Once a year, my entire family gets together. Ideally, we’d mark this occasion with a group photo, right?


It’s usually snowing. The comforting home we all gather in is cozy (read: small), has a great ambiance (read: terrible lighting), and full of love (read: we are all adults now and cramming everyone “together” takes more room than it used to). So that leaves me in a real pickle. Trek somewhere together for a photo? It ain’t happening for my family, and I bet it ain’t happening for yours.

Solution. Find a prop, any prop. A fluffy red Santa hat, a goofy coffee mug, a pair of striking glasses, a fake animal nose, a beer can. You get the point.

Take a photo with every person with the prop. You don’t have to make a big production about it. In the example below, I didn’t worry about lighting, posing, or backdrops AT ALL. In fact, some of the images are downright scary by my standards. These were all taken about 30 seconds after Christmas Eve gift opening of 16 people, exactly where they were the time in less than 3 minutes.

To really put the finishing touches on your image, crop each one to a square and arrange using an app like PicFrame. Viola.

3 minute family photo