20 Easy Family Photo Ideas to Try This Year

Photos by Lei

Take the stress out of planning your holiday photos and use one of these brilliant ideas that will bring out all the smiles

The holiday season will be here before we know it, and it’s pretty much a given we’ll be frantically trying to pull together family holiday photos in time to get those cards in the mail. Good news—we’ve gathered the most creative family Christmas picture ideas out there, and all of them can be recreated with ease! Gone are the cheesy grins and fake smiles, these ideas will put the whole family at ease and make the process much less stressful.


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Outdoor Vibes

family walking in a field for Christmas card photo
Jessica Rockowitz via Unsplash

Outdoor photos can be almost anything you want them to be, depending on your location and props. We love the simple idea of capturing a sweet candid moment instead of the usual pose with cheesy grins. 

Add Holiday Pajamas

Addison Rae

If there’s anything cuter than matching holiday family pajamas, we haven’t found it. And don’t worry, all sorts of pajamas are available far enough in advance that you don’t have to wait until the last minute. 

Include Snacks

Febrian Zakaria via Unsplash

Unless you have really tiny kids who can’t help but get messy, it could be fun to add your crew’s favorite snacks to a family holiday photo. 

Classic Christmas

Amanda McGuire via Work in Progress

For big laughs, send out photos suited up as Ralphie and the rest of the Parker family. Mom Amanda scoured deal sites like eBay and Amazon to find everything she needed to re-create the classic scene. Want to know how she did it? Hop on over to Work in Progress to find out.

Related: ‘A Christmas Story’ Sequel Trailer: The Gang’s All Back

 

Use a Mirror

Gift Habeshaw via Unsplash

Using a mirror to “take a picture” is a fun take on a traditional pose. Plus, you might be able to pull this one off without a photography session! 

Keep It Real

Brittney Fort

Sometimes the kids just don’t want to cooperate. Instead of stressing out and worrying about getting the picture family photo, just go with the flow. It usually ends up being more authentic and will give all your friends a good laugh. 

Related: Hit Play for Holiday Spirit: Holiday Movies to Watch with Young Kids

Feature Your Happy Place

Olivia Bauso via Unsplash

Is it the beach, the mountains, the family farm? Whatever your happy place, featuring it in your family Christmas photo never gets old. 

Make the Most of Fall

Jennifer Massoni Pardini

If we’re on top of our game, we’re usually taking our holiday photos when it’s peak fall rather than winter. If you don’t want to hold out for that first snow or you live somewhere milder, throw those autumn leaves into the air and capture some seasonal (and childhood) magic.

 

Reflect as a Family

Photos by Lei

Capture the magic of the holidays with this one-of-a-kind picture by photographer Leilani Rogers. You might need an extra set of hands and a little bit of time to get it just right, but the results are well worth the commitment.

 

Elf Yourself

Marta Wave via Pexels

In the same vein, let your little one dress up as Santa’s favorite helper, and incorporate a funny saying in the background to top it off.

Related: 40+ Elf on the Shelf Ideas (because You’re Gonna Need Them)

Pose Like Your Kid’s Drawing

Ayren Jackson-Cannady

The best source of inspiration is sometimes right in your own home. Have the entire family recreate a favorite drawing or sketch. Not only will you get chuckles from friends and family, but it’s a great chance to show off your budding Picasso’s artistic skills.

 

Frame Yourself

Combined Average

Grab an empty frame and try out different poses. Have the little ones stand in front of the frame, or squish the whole group behind the frame.

Use Props

Merri Cherry

Using props still gives holiday photos “that certain something.” Raid the dress-up bin for silly hats, boas, and superhero masks, or find printables to make your own. Remember, when it comes to dressing up your photos, bigger and brighter is always better!

 

Spell It Out

The BMC Report

Decide on a word that describes your family or the holidays, then have each person hold a letter of the word. It’ll add an interesting element to the photo without distracting from your pretty faces!

Create a Scene with Sidewalk Chalk

Modern Parents Messy Kids

Here’s another fun take on the chalk idea: use the sidewalk or another flat surface as your canvas, then let the kids interact with it in the photo.

Hit Up the Tree Farm

Joseph Gonzalez via Unsplash

The local tree farm provides an idyllic (and nearly effortless) backdrop for just about any photo staging. Bring along a toy car (or wagon) and pair it with a wee tree for instant sweetness.

 

Put on a Good Face

Hideaki Hamada

Artistic and retro, the “vinyl face” is a photo trend that works especially for camera-shy tykes. Play around with magazines, books or movie posters for a variety of expressions. Follow Japanese photographer Hideaki Hamada on Instagram for enchanting photos of his lil’ sons and life around Osaka, Japan.

 

Superhero Style

Superhero family via Paging Supermom
Paging Supermom

From Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming to LEGO Batman and LEGO Ninjago, superheroes never get old. Bring on 2023 with power! 

 

Simple Silhouette

Chang Duoung via Unsplash

Simple silhouettes give family photos a classic touch. Oh, and this idea is super handy when someone isn’t looking their best or if the kids have (already) started making mud pies in their holiday outfits.

 

Say It with a Sign

Ryan O’Dowd Photography

Update your friends and loved ones with a chalkboard message that says it all, like this adorable shot we scooped out over at Ryan O’Dowd Photography. Whether it’s you or your kids holding the news, adding this small detail makes a standard family pose extra special.

Additional reporting from Jennifer Masson Pardini & Gabby Cullen

 

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