DIY Photography, Family Adventures

DIY Family Christmas Card Photo Shoot

This past weekend the Florida Morehouse family decided to take an adventure outdoors over to Dickson Azalea Park, all in hopes of capturing a family photo to use for our Christmas card. I’m so excited about this because it’s the first year we’ll be sending out a Christmas photo card, plus it’s Johnny’s first Christmas. Oh My so many exciting things happening! So I was very bold and decided to go ahead and complete a DIY Family Christmas Card Photo Shoot.


I used a Canon SX10 camera along with a tripod. Seriously, nothing fancy and right now I have the setting on auto I’m in the process of learning about the camera. For this photo shoot  I focused on using the auto timer, working with the positioning, and the location. 

 I also attempted to use a few of our own Christmas decorations as props so I didn’t have to go out and spend anything, BUT funny thing happend while we were all set at our location my husband forgot to grab the props basket…(mama was not happy), but in the end I had to let it go and the pictures turned out great!

Follow along as I share tips on how to prepare for a family photoshoot! It was quite a learning process and I have so much to share!

{Tips on What to Wear}


These are great color pallets to use as a guide!

  • no competing colors, keep it simple
  • coordinate, but don’t go matchy matchy (stay within the same color scheme)
  • consider the colors of your location (you don’t want to blend in) For example our location had a lot of greens and browns (earthy colors), so we had to go with more neutral or bold colors)
  • less is more! don’t overdo accessories, keep it light, you don’t want to overload with jewelry and remember scarfs work too!
  • refrain from having too many patterns, it’s okay for one or two people to have a “busier shirt”, but then base your color pallet off of what colors are within that shirt. For example, Johnny wore a flannel patterned shirt with 3 different types of colors so I used that as my guide.
  • make sure everyone wears the same types of pants; jeans, slacks, shorts, etc.
  • shoes and socks matter! make sure your shoes and socks (especially for men) are decent and coordinate for pictures as they tend to show up in family portraits.

{Preparing & Getting Ready}

  • pick a spot that isn’t too busy, we chose Dickson Azalea Park because it’s kind of tuck back within a neighborhood and I don’t think many people know about all the great spots for a photo shoot (beside the professionals!)
  • go during the best lighting, in order to get great pictures outdoors go during one of the golden hours (an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset)
  • make sure the mom of the house gets ready first because it’s important for her to feel and look good too! If she gets ready last there’s too much rushing and pressure.
  • make sure to wipe your little one’s face clean, you never know what they may have still stuck on their face
  • planning out your poses does NOT work because it never goes as planned in your mind. Basically when you get to your location have more of a family play time, this produces the best results and provides more natural looking photos.


Now, if you’re doing an outdoor scene props aren’t necessary, it’s optional and all to your own liking.

My rule of thumb that I have been trying really hard to follow is “less is more”. I put together a small basket of Christmas items that could be useful within the photos (I wasn’t going to use them all, but you never know what ideas you may have when your in the moment, so I wanted to be prepared.) I also wanted to try to incorporate our Christmas stockings. In the end we never even used them because my husband forgot to pack the basket in the car…but we ended up getting great photos that can be displayed beyond Christmas.

{Bringing it all Together}

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

After choosing the outfits and props I set everything out on the bed to make sure it coordinated. This is a must! I also recommend taking a picture of the items together and then viewing it just to make sure everything flows together nicely.

P.S. If you would like you’re little one to wear a bow or bow tie and you can’t find one that matches their outfit, view my “no sew tutorial on how to make you’re own bow tie“.

{During the Family Photo Shoot}

  • BEST ADVICE: No matter what make sure all the adults keep smiling and looking at the camera, eventually your little one will look (especially when the timer mode light flashes).
  • anything with a texture incorporate it into your photo (we used trees, rocks, and a wood bridge)
  • use anything that has a unique architecture to it
  • try many different types of positions, maybe even some where your off-center
  • make sure to look at the images after 2 pictures to see if any adjustments need to be made, especially with the camera’s angle.
  • make sure to pay attention to the position of everyone’s hands (you don’t want awkward hands!) instead of by the sides try on the shoulders, chest, or lap
  • make sure everyone is close together you want the pictures to feel cozy (so move in tight with one another!)
  • BE patient & SNAP lots of Pictures

Last, but not least…

I know it can be hard, but try not to stress out about getting the perfect picture. There will at least be one good one, you’ll be surprised (I know I was). Let your family’s personality take charge of the photo shoot. Luckily I have a very laid back husband who helped me to not stress over being perfect. Our pictures aren’t “professional quality” but they’re our memories and we probably had more fun capturing these pictures ourselves (even with a cranky little boy).

{Printing Christmas Cards}

Here are great sources you can use! Make sure to always google for coupons! I’ve always had luck finding some.

I hope these tips helped you either to get ready for a real professional photo shoot OR it encouraged you to try your own DIY Family Photos.

Happy Preparation for the Holidays!

Here are the Rest!


I always love hearing from people, so feel free to share your insights in the comments below! You can also share this post with anyone else and follow me on my facebook page,  as well as instagram. Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

Wishing You Well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s