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Fun Family Portraits Ideas

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

family on beachContributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

When it’s time for your next family portrait, will you settle for the ho-hum of a posed studio shot? You know, fake smiles, weird grey background and everyone thinking about anything but that annoying photographer in front of them. Or are you ready for some really fun family portrait ideas, guaranteed to bring out the sparkle in even the grumpiest teen or restless tot?

Here are ten, shall we say, unusual family photo ideas to spark your creativity. Go with one of these, or use them to spark your own out-of-the-box family picture choices. Your family photo wall will never be the same.


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10. Join the circus

circus kids

You don’t have to really run away and join the circus to have fun with this photo idea. Just rent, borrow, make or improvise circus themed costumes for the whole family. If the circus is in town, all the better. Head for the big top with your photographer in tow, and shoot away. Bonus points if you get a real elephant in the shot!

9. Put me in the zoo

top 10 fun family portraits zoo

Zoos are a great place for family portraits. No costumes needed for this one. Just take your photographer along for the day, and let them get great shots by the big cats, in the reptile house and in front of the monkeys. After while, everyone will forget to pose and paste on that fake smile and you’ll end up with a memorable…and natural…family portrait.

Be sure to get some individual shots, too. Then have your zoo portraits “cartoon-ized” into pop art works of fine art or comic book style illustrations.

8. Climb the highest mountain (or the nearest hill!)

top 10 fun family portraits on hill

There’s just something about climbing up high and playing king or queen of the mountain that brings out the smiles. Take advantage of the mountains or hills near your home to set up fun family portraits as everyone climbs, jumps, explores and (grass permitting) roles down the hill. You’ll get a great photo, and an even better family memory.

7. Go retro chic

top 10 fun family portraits vintage

Pick your favorite era, and get everyone decked out in vintage clothes and accessories to bring it to life. Pick a place that represents that decade and head there for your photo shoot. And don’t forget the hats… they are the perfect accessory for a really memorable vintage photo shoot.

And if your era-of-choice happens to be the 60’s or 70’s, get your retro photos transformed into pop art. It’s perfect to complete the look!

6. Who let the dogs in?

top 10 fun family portraits pets

Why shouldn’t your pets be a part of your family photos? After all, they are a part of your family! Adding pets to your family pictures is a great way to lighten the mood and bring smiles to faces. Grab your pets (on leashes, of course), add some of their favorite dog toys or cat treats to your bag, and head out to the park or beach for some shots that include the WHOLE family.

5. Dress to the nines

couple in vintage formal wear

Hum a few bars of “Puttin’ on the Ritz”, then grab your tuxes, gowns, tieras and heels and deck everyone in the family out from head to toe. Play it serious with designer gowns and suits, or play it up with thrift store finds and funny accessories. Find a suitably glamorous locale and let the photo-taking begin!

4. The wheels on the bus…

family on vacation

Or the train or the plane. All of them work. When travel vehicles are involved, the pictures are naturally more fun. Try stacking the luggage in front of an airline counter, posing on the steps of a train or bus, or hamming it up on the top of a double-decked bus.

3. Who needs Halloween?

top 10 fun family portraits costumes

You don’t have to wait until October 31st to dress up in costumes. In fact, it’s more fun to do when no one else is thinking about wearing masks and stage make up. Pick a theme like superheroes, zombies or stars of stage or screen and find a costume for everyone in your family. If the local costume shops are closed for the season, fear not! Online costume stores are open for business all year long!

2. Playtime!

top 10 fun family portraits playground

Playgrounds are a fantastic place to stage fun family portraits! You don’t even have to have little kids to enjoy this setting. Pick a time when the playground is relatively free of little kids and stake out your spot in the sandbox, on the swings or on the slide. Dress the part for playtime, or amp up your photos by combining this location with evening wear, vintage clothes or costumes.

1. It’s a wrap!

top 10 fun family portraits movie making

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Lights, camera, action! Stage your family photos like you’re shooting a major motion picture or heading on stage on Broadway. Or pick your setting and clothes and re-enact your favorite movie scenes. Find props, get into character and enjoy. Your finished photos will show the fun your family had creating those memories.

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