the work of looking cute this year. If you don’t have a furry friend, get some antlers of your own! Or ugly sweaters, or Santa hats, or … you get the picture. It’s easier than you might think to infuse some spirited fun into the tried-and-true holiday photo formula.

Christmas Bulldog Wearing Antlers