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30 Awesome Ideas to Inspire Your Holiday Family Photo

Perfect for Christmas cards!

It's that time of year again!

No, I'm not referring to Fall and its cool autumn breeze, changing leaves, and pumpkin-spiced everything-I'm talking about FAMILY PHOTO SEASON!

There are only a few times a year when your family is expected to indulge the world with a family photo, and the holiday season in one of them. Whether you decide to hang it in the family room, post it online, or send it on a Christmas card, we want YOU to make the most of that rare moment when you have all the people (and pets!) you love squeezed into one photo frame. So gather up whomever forms your family-a significant other, spouse, kids, feline friends, or adorable pups-because we've put together an AWESOME list of holiday photo ideas to inspire you!

For Couples

  1. Mistletoe Magic: Hold mistletoe over your significant other's head while looking mischievous or simply kiss under the mistletoe.
  2. Crazy Christmas Sweaters: Channel your inner goof-ball this Christmas! Buy or DIY a pair of crazy matching Christmas sweaters-the more ornate, the better! Gaudy attachments encouraged.
  3. Candy Cane Heart: Take two candy canes and make a heart shape with them. Hold it between your heads or further out to capture your faces inside the heart-shaped gap! This adds a precious twist to an already perfect holiday photo.
  4. Share-a-Scarf: Buy or knit an EXTRA-LONG scarf to share! Wrap it around you both with the caption, "Wrapped up together this Christmas!"
  5. Pining for You: Head to your nearest Christmas tree farm for miles of perfect pines to use as a holiday backdrop. You can even capture the moment of cutting down your tree! What a classic Christmas photo!
  6. Skating Hand in Hand: Head to your nearest rink and have someone snap a picture of you and your loved one holding hands while skating.
  7. Santa Baby: Dress up as Santa while your significant other sits on your lap. Rock paper scissors might be the best way to decide who wears the big red suit and scratchy beard!
  8. Sleigh Bells Jingling: Snuggle up in a horse drawn sleigh and ask the owner to take your picture!
  9. Christmas Wish: Take a photo together and then add funny thought bubbles over each other's heads. Example: She wants "peace on Earth," he wants "Bacon!" Everyone loves some holiday humor!
  10. Merry Merry Madmen: Dress up with a 1950's-style Mad Men look. Set the scene by sharing cocktails by the fireside, or posing around the tree.

For Families

  1. The Mischievous Elf: Have one of your kids purposefully pull a face, hold bunny ears over your head, or do something obviously prankish. Pair this holiday photo with the tag line, "May your holidays be filled with just enough mischief!"
  2. Christmas Cut-Outs: Cut out Santa beards, elf ears and reindeer antlers and glue them to sticks. Let your family pick out their holiday-themed props and jazz them up! Great for young kids!
  3. Let There Be Lights: Take a string of colorful Christmas lights and wrap or drape them around your family with the caption, "Hope the holidays are merry and BRIGHT." Everyone loves a good holiday pun, right?
  4. Hungry for the Holidays: Take a few candid shots while your family prepares holiday food. There are lots of classic food-related holiday activities to choose from: making Christmas cookies, decorating gingerbread houses, or roasting that fabulous turkey for Thanksgiving.
  5. MistleTOES: For this cute holiday photo idea, take a photo of your family's bare feet on the beach, in the grass, or even in front of your Christmas tree - add a holiday element or two, like an ornament, some holly or straight-up mistletoe. Personalize a message along the lines of, "From our mistletoes to yours!"
  6. Comfy Christmas: Get the entire family to dress up in onesie jammies or snuggies and squeeze onto your biggest couch. To add an extra holiday touch, take the photo while Mom or Dad reads the Night Before Christmas.
  7. Frosty the Sporty Fan: Most families share a favorite sports team. This Christmas, ditch that boring old red and green color scheme and show off your team pride! Dress up in matching sports jerseys or team garb!
  8. Tidings of Technology: Hard to get your family in one place? Take advantage of technology! Snag a screen shot from Skype or Facetime of family members talking, laughing or smiling together.
  9. By The Light of the Tree: Use this fun mood lighting trick in your Christmas photography: Light up your tree and turn of all the other lights in the room. Have the kids stand in front of the lit tree, facing it, to create a gorgeous silhouette effect.
  10. Holly and Hollywood: Bring out the theatrics while paying homage to your favorite Christmas classics. Love It's a Wonderful Life? Dress up in your Sunday best and give the image a vintage black and white look. Crazy about the Christmas Story? Bundle your kids up in tons of winter layers, with their arms sticking straight out. "I CAN'T PUT MY ARMS DOWN!"

For Furry Friends

  1. Perfect Present: Why not show off your furry friends in a fun Christmas photo?! This idea is quick and easy: Place your pet in a wrapped box or let it peak out of the top of a gift bag.
  2. Stocking Stuffers: Place your cat(s) or smaller dog(s) in decorative holiday stockings. Line them up and wait for the resounding, "Awh!!!"
  3. Reindog: Give your dog a reindeer makeover! How cute will your pooch look with a Rudolf-red nose and a pair of antlers?! Very.
  4. Dear Santa: Take a photo of your pet(s) making out a wish list to Santa. You can scribble out a few funny items like catnip or dog treats or... a new owner-just kidding!
  5. Holiday Reflections: For this fun photo idea, use a silver ornament to catch your pet's reflection. The curve of the ornament will give the reflection a quirky, "fun house" feel!
  6. Fido's Snow Fort: Build a snow fort that looks like a doghouse and pose your pup in front.
  7. Naughty and Nice: Adorn one pet with a "Naughty" sign and the other pet with a "Nice" sign. For an extra cute touch, you could place a broken ornament or empty plate of "cookies for Santa" in front of the naughty pet. Great for Christmas cards!
  8. Snowcat: Capture your cat building a cat-shaped snowman in the yard! This will take a little effort, but the payoff is worth it!
  9. It's Cold Outside: Dress up your cat or dog in winter gear-mini stuffed coat, Christmas sweater, boots and/or a hat! Let be honest, pets look ADORABLE dressed up in clothes!
  10. Naughty List: Take a photo of your dog peeing on snowman. Add the caption, "Someone's on the naughty list..."

So get creative while planning your next Christmas card or seasonal family photo shoot. You can pick any of the photo ideas above, combine a few, or adapt a unique one of your own! Come on, let's put a new twist on an old tradition this year, and make your next family photo not good, but GREAT!

One thing we know about your family's holiday photo? It should bring a little joy to the world! You want it to stand out, pop! and be fridge-, wall-, mantel- and social media-worthy! ☺

P.S. Need some photo styling advice from our pros? Check out Picture This: 7 Tips for Perfect Pics