It’s officially the holiday season, and if there’s one thing we know to be true, we’ll all soon be frantically trying to pull together family photo ideas in time to get those cards in the mail. Good news—we’ve gathered the most creative ideas for holiday photos out there, and all of then can be recreated with ease! Click through the slideshow to get inspired.

photo: Ayren Jackson-Cannady

Pose Like Your Kid's Drawing

The best source of inspiration is sometimes right in your own home. Have the entire family recreate a favorite drawing or sketch. Not only will you get chuckles from friends and family, but it’s a great chance to show off your budding Picasso’s artistic skills.

 

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photo: Jennifer Massoni Pardini

Make the Most of Fall

If we’re on top of our game, we’re usually taking our holiday photos when it’s peak fall rather than winter. If you don’t want to hold out for that first snow or you live somewhere milder, throw those autumn leaves into the air and capture some seasonal (and childhood) magic.

 

Reflect as a Family

Capture the magic of the holidays with this one-of-a-kind picture by photographer Leilani Rogers. You might need an extra set of hands and a little bit of time to get it just right, but the results are well worth the commitment.

 

photo: Jacqui Boland

Chalkboard Background

If you’ve got access to a chalkboard, go wild with clever designs like this mom and her family did.

Elf Yourself

In the same vein, let your little one dress up as Santa’s favorite helper, and incorporate a funny saying in the background to top it off.

Transplant the Couch

Drag the couch into the backyard for a casual but unique portrait. A “Merry Christmas” banner and a few festive lights top off the look.

Classic Christmas

For big laughs, send out photos suited up as Ralphie and the rest of the Parker family. Mom Amanda scoured deal sites like eBay and Amazon to find everything she needed to re-create the classic scene. Want to know how she did it? Hop on over to Work in Progress to find out.

 

Frame Yourself

Grab an empty frame and try out different poses. Have the little ones stand in front of the frame, or squish the whole group behind the frame.

Use Props

Using props still gives holiday photos “that certain something."  Raid the dress up bin for silly hats, boas and superhero masks, or find printables to make your own. And remember, when it comes to dressing up your photos, bigger and brighter is always better!

 

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Strike a Pose

Who doesn’t love a good photo booth shot? Have each family member take silly and sweet pictures on their own, then patch them together for an adorable overview of everyone’s unique personalities.

Spell It Out

Decide on a word that describes your family or the holidays, then have each person hold a letter of the word. It’ll add an interesting element to the photo without distracting from your pretty faces!

Rock Out Together

Stage a cute scene like this one based on your family’s interests. Whether you’re cooking in the kitchen or rocking out in the living room, the little ones will love playing along.

Create a Scene with Sidewalk Chalk

Here’s another fun take on the chalk idea: use the sidewalk or another flat surface as your canvas, then let the kids interact with it in the photo.

Get Lit

Let the little ones decorate you like a Christmas tree. You can use a photo software to make the colorful lights pop, leaving the rest of the picture in black and white.

Hit Up the Tree Farm

The local tree farm provides an idyllic (and nearly effortless) backdrop for just about any photo staging. Bring along a toy car (or wagon) and pair with a wee tree for instant sweetness.

 

Put on a Good Face

Artistic and retro, the “vinyl face” is a photo trend that works especially for camera-shy tykes. Play around with magazines, books or movie posters for a variety of expressions. Follow Japanese photographer Hideaki Hamada on Instagram for enchanting photos of his lil’ sons and life around Osaka, Japan.

 photo: Hideaki Hamada

Superhero Style

From Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming to LEGO Batman AND LEGO Ninjango, 2017 has been a super-heroic year. Ride the theme into a fun New Year’s greeting. Bring it, 2018!

 

Simple Silhouette

Simple silhouettes give family photos a classic touch. Oh, and this idea is super handy when someone isn’t be looking their best or if the kids have (already) started making mud pies in their holiday outfits.

 

Say It with a Sign

Update your friends and loved ones with a chalkboard message that says it all, like this adorable shot we scooped out over at Ryan O'Dowd Photography. Whether it's you or your kids holding the news, adding this small detail makes a standard family pose extra-special.

—Susie Foreman with Jennifer Masson Pardini & Gabby Cullen

 

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