Top Ten Things Not to Do When Taking Family Photos

 

Photo of a camera

Unsplash photo by Jeff Cortez

This post was originally run on March 30, 2015. I hope you enjoy it again or if you haven’t seen it, I hope you enjoy it now. Summertime is photo time. Also, I am at Story Empire today talking about writing motivation killers. Please join me if you wish. Here’s the link. Do come back though.

Top Ten Things Not to Do When Taking Family Photos

10 If you are taking family photos, do not forget the background. If you do, at best, you might have a stray person in the shot. At worst, you may have the perfect family park photo with a lovely backdrop of the trash receptacle or incontinent dog.

9 If you are taking family photos, do not ignore what each person has in their hand. If you do, at best, you’ll take photos that catch a bunch of red Solos. At worse, you may get a fine shot of everyone with red Solos as well as Uncle Jeff and his smoked turkey leg. (Uncle Jeff looks like he has escaped from a quiet care facility)

8 If you are taking family photos, do not let anyone pose without a shirt. If you do, at best, you have to hope your family is well toned. At worst, you will have photos of family members who resemble a gathering of a Yeti clan or a convention of the Michelin Man actor’s league. (That underarm is a classic.)

7 If you are taking family photos, do not let the camera shake. If you do, at best, your photos will be blurry. At worst, the photos will make your family appear as if they are having severe withdrawal from controlled substances. (The DEA is very interested in these photos)

6 If you are taking family photos, tell a joke and don’t just command everyone to smile. If you do, at best, your family will look artificial in appearance. At worst, you will have captured what will be interpreted by outsiders as living proof zombies exist. (Why didn’t aunt Mary bring her teeth today?)

5 If you are taking family photos, do not take this occasion to introduce some creative photo techniques you have always wanted to try. If you do, at best, your family will not understand what you have done. At worst, you will have created a set of photos that your family will insist be burned in front of them along with the memory stick, which they will destroy in front of you.(You made them look like America’s Most Wanted.)

4 If you are taking family photos, do not try to take photos late into the party. If you do, at best everyone will appear tired in the pictures. At worst, you will find it more difficult to get pictures without tongues sticking out and two fingers behind every head. (Where did that side tongue thingy come from anyway?)

3 If you are taking family photos, do not pose members in an unflattering way. If you do, at best, you might hurt some feelings. At worst, Aunt Malva and Uncle George will seek an injunction to have the photos kept from public view. Especially that one where they are comparing the size of their bellies. ( That photo is one step up from Uncle Joe’s moon.)

2 If you are taking family photos, do not over-serve yourself. If you do, at best you will take some pictures that aren’t useable. At worst, you will capture some subjects in unusual poses which you think are fine, but the subjects want to figure a way to eliminate you for having them in your possession. (That selfie of a close-up of your nose is a classic.)

1 If you are taking family photos, do not keep everyone waiting while setting the camera and the lights and the self-timer.  If you do, at best, your photo will show some of the tension. At worst, you‘ll have a photo where it appears someone has just opened a large container of Limburger cheese. (I think their faces are stuck that way.)

97 comments

  1. Dear John,
    your ten points made us smile. Actually, we hate these family photos.
    Wishing you a happy week
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahaha. Say cheese. Thank you, Klausbernd. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wise words John. Not a great idea to ask for a family photo and put the newly divorced couple next to each other and expect smiles for you’re bound to be disappointed.
    Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha. Thanks, David. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a classic, John! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Jill. Glad you liked it. 😊

      Like

    1. Thank you for sharing the post, Michael.

      Like

  4. Thank you for the funny advices, John! All so true and important, but its more and more dfficult bringing them all together. This with the difference in tanning is really one of the biggest problems. As i had read last week on a friends site, their preparation for a wedding will include a visit at the tanning studio. Lol xx Have a nice day! Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the idea of differences in tanning is hysterical, Michael. Who would think that one up? 😁

      Like

  5. Oh, no, not Uncle Joe’s moon!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yup. There it is. Thanks Liz. (Don’t look. Oops too late.) 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, that’s a sight I can’t unsee.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for a good chuckle, John. I have take some of these and I’ve been in a few as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can imagine you have a storehous full of good ones, Dan. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. […] Top Ten Things Not to Do When Taking Family Photos Source: […]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michael. 😁

      Like

  8. You have to have good material to start with. Perhaps borrow a different family.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahaha. Yeah the ones with no teeth should be replaced. Thanks, Craig. A very funny comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    Large family photos are challenging at best. Your points took me back through time — to just those moments and the craziness that ensued. Thanks for the morning chuckles, John. 😄

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you could laugh. Your crowd is beautiful but I’m sure a challenge to get everyone on the same page photo wise. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This are hilarious. Hard to pick a favorite although the one with the DEA stands out for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you, Joan. Thanks so much for the comment and I’m glad you liked them. 😊

      Like

  11. Family photos can be a challenge. Our last one was taken on the beach several years ago. Our youngest son somehow managed to get his shorts soaked even though we’d told him not to get close to the water, but it was perfect and totally him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds so typical. “Do not drink the grape soda before the shot.” Famous last words.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Always hated posed family photos. So much stress and mayhem for something that takes a second.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you. Thanks, Charles

      Like

  13. I’m King of the blurry shots, which is why I leave such things in the hands of professionals. And as for the Solo cups, there’s no good way to capture one of those puppies. You could have a vanilla shake in there and all anybody sees is . . yeah, they were getting their drink on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Marc. No matter what you are doing if you have a Solo inyour hand, you are mistaken for a drunk. 😁 That’s why I like white styrofoam. Could be a double moca coffee.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s so true, Boss. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Posed family photos are never as nice as the natural ones (says I who is a pain in the ass with her camera, taking candid shots of everything…)
    Always fun, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love your work though. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh you sweet talker! Thank you, John. xo

        Liked by 1 person

  15. This one stands the test of time! Having seen (and taken) some less-than-flattering family photos, I can appreciate your suggestions, John. Say, when did Tiny make his first appearance??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not found that set yet. I will keep looking. I think in 2017 but I’m not sure. I’ll let you know when I find it.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Snort! These are too funny (and too accurate!) 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Monika. I love the snort. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I love number 8…never, ever take off one’s shirt for a photo unless you’re maybe one of the Kardashians. It’s will often scare people what you have there under all that cotton. Layers are preferred. These are always so funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Susannah. 😊 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very good at these and I see, have been penning them for quite a while. It’s so admirable.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I started out doing them as a collaboration in 2014. But was on my own in 2015.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You should put them in a collection.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I have thought of it. Might be a project for my old age. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  18. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    Great list, John 🙂 Many of these I’ve learned the hard way !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haven’t we all. Thanks, Denise. 😁

      Like

  19. LOLOLOLOL! Great tips, John and worth the repost!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Susie 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Love these! As for #10, I took a picture of my inlaws while we were visiting a dinosaur museum and the sign behind them said, Fossils. Oops!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahaha. I love that, Darlene. Good one

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It is always crucial to check the background because they might be such elements as yours that you re most likely miss if you just shoot…more energy

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always true. Thanks, Leonard.

        Like

  21. Since I have such a small family, do you think Tiny would join in my family photo? It’s the least I can do after all the the jabs I throw at him!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He would love that. If you have a collar he’ll play the part of the family dog.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hahaha

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Hahaha! These are funny – and so timely as I am about to attend a family reunion and I’m sure there will be a lot of group photos. I should forward this to some members 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You should. maybe you can set up a zombie -like pose.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. One of the biggest writing motivation killers is to read your favorite, powerfulest writing idols and to compare yourself to them. It makes you throw up your hands and say WHY BOTHER — but to write is to live, for the intellect is not a wasteland but a rainforest full of rare and magical creatures and the kind of water that gives added years to existence …

    — Catxman

    http://www.catxman.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it can be daunting. I have several writing heroes that make me want to toss my keyboard into the lake.

      Like

  24. Family photos! Mon Dieu, dear John! 😂😂😂 This department of photography is a true nightmare!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes indeed, Maria. Avoid the photo shop at all costs. 💀

      Liked by 1 person

  25. This was a hilarious post! Thank goodness my family wasn’t given to formal portaits. We made do with snapshots of things like everyone with their faces buried in watermelon slices in the back yard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I think you all were lucky for sure.

      Like

  26. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    It’s time for another great list from John Howell via his Fiction Favorites blog. This one is the TOP TEN THINGS NOT TO DO WHEN TAKING FAMILY PHOTOS

    Like

    1. Thank you, Don

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. I think we’ve all experienced at least one or two of these over the years. Great post, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know I have. Thanks, Jan

      Like

  28. Great list! The family photo isn’t easy to do! I try not to be the one taking the picture! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always duck that responsibility

      Liked by 1 person

  29. And now I remember why I never take family photos. I do, however, occasionally take the opportunity to get a shot of Chris, having fallen asleep in her chair, with her mouth wide open! 😁 She threatened my life when I said I was going to post it on Facebook!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. That would be a funny post. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ‘Twould have gotten me killed!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No doubt. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Another excellent and cautionary list, but yes, Uncle Jeff, pleeeaaasse put away your smoked turkey leg! Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Funny! I like these 10 things not to do posts. Thanks, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you do Resa. Thanks for letting me know.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Ahaha I love this John! Thank you for the tips because I think I’ll be needing them next week 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good luck, then. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  33. I’d add one more thing. If you take a family photo be cognitive of what’s in the background. I’ve learned from experience that women don’t miss a thing. Us guys never see anything but the subject of the photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good add. Nothing like seeing someone’s shorts in the background.

      Like

  34. Really funny, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jennie.😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  35. On point…

    Liked by 1 person

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