Fun Family Portrait Ideas for the Holidays

Family photos are important for a few reasons. First and foremost, they document the progression of your family, capturing your kids from the moment they enter the world until they have grown into adults. And of course, they act as keepsakes that you will treasure as long as you live, as well as documents that your children can pass to your grandchildren and so on, chronicling the history of your family. Even beyond that, though, holiday photos offer the rare opportunity to share a moment in the life of your family with extended family members and friends, something that most of us rarely do throughout the year otherwise.

But when you take family photos every year, the posed pictures and fake smiles can definitely get boring. In this case you may be looking for ideas to make your holiday photo sessions a little more fun and personal. And instead of donning ugly sweaters and Santa hats (ironically or otherwise), you’ll find that there are plenty of ways to inject your personality into the process and have a great time as a family. Here are some ideas you may want to try.

The first way you might try to shake things up is by getting out of the studio setting. It’s certainly traditional to put on your fancy holiday clothing, get the kids all dressed up, and then stand in front of a cheesy backdrop to create the photos for your holiday cards. But you may have grown weary of the contrived images of your family that result from this scenario. So think about hiring a photographer that is willing to do location shoots. You can gather your family in your home for either posed shots in front of the fireplace or candid pics of a snowball fight in the yard, just for example. It all depends on what you prefer when it comes to your holiday photos. In truth, it’s probably a good idea to do both. Your relatives might prefer the traditional portrait format while friends may be more interested in snapshots of your toddler beaning you with a snowball.

Another way to make the process fun and interesting is to go with a theme for your photo shoot. Awkward family photos with reindeer sweaters aside, you could opt to go for something completely different like an old west theme with sepia-tone prints. Or you could copy a famous and iconic album cover like the Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ or Kiss’s ‘Dynasty’, just for example. It’s a bit off the beaten path and it’s something that your family and friends definitely won’t expect.

You could also opt for a traditional portrait setting but mess with some effects after the fact. For example, if you want something a little different, you could do black and white photos but have them hand-tinted for an old-timey look that you rarely see anymore. Or you could create a Warhol-style diptych with each family member in a colored square. You’ll no doubt hear all kinds of family portrait tips when you’re trying to decide what to do for your holiday portrait, but you need to think about what’s going to be fun and best represent your family. The experienced professionals at a reputable studio like Diego Molina Photography can offer you suggestions, but ultimately you’re the one who has to decide what’s going to best suit your family when it comes to your holiday photos.

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