Life in Lape Haven

How We Capture a Great Family Picture – Every Time

Life in Lape Haven: How We Capture a Great Family Picture Every Time - Our One Trick for Always Getting a Great Shot of Our Family

In case you don’t know, I love taking pictures, and my favorite subject is my family. While I am always taking pictures of my boys, I generally have my camera with me at all of our family gatherings, too.

A few years ago, my side of the family began making an effort to take group pictures whenever we were all (or mostly all) present.

If all of my family were together today, we’d have my parents, my 3 siblings and me and our spouses, plus 8 grandsons, 1 granddaughter (married to my oldest nephew), and a great-granddaughter. I don’t know of any additions on the way at the moment, even with Elijah still praying for another sibling, but I’m sure our numbers will continue to grow, and with all of our families growing both in age and number, we want to document our time together as often as we can.

Having a professional photographer take our picture would be ideal, but since we don’t usually have a professional photographer at our family gatherings, we are still determined to get whatever pictures we can using my rather decent Canon with the timer and set up on a tripod.

However, getting several little boys (and big boys – thanks to my brothers who don’t relish getting pictures) to sit still and cooperate for photos can be difficult.

We have a few tricks that we try, but one of our solutions to keeping their attention has resulted in some of our favorite family pictures.

What is it?


Life in Lape Haven: How We Capture a Great Family Picture Every Time - Our One Trick for Always Getting a Great Shot of Our Family

In my family, having fun is nothing new. We’ve never been a very serious group, and we love to laugh and joke around.

So when we were on vacation with my family when Elijah was only 3 months old, we were out on the beach, trying to get a nice group picture, and someone suggested, “Let’s do a silly picture next! Everyone do something silly or goofy.”

With everyone in agreement, I pressed down the shutter button and ran back to my spot in the group, trying to find my silly pose before the timer went off.

It was a fun way to capture each individual personality of our fun-loving family in a wonderful way that could never be achieved with a seriously posed picture with everyone’s forced, plastic smiles.

Even my non-picture loving brothers showed their styles, with one completely turning his back on the shot.

That picture was an instant classic.

With the success of that picture, we started a tradition. So now every time we do a family picture, everyone knows to expect a “silly” picture (or a few) at the end. All the little guys grab on to that, sticking out their tongues or making funny faces at the camera, free to move a bit instead of sitting perfectly still and having to behave.

And without fail, those silly, goofy, free-to-be-them pictures are always our favorites of the shoot, the ones we can’t wait to see. Sure, we always take a few “good” pictures, too, and it’s nice to have those. We make a good-looking crew. But the silly pictures are the ones that capture my real family.

Whenever I look at them, I can’t help but smile, as the memories of giggles, tickles, and different funny faces we tried out play through my mind.

Those are the moments with my family that I want to keep forever.

Those are the ones that make the great family pictures.


Here’s one more, from my parents’ 40th anniversary this year. It was a little departure from our usual silly picture, but I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a really great picture nonetheless. 🙂

Life in Lape Haven: How We Capture a Great Family Picture Every Time - Our One Trick for Always Getting a Great Shot of Our Family

TELL ME: Do you have any fun tricks or traditions for your family photos?


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Hi! I’m Kishona. I pour all my heart into creating a happy, Christ-centered home & haven for my sweet husband & our three little ninjas (or super heroes or Jedis…it depends on the day). I dabble in photography, concoct in the kitchen, and love sharing my adventures & the lessons I'm learning as I experience God's faithfulness through the joy & chaos of motherhood.

9 CommentsLeave a comment

    • Thanks, Gidget. Yes, getting a good picture with a large group is tricky. We always do several takes, as quickly as we can, and throw in the silly pictures at the end. For us, that seems to work really well, and it makes it fun. 🙂

  • What a great tradition…and some really great photos! I’m a huge fan of nice photos on the all done professionally. Lord knows I can’t take those myself. However, I have to agree that some of our “screw ups” are still my favorite photos. I still have one on the wall of my son and 2 nieces. The oldest looks perfect, smiling as she was told. My youngest niece has her chin in her hands looking so completely bored! Then my son is on his belly, crying hysterically. There is just something about the memories behind the silly or unposed shots. Love this idea!

    • “There is just something about the memories behind the silly or unposed shots.” Exactly, Emily! I love a picture that tells a story. We like having nicely done professional pictures, too, but those rarely have the stories that the silly pictures do. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Some of my very favorite photos are definitely the “non-perfect” ones, and I like the idea of a silly picture as well. We often do that with our kids, but we should do it more often with everyone included. I LOVE the anniversary picture!

  • I love our 40th-anniversary picture the best of all our pictures. That was a great idea and says so much about our love being passed to the next generations. I love the boys covering their faces. I didn’t catch that at first, but it is so good.

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