Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Works-For-Me Wednesday: Take Your Own Family Portrait

We used to schedule an appointment every year for our family portrait to give out in our Christmas cards. It was always hard to find the right time, hard to avoid the crowds, and hard to resist the sales pitch to buy more of the expensive pictures.

A few years ago, we thought we'd save ourselves the money and the hassle and take our own picture. We had a tripod and a digital camera, so my hubby set it all up and used the timer. Success! Here's our first one:

December 2005

That worked out so well and we just had some inexpensive prints made to include in some of our cards. So we did it again the next year:

December 2006

We uploaded the pictures online and were able to add borders or change to black and white, etc. before having them printed - that made it fun! Again we were happy with the results and did it again last year:

December 2007

These pictures are certainly not perfect, but that's OK with us. They turned out pretty good considering that my hubby gets it all ready and then sets the timer and runs over! We'll be doing it again this year - the only decision left is what to wear!

Here's an even more frugal idea - mail inexpensive Christmas cards without your prints and then e-mail your fabulous family portrait to your friends and family with an online Christmas greeting. Your loved ones will enjoy getting Christmas greetings both online and in the mail and they can store or print your picture themselves.

Taking our own family portrait works for me (us!)! For more great tips, visit Works-For-Me-Wednesday at Rocks In My Dryer.


  1. We like taking family photos too! If you visit my blog, you'll see our header is very "imperfect" but just fine for us :)

  2. Aw, those are nice!! We do our own too but they never turn out like that. My hubby is never smiling (hates being in pics) and the kids are making goofy faces or squirming and being pinned down or something. Yup, they turn out... uh... unique?

  3. My husband (the freelance photographer lol) Has taken our family picture since our second year of marriage. Our first picture we got done at Sears but after that we started doing then ourselves. Yours turned out great. Digital cameras make it so much easier now as you can see the picture right away.
    I get one don't I?

  4. That is a really good idea!! I think I might try that this year:-)

  5. Great idea and very nice pictures of your family.

  6. We did the same thing this year! I was able to take a great picture of the Chickies, print up our own newletter and be done with it!

    Your pictures turned out great!

  7. Love that, and I like your "natural" background better than the fake tree/couch at the photographer's. Is it hard to get the tripod adjusted to the right level?

  8. Wow Lisa - you such a beauty!!! :)
    (Your family is also beautiful!)

    We are a little spoiled because my father-in-law was a professional photographer, so we get pics from him every year! You have my personal blog and you can take a look for yourself...but I was wondering if you would e-mail me your address so I can send you one personally! :)

  9. Oh I love it. I love watching the family grow and change. You would think with me taking pictures I would do that too.....nope. Don't have one picture of us together with using the timer. I need to try it!!!

  10. We take most of our own too. Never did the whole family though, but we just got a tripod so I'll have to test it out.


  11. Those are great! And I agree, its jut not worth the stress of going to a studio. We usually get my mom to take a shot when we're in Maine. But we got a really good one with a camera and tripod and timer the year my youngest was 1.

    And you're adorable! I think that's the first time I've seen a picture of you, other than your profile shot.

  12. I have yet to take my little one in for professional pictures... So far doing it myself is working!

  13. Really smart!

    I like that saving money idea for sure.

    Now it's senior picture time for my son.....I hate to pay for that.


  14. Hi Lisa, Your family pics are great! You are so pretty and your "men" are some kind of handsome! :) My daughter has mastered the self-portraits. I just have mastered the macro button! LOL! But I am learning. Can't wait to see your pic for this year! ~Rhonda :)

  15. You are so beautiful, Lisa. You'd make any photo great. I love receiving picture cards. I save them and watch how the kids grow up. It's hard to see that in person but it really becomes clear in pictures. Your own son starts out in your photos as a little boy but changes so quickly into a big guy.

  16. What a great idea! A friend of mine offered to let me use her tripod. But we take such terrible pictures that I think we need to see a professional(for more reasons than one;)

  17. You are gorgeous! :-D And what a handsome family!

    I used to go through the same ordeal of taking my family to a studio. But back in the day (when my girls were young) we didn't have all those fancy digital cameras and photo altering or viewing options. Professional portraits were all we could really do. And oh, how bad they turned out in spite of being professional! Now we always snap our own. They aren't perfect either but we are always a lot happier than we were going to the studios!

    Great idea to save money too!


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