The Perfect Family Portrait {Get It Right Everytime}

Today’s post is a guest post from our friend Anna.  Anna is the blogger behind She most enjoys writing about DIY, personal finance, and her terrible cooking skills.

Perfect Family Portraits

It’s fall and you know what that means: family pictures. There are three major holidays all a month apart and all require the posing of at least one whole family picture (unless you’re really good at Photoshop). Getting everybody together can be a huge pain and getting everybody to smile at the camera at the same time almost requires magical powers. And yet…calling it off simply isn’t an option.

So what can you do? How can you make taking your family portraits easier?

Hire a Professional

Most kids, once they’ve passed out of toddlerhood, will want to impress the stranger who comes to the house to take your family Christmas portraits. Having someone who is not part of the family helps keep everybody on better behavior than if you were attempting to take the photo with your own camera and the self timer.

Buck Tradition

Stiff and posed family portraits are a once a year tradition—typically because it’s almost impossible to get everybody standing together, looking in the same direction and smiling at the same time. So why fight nature? Pose everybody in their Halloween costumes before they leave the house to go trick or treating or to the holiday party. Get everybody in the kitchen, covered in flour and spices before you serve the Thanksgiving dinner. Tie everybody together with Christmas lights while you’re decorating for the holiday.

Everyone’s a Comedian

Over at Woman’s Day there is a list of the funniest holiday family portraits (our favorite is the Christmas tree photo). What can your family come up with that’s fun and festive and unique to your senses of humor? It might be hard to get teenagers in on this one so allow them to submit some ideas of their own and maybe even take a few of their ideas and run with them. Maybe this will be the year you send out a variety of photos!


Speaking of a variety, why not let each member of your family choose a family pose for the holiday portrait and then, after each shot is taken group them together in a collage for that year’s portrait? That way each member of the family is represented both in image and in spirit.

You can also take some candid shots as your family gets ready for each holiday and then build them into a collage for that year’s family portrait. Candid shots are better anyway because they capture the humor and spirit of whatever is happening and will be looked at more fondly than the posed versions of photos.


When all else fails you can always bribe your loving family to simply stand still and smile at the camera for a second. A little bit ago I told you about Swagbucks—if you’ve been using the system you likely have a few gift cards or codes in the mail. Use them to get those ungrateful…er, lovely relatives into the spirit of things.

Good luck!

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4 Responses to The Perfect Family Portrait {Get It Right Everytime}

  1. Carla says:

    Great ideas. My favorite is the collage and having everyone pick their favorite picture. I always choose the one where I look the best (sad, but true) because, honestly, everyone else usually looks pretty good. However I recently found a picture that we had used for Tessa to take to school several years before. EVERYONE in it BUT me looked horrible. Even the two dogs. I was so embarrassed when I saw it and realized I had only chosen it because I looked good. But I guess that’s the perks of being the mom!

  2. Tanya Abbey says:

    what a beautiful photo! Thanks for the tips! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Blog Photography & Photo Editing Tips - A Dose of Paige

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