15 Unique Family Portrait Ideas for Your Christmas Photos

It’s December. Thanksgiving leftovers have been devoured and forgotten, their space in the refrigerator now taken over by eggnog and cookie ingredients. This can only mean one thing: it’s time to get serious about Christmas.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The month of December goes by like a flash. Without careful planning, you could find yourself aimlessly wandering a jam-packed shopping mall on December 23, bewildered and woefully unprepared. To help you avoid this, we’ve been offering helpful holiday tips, tricks, and gift guides on our blog since November. 

Now that we’re entering the home stretch, we’re going to kick things up a notch. We know the holidays can be stressful. In the rush to create the perfect atmosphere in our homes, pick the perfect gifts for our loved ones, and host the perfect holiday parties, we end up having few opportunities to enjoy ourselves. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right strategy and some allotted time for relaxation, you can plan a holiday season that’s both incredibly productive and a lot of fun. 

We want to help you check everything off your Christmas to-do list like a pro. That’s why this year, we’re starting a new tradition. We’re proud to announce our first ever Christmas blog series: Tips for a Perfect Holiday Season 2019. 

That’s right! Throughout the entire month of December, we’ll be sharing our gift-giving expertise and other creative ideas in a series of holiday-themed blog posts to help you bring your A-game this Christmas season. 

This week, we’re kicking off the series with some fresh twists on a time-honored tradition: family Christmas photos.  

The holiday season is the best time of year to take family pictures. For one thing, everyone makes an extra effort to spend more time with their loved ones, which means that it’s much easier to get your whole family in one place. With everyone participating in fun holiday traditions and activities, there are sure to be many special moments worth capturing on camera. 

A lot of families like to turn their holiday photos into Christmas cards so that they can share their happy memories with friends and relatives that weren’t able to join them. Others like to preserve these pictures in scrapbooks and albums to look through in years to come. Lately, however, the most popular way to share photos is through social media. 

Knowing that so many friends, distant family members, and even strangers will be looking at their pictures online, a lot of people are starting to go all out when planning their Christmas photoshoots. From choosing artistic backgrounds to incorporating creative props, holiday photos have come a long way from the typical group shot in front of the tree. With so many great photo ideas online, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try to experiment a little this year!

The thing to remember when choosing a theme for your holiday photos is that every family is different. Whether it’s big or small, made of blood-relatives or close friends, your family has its own unique beauty. Your Christmas photos should reflect that. 

When it comes to getting the perfect family pictures, it’s never too early to get those creative juices flowing. The sooner you start planning your photoshoot, the more time you’ll have to experiment with different themes and concepts. 

At ArtPix 3D, we happen to know a thing or two about taking great photos, and we’ve got some ideas to help you get started. Here are 15 unique family portraits to make your Christmas photos stand out in 2019.

A Royal Family Portrait

Visiting relatives at Christmastime usually means getting dressed up in your holiday best. It can be hard to get kids to cooperate, especially when they’d rather stay home and play with their new toys. Sometimes even grown-ups would rather stay in their pajamas than wear formal clothes! A Christmas photo that’s guaranteed to make everyone want to look their best is a royal family portrait. Pretend to be a family of kings, queens, princes, and princesses by dressing to the nines and striking a regal pose. Be sure that no one gets caught sneezing or making a silly face, or it’ll go straight to the tabloids!

The Family Band

Who doesn’t dream of being a rock star? Make those dreams come true for a day while getting some unique Christmas photos that the whole family will love. Give everyone a musical instrument to pose with, whether it’s a real guitar you happen to have around the house or a pretend instrument you made out of a cereal box. Get a shot of your family practicing in the basement, packing up the car­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­‒‒ I mean, tour bus­­­­­‒‒ before a show, or posing for the cover of their latest album. As long as everyone is free to use their imagination, they’re sure to have a great time.

Christmas Tree Decorating

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Sometimes, the best photos are the ones where no one is posing. A great way to get a candid photo of family and friends just being themselves is to have them engaged in a holiday activity, like decorating the tree. It’s also an excellent way to keep restless children occupied while you take the picture. Everyone loves decorating the Christmas tree, so your holiday photos will show the whole family having a great time. An added advantage is that you’ll get two daunting tasks out of the way at once!

Holiday Background

Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

If you tend to go all out with your holiday home decor at Christmastime, you shouldn’t let your hard work and creativity go to waste. Let those personalized Christmas stockings, carefully curated holiday ornaments, and artistic table settings become the focal point of your holiday photos this year. You’ll be able to look back with pride on all the effort you put into your Christmas decorations. These pictures will also serve as a handy guide if you try to recreate the same look the following year.

The Snow Day

Those of you dreaming of a white Christmas will want to remember the magic of the first snowfall of the season when it finally arrives. Bundle up the whole family and head to the nearest park, forest preserve, or even front yard for some holiday photos that will be just as enjoyable to shoot as they will be to look back on. Your kids will have so much fun playing in the snow, they won’t have time to grumble about having to smile for a few pictures in between. Plus, the natural light and stark white background will make for some stunning photos.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

It may be challenging to pull this one off, but it’ll be well worth the patience and determination if you can. Get a few shots of your family members jumping into the air or dancing around; it will not only make your photos more dynamic and exciting, but it’s sure to fill them with smiling faces, as well. This photoshoot may require a trip outdoors to avoid someone accidentally knocking over the Christmas tree with an overly boisterous holiday dance move!

Reading Signs

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but sometimes a picture with words is even better, especially if you’re ready to get creative. Another fun outdoor photo opportunity is to look for an interesting sign that you can incorporate into your pictures. It could be an ordinary road sign or a business sign with an amusing slogan; what’s really important is the scene you build around it. For example, you might have everyone in your family do the opposite of what the sign says, or purposely misinterpret the wording. If there are no local signs that spark an idea, try making your own! With a little imagination, these family Christmas pictures will keep everyone laughing for years to come.

Away from Home for Christmas

Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

If you’re traveling to visit relatives this holiday season, you don’t have to wait until you arrive to start getting some great family pictures. Document your trip by having your family pose for a few photos while packing their bags, loading up the car, and waiting in the airport or train station. If you’re taking a road trip, gather in front of each rest stop for a group picture. Not only will these Christmas photos stand out from the typical lineup in your holiday photo album, but they’ll also commemorate the joy of those in-between moments that are so often overlooked.

Christmas Crafts for Kids

One of the best parts of the holiday season is getting together with family and friends for a fun Christmas activity or craft. Whether you’re baking Christmas cookies or fashioning homemade ornaments, this is a great holiday photo opportunity. Let everyone show off their creative skills by having each family member pose with the item they made. That way, when the cookies are eaten and the holiday crafts eventually fall apart, your family will still have something to look back on.

Then and Now Photos

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The Christmas season is a time to spend with family, but it’s also a time to remember those who are no longer with us. Pay tribute to your heritage by digging out an old photo album and recreating a family photo of your ancestors. Try to find a similar background, then get your current family to pose in the same positions as their predecessors. You can create a side by side comparison of the two photos for your Christmas card, or place them together in your holiday scrapbook.

Time Travelers

Draw some inspiration from bygone eras this holiday season and organize a retro photoshoot  that will make it look like your family has traveled through time. If this sounds like too much work, don’t worry: your costumes don’t have to be historically correct to the minutest detail. In fact, you can probably get creative with the clothes you already have around the house. The most important thing is that everyone has a great time taking these vintage photos.

OOTD

Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

Every family is made up of unique and colorful personalities, and your holiday photos should reflect that. This creative Christmas photo idea lets each family member showcase their interests and sense of style. Ask everyone to put together an outfit that best represents their identity, then lay each OOTD (outfit of the day) out artistically on a solid background, such as a wood floor or plain carpet. Be sure to have everyone include a few distinguishing personal items, such as favorite books, mugs, or snacks. This is a great opportunity to introduce very small children to the idea of individual self-expression. Everyone will have a great time looking back at these unusual portraits and trying to guess which outfits belong to each relative!

Snowman Family

Photo by Wengang Zhai on Unsplash

The hardest part of taking a good family Christmas picture is rounding everyone up and getting them to stand still and make pleasant faces. This creative family photo idea lets you avoid all that stress and gets everyone to participate in a fun winter activity, too! Have each relative construct a snowman doppelganger to represent them in the family portrait. Everyone should donate a hat or scarf of their own to help identify their snowman. Once they’ve all been assembled, take a picture of your snowman family. They may not be able to say “Cheese,” but they’ll certainly stand still for the camera!

Waiting for Santa

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Christmas Eve is a magical night. Kids anxiously wait for Santa to drop by with their presents, and everyone grows more and more excited as the arrival of Christmas morning draws near. Capture the wonder of this special night in your holiday photos by taking some pictures of what the night before Christmas looks like in your home. Get a shot of the kids by the window watching the sky for a glimpse of Santa’s reindeer, or snap a picture while they’re sitting by the chimney ready to catch him when he comes down. These creative photos would be perfect for the family Christmas card or holiday photo album.

Kids and Pets

Photo by sabina fratila on Unsplash

We all know that the world revolves around our pets, so why not make them the center of attention in your holiday photos? Have the rest of your relatives gather around their furriest family member for an adorable Christmas photoshoot. This is a great way to keep restless children occupied while you take their picture; they’ll be busy making sure their cat or dog behaves. It’s also a great way to make sure that everyone in the photo is smiling. Who can resist the sweet face of a household pet? 

We hope these family portrait ideas help you create some amazing Christmas photos you can add to the family photo album. If you’re looking for a creative way to display these holiday memories, check out our shop

Stay tuned for more helpful holiday ideas in our next post as we continue our Tips for a Perfect Holiday Season blog series!