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November 10, 2022

Planning Your Family's Holiday Photos

These ideas will help you take photos you'll love!


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Black and white image with frame

Image: Richard Manville with Original photo from Robert Linder@rwlinder

It’s never too soon to start thinking about creative ideas for your annual family holiday photos. It’s a fun and, often sentimental, project, from where and how to pose, to planning what everyone will wear and, of course, getting the kids and pets to look at the camera! Here are some of our favorite spots to take that treasured shot. Hopefully these ideas will lighten your load and help you create photos that will be merry, bright, and memorable!

The Classic Fireplace Pose

Besides the tree, the fireplace is the penultimate Christmas image. Having the family centered around the stockings hung with care is the perfect backdrop for cherished holiday photos. If you don’t have a fireplace in your own home, ask a friend if you can take the shot in front of theirs, or go to a local hotel or restaurant where the lobby fireplace is available to the public. Or, try searching Pinterest for “Fireplace Holiday Photos” for some great inspiration.

Outside in the Snow

The weather outside may be frightful, but it will make your family photos delightful! Take advantage of snowy weather and bundle up the family in some colorful hats and scarves and take festive photos in front of the house right after a fresh snowfall. You can also venture to a public park with that perfect snow covered hill or frozen pond as your background. Get creative with it and capture some snaps having a snowball fight. DIY or talk to a professional photographer to get some suggestions for mood ideas and different poses, from playful to formal. 

Don’t be Afraid of a Photo Studio

Not a fan of the outdoors or the cold? Then a photo studio might be a good option for you, where you can create your own mood with different backgrounds, colors and props. Photographers usually work out of their own studios or have suggestions for a local studio rental where you can set up a holiday mini-shoot. This is a great option to dress your children in their holiday finest, or outfit the whole family in themed apparel. These beautiful images of your family will continue to deliver joy throughout the year.

The Majestic Tree Farm…

Want to check two things off your list at once? Pick up your Christmas tree at a local tree farm and take your family photos, all at the same time!. There is something sentimental about going to a tree farm (haven't you seen Christmas Vacation?!) and the trees create a cozy, Christmas-y setting, giving your photos an old-fashioned, rustic feel.

For a Fancier Option…Try Downtown

It's Christmas time in the city! Take a stroll downtown and discover some of your city's most dazzling decor. Taking a vacation to a big city? Plan in advance and scout out a spot to snap the perfect family photo. If you don’t live in or near a bustling metropolis, you can also explore your own town for some family picture locations that offer small town vibes. This is a great way to incorporate something personal into your photos by showing off your favorite spots in your very own hometown.

Get Playful with a Snowman

Want something really outside the box and playful? Get creative and build snowmen that match your family! Your family members can customize their dopplegangers with scarves, game controllers, hats, favorite sports team gear and more. Anything to reflect the many personalities within your family and it’s an especially great option if your family can’t all be together for a photo shoot.

The Traditional Stairs Photo

If you’re going for a  classic look or have a very large family, add some drama with an elegant winding staircase as your backdrop. Staircases allow you to stagger your subjects and thus, allow more people to fit into a photo. It’s also a no-fuss option that will result in a timeless family portrait.

Beach Vibes

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Or rather, a sandy white Christmas? Consider taking your Christmas photos at the beach.  It’s a fun, quirky option to make them stand out - especially if you are dressed in your finest winter attire.  If you don’t live near a beach, think about planning a Christmas photo during your summer family vacation. People love to see photos of warm weather in the long, cold winter months!