As a single mom, I really don’t have a whole lot of family photos. Usually, I’m the one taking pictures of Jacob. When I do buy professional pictures, I prefer to just have Jacob appear in them. But occasionally, someone else is around to take the picture, or if I get desperate enough, I can get the angle just right to take one of the two of us. When I do try to take a family photo, especially one that I plan to use on Holiday cards, I like to have fun with it.

My Tips For a Great Family Photo

  • Don’t take yourselves too seriously, unless you’re just very serious people by nature. If you like to goof off and have fun, then take a picture showing that side of your family. Standing against some pre-fab background with your arms crossed and obviously fake, “just-right” smiles plastered on your faces is not going to inspire a feeling of “yay, it’s a Christmas card from my favorite family!” in your recipients.
  • On that note, think about the impromptu pictures that you have of your family that you absolutely love, and try to capture that same feeling. Or better yet, just use one of those pictures as your official family photo! The real you is way more interesting than the dressed-up for picture day you.
  • Skip the busy backgrounds. Your friends and family want to see you, not Santa peeking in a window all creepy-like behind you or your dazzling 10-foot, 1000-lights Christmas tree dwarfing your toddler.
  • Coordinated outfits are cute, and if there are just two or three of you in the picture, matching outfits can be great too when done subtly. But if your family of ten is all wearing the same exact red sweater with a white reindeer on it, all I’m going to see when I look at it is a sea of red rather than your pretty faces. Try choosing a color theme instead rather than exact matches.

I am by no means an expert in taking family photos. I do manage a Pictures with Santa set seasonally, but I’ve never taken classes or anything, so my advice is based on what I prefer, so take what you want from it and leave the rest. The most important thing is to create a family photo that you love, no matter what anyone else thinks.

Shutterfly Family Photo Day- Taking a Great Family PhotoIf you need extra help planning your family picture to use on cards and other photo gifts, Shutterfly will be holding Family Photo Days. Activities include house parties and other gatherings, online digital toolkits, giveaways for free cards, and more. Visit Shutterfly’s Family Photo Days page on their site to learn more and find out if there are any live events in your area.





Note- I will receive 50 free cards for participating in this Global Influence campaign. As always, my thoughts are my own.