The holidays are a time to come together and spend quality time with our loved ones. Starting with Thanksgiving and spanning all the way through New Year’s Day, this is a season when you can anticipate logging some great family memories. While the holidays are a great chance to come together, it can also be a very busy time. From shopping to traveling, cooking and organizing all the details in between, the 24 hours in a day can go by quickly! You may want to keep a printout of our Christmas checklist timeline nearby!
All of this can make gathering the family to take a holiday-card-worthy photo one of the biggest challenges of the season. Detailed family photo planning, which includes deciding what to wear and selecting a setting, is a lot to manage. Especially when brainstorming family Christmas photo shoot ideas. But what can you do instead of pictures with Santa? At Minted, we’ve put together some of our favorite family Christmas picture ideas all in one spot for you to review. Whether you are looking for fun photo ideas, need help coordinating poses, or would like some suggestions for props, we have you covered. Continue reading for our 40 ideas to make your 2021 Christmas family photos unforgettable.
Family Christmas photo shoot ideas begin with holiday outfits. Your family’s attire can make your holiday card feel special and unique. So what should your family wear for the Christmas photoshoot? There are so many different ways you can style your family’s clothing to make your holiday card pop or to share that holiday spirit in mail form. Start with something simple like picking a favorite color that your whole family will look beautiful in. Jewel tones, like blue, green or burgundy tend to be holiday favorites. Another option for your family's outfit is to highlight a coordinating pattern. Plaids, checks and winter florals give off that holiday feeling. One last outfit idea for your Christmas card is the quintessential matching family pajamas. This festive look shows how cozy and comfortable your family is this holiday season. Whether you are in the kitchen drinking hot chocolate together, in front of a roaring fireplace making smores, or cuddled up on a comfortable couch reading a book together, you really can’t go wrong with matching family pajamas.
Classic Christmas Plaid by Rebecca Durflinger
Making cookies over the holidays is a popular holiday tradition in many households. What if you photographed that event for your annual year-end greeting card? This casual approach to getting a perfect Christmas family photo will showcase the natural fun your family shares together during the holiday season. Don’t worry if the kids or counter get dirty because it’s all part of the authentic photo look! We even have some adorable holiday-themed kids aprons that will pair perfectly with your photoshoot.
Peace Love and Cookies by Erika Firm
Capture a holiday card pose of your children in one of their favorite spots: the playground. Whether that’s in a neighborhood park or on a collection of logs in the woods, capturing your children playing and exploring will be sure to translate to smiles that look perfect for the family Christmas card. Get creative with the family poses for these adorable Christmas card picture ideas. Swinging on swings, arranged along a slide and playing in a sandbox are just a few Christmas poses to consider for your kids’ Christmas pictures.
glitter arch by Design Lotus
For families that adore biking, boating, skating or any kind of get-up-and-go activity, consider showcasing these passions with a unique family Christmas photo idea. Whether you’ve just picked up a new hobby recently or have been going strong for years, a playful photo displaying how your family gets from point A to point B can be fun to engage with. Think about how you can pay tribute to a shared activity that means a lot to you all in this family-themed holiday card idea.
Classically Christmas by Melanie Kosuge
The “selfie” image is here to stay. Looking for an easy, casual and fun family Christmas photo idea? Look no further than your own phone. Taking a selfie can be as simple as using your arm, or if you truly want a bit more height, purchase an inexpensive selfie stick. Elongating the distance between the camera and your family subjects will also allow you to capture more of a background. Get creative with these Christmas picture ideas by leaving a messy floor or table in the background, standing in front of a recognizable building or including a planned “photobomb” of a local celebrity. A more casual selfie pose may also work well if you want to use a non-photo holiday card and place your family photos on the inside or back of the card.
Peace out by Frooted Design
If planning and orchestrating a family holiday photo shoot is just not in the cards this year, embrace all the photos you already have on your phone! Even the simplest photos can be spruced up by making them black and white or using a program to apply an artistic filter. Zooming in on your subject’s faces and cropping out anything in the background is another simple trick. There are many ways to start with a simple phone photo and transform it into a beautiful option for the front of your holiday card.
Merry Arches by Lori Wemple
Another favorite family tradition is picking out the Christmas tree, which can lead to awesome Christmas photoshoot ideas for the holiday card. Capture a behind-the-scenes look at where your family accomplishes this task. Another Christmas photo idea can center around the act of decorating the tree once it is home. Everyone has their favorite ornaments and someone always receives the honor to top the tree with a star or special topper. Photograph this family event and share it with your close friends and family in 2021.
Sleigh Ride by Jill Means
Try looking inside your home with a new perspective to find fun Christmas card picture ideas. While the COVID-19 pandemic limited our options for fun backdrops, Christmas 2021 is time to honor and celebrate how creative you and your family got with what was available to you. Even a shot of your living room, completely empty of people, with a note about how you’re all out there somewhere having vaccinated fun makes for a cute and timely Christmas card photo idea. Have a favorite chair, a cozy couch throw, or a large plant (even better,Christmas flowers)? Put those three items together into a scene and you have a great setup for a family photo. Looking for another family Christmas card pose right in your own home? Standing in front of your favorite large scale art piece can be a stylish option. Or, you could try posing in front of old family photos. It may be fun for the recipients of your holiday card to peek in the background and see photos of the kids when they were babies or that 10-year-old wedding photo.
Double Heart by Up Up Creative
Especially in 2020, artists took to painting their beautiful works of art in all sorts of ways. In large urban cities and small rural neighborhoods, artists have created beautiful art on exterior walls. These are sometimes called wall murals or wall graffiti and come in many different artistic designs and colors. You may already know of one nearby, or you may have to search the internet to find a new spot. Either way, discovering an amazing outdoor wall mural, taking your family photos in front, and pairing it with a cool Christmas card design, will make for a stunning 2021 family Christmas photoshoot idea.
Gilded Branches by GeekInk Design
Make the love your family shares the focal point of your Christmas photo with a simple backdrop and casual clothes. Grab the kids, put on your favorite outfit and have pictures taken in front of a simple grey or white wall. This is a great option for the family looking for an easy and beautiful family picture idea. Choosing a simple backdrop also opens up your options as far as a holiday card design. A chic minimalist photo will pair perfectly with a typographic, modern, or really any holiday card design you like!
Rather than trying to get everyone into matching holiday outfits or worrying about the perfect locale, avail yourself of holiday-themed props for Christmas family picture ideas. Santa or elf hats likely come to mind first, but think outside the stocking cap on this one! Let the kids lick candy canes. Have each person in the family hold a plate of cookies, slurp on a milk mustache and look guilty about eating Santa’s treats. String holiday lights around Dad while the kids shove tinsel into his pockets. Even outdoor lawn decor can bring fun and easy Christmas card photo ideas to life without much prep.
Looking for the perfect holiday prop for kids? Pose with them in a wheelbarrow or wagon for a rustic look, fit for the season and super-cute Christmas family picture ideas. No matter your backdrop, a wagon is a perfect prop for a Christmas photo featuring your young children, and they will stay comfortable with a place to sit. You can even play off the colors of the wheelbarrow to make coordinating everyone’s outfits a breeze.
Merry Makers designed by Snow and Ivy
Looking for a more classic vibe? You may want to consider a black and white theme as one of your family Christmas photoshoot ideas. A black and white photo is the perfect choice for a timeless Christmas photo that can be cherished for years to come. Black and white photos also pair well with colored Christmas card templates of any style. So if you have your eye on a bold card design, maybe a black and white photo is the right idea! We even have some black and white holiday card designs you can pair the photo with.
Magical Holiday designed by Ella Weaver
Does your family love to have fun together? Christmas family photos don’t need to be stiff and posed. Showcase your family’s personality in your holiday photo this year with some movement! Not only is this a great way to share the joy of the holiday season, but it's also a perfect solution for camera-shy family members. Not sure how to pose? Have a dance party! Jump in the air! Start a pillow fight! There are a lot of easy active Christmas card picture ideas. Friends and family will love your vibrant photo, and you won’t have to stress over how to pose everyone together.
Best Year Ever by Amy Payne
Sometimes the perfect location for your Christmas photo is right out your front door! Feature the warmth of your loving home on the front of your holiday card this year. Why waste a bunch of time this holiday season searching for the perfect setting? Just head to your front porch (and watch your favorite Christmas movie later as a family with the time you saved). This is also a perfect photo idea if you are moving during the holidays. Combine your moving announcement with your holiday card seamlessly with this front porch photo, and shop our holiday moving announcements for a chic “we’ve moved” holiday card. It can be a creative juxtaposition to showcase a simple picture taken on the front porch inside the card and an elegantly framed gold foil card design on the front.
More cheer by Lori Wemple
Want to incorporate your fur-babies into the holiday card? An easy way to pose everyone (plus the dogs) is to sit on the front steps or the porch of your home. This way everyone is perfectly framed by the features of your house and has a comfortable seat for the family photoshoot. Choosing this option also makes it easy if you are photographing younger children that might need snacks or breaks during the shoot. You can easily run inside and grab whatever it is they need.
Warm Fuzzies by Lea Delaveris
Does your family love nature? Bring the outdoors into your holiday card! This woodland setting is perfect for a fall family photoshoot. The natural greens and browns of the grass and trees will create a backdrop that makes your family pop, and the light shining through the leaves will give you a luminous glow. Take a stroll in the woods and capture some precious family moments for this year’s 2021 Christmas card. Pair with complementing, but not matching outfits for a more relaxed vibe.
Holiday of Joy designed by Carrie ONeal
Have a great historical landmark in your area or a favorite place you frequent as a family? Highlight the uniqueness of where you live by making that special spot the background of your holiday card photo. Holiday cards are all about spreading joy and updating loved ones on news with your family, so make it that much more personal by including a well-known spot in your area into your Christmas photo shoot ideas for the holiday card.
personal by Kate Ahn
Pose at sunset for the perfect light to frame your family. Also known as “the golden hour,” dusk provides a warm golden glow that photography buffs adore because it is universally flattering. If you are taking your own Christmas family photos this year, taking your photos during the golden hour will help your holiday card look like it was done by a pro! Friends and family will be able to feel the warmth radiating from your gorgeous holiday photo. Pair the glowing colors of a sunset with one of our beautiful Christmas cards.
Edge Dip by Julie Murray
You won’t need to shout “smile” for this family Christmas photo idea. Take your children to a nearby snow-covered hill and let them play with their favorite winter toy, the sled! Capture their natural joy as they speed down the hill and trek back up. For the brave parents, consider a group shot with the whole family in the sled or on a toboggan as an adventurous family Christmas card idea