Family Photo Day (and a Shutterfly Giveaway)

You know those families who have professional family pictures taken every year for their holiday cards, and they’re all wearing the same or artfully-almost-matching clothing on a beach, in the mountains, or in front of a corrugated metal wall in a packing district with signage that has just the right amount of paint rubbed off?

We’re not that family.

The Wild West Family Portrait is one we take every year we go to Lake Tahoe. We drive down to Virginia City and my husband and the boys get really into being cowboys. Look at Mikey’s face. That’s method acting right there. He’s not playing a bank robber, he is a bank robber. This year I remembered to hold a fan instead of a bottle of whiskey (progress!) but I could not convince the guys to dress like respectable Victorians.

“Can we lose the weapons? I want this to be our Christmas card picture.”

“No. Does this shotgun look okay with my duster?”

So be it. I imagine I will get at least one or two comments about the guns, but I’ll point out that we are only encouraging families to start their new year with a BANG!

(I may also chicken out and use a few of the pictures I took on Instagram during the past year.)

I was able to see some new Shutterfly products at the party I went to last Wednesday. Because there wasn’t a rep there, we were encouraged to bring our previous purchases from home for show and tell. It was wonderful to see products bought and designed for personal use. No staged pictures, no fake families. I’m using one of the two credits I received to make a photo book, because while the selection at Shutterfly is wide and varied, they don’t have anything that goes with a Wild West Saloon picture. Go figure.

(If I chicken out and use Instagrams, I’ll probably go with something like this.)

The other credit I received is to give away. One reader will receive a $50 credit to Shutterfly to use on any of their products. The standard rules apply. You must be a US resident 18 years old or older.ย  There is no purchase necessary to enter, and the only requirement is that you leave a comment on this post. I will pick a comment by random number and post the winner here on Friday.

I’m trying to think of a way to end this post, but I’ve got nothing. I’m thinking maybe I should have ended it right after I posted a picture of myself wearing a feather on my head.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.

Comments

  1. Katie says

    The best part is they are SO serious and you have this awesome smirk. Use it! As someone said, it will be memorable.

  2. says

    The best Christmas card picture ever! Mikey definitely has the character down. Of course, now that I mention it, it must run in the family. I especially like the way you look as though shenanigans are afoot!

    Start the new year with a bang, indeed! Can’t wait to see what it has in store . . .

  3. says

    I LOVE your photo! I would get a great laugh getting that in the mail (So far our funniest card we’ve received has the family’s two boys tied up in Christmas lights and tape over their mouths with the wishes “Peace on Earth (We recommend duct tape)” on it. I love any card that makes me laugh.

  4. says

    I always wanted to take one of those photos and then my college roommate worked at Hershey Park in the summers (she lived near there) and invited me to come play in the park one year. She took a Wild West photo with me and it remains one of my most hilariously awkward and ultimately treasured photos of the two of us.

  5. Melody says

    Merry Christmas, have a lasso! Christmas cards are always great when they really show what your family has been up to.

  6. says

    Mikey’s face is classic, lol. I love these types of of photos they are so fun and I like the spin with the guns and ringing in the new year with a bang, hah!

  7. says

    So glad to know you aren’t one of those families! You’re ahead of me, because I don’t even send out photo cards anymore. :-) I do put together a calendar of the kids for my parents, though. Shutterfly does a great calendar. And this reminds me that I need to get on that project…

  8. AshleyM says

    How fun! I love non traditional Christmas photos. We are using a vacation photo…we probably asked six different people to take our picture in front of the Colosseum, but in most of them we were blurry…I finally gave up and my husband asked one more person who was able to take a clear shot! Hurrah! Ha ha.

    What a fun giveaway!

  9. Kellee says

    I love this photo! We used to take these all the time when my parents would take the family wandering around the old Colorado mining towns. So silly and fun.

    And thanks for hosting a great giveaway!

  10. says

    I love it and though I am anti-gun, it’s Wild West guns, not like you guys are posing as the cast of Goodfellas or New Jack City. Go for it!

  11. Kylie says

    I have taken a few saloon-style pictures in my day and they always turn out horrendously. You guys all look great though! I look weird and smug when I try to do a straight face.

  12. Rachel says

    I only manage family portraits when my parent set up the appointment and pay. Our church is doing a photo directory this year and we signed up. Picked the photo where the baby was looking in the general right direction and everyone else had something like a smile. Notice after they send our complimentary 8×10 that my shirt collar is standing up. so much for getting more copies. I think if I won I would do a photo wall of the kids on my stair case.

  13. Karen F says

    I love Shutterfly! I’ve used them for many cards and invites over the years. I also make a yearly calendar for my father-in-law and my dad. You would think I’d be organized and add pictures all year so that I just have to finish them up in December, but somehow it’s always a mad scramble to get them finished just in time! I love your Wild West picture – so funny! You should definitely use that!!

  14. kristen says

    Shutterfly is the only online company I’ve ever ordered prints from. Their site is so easy to use and quick, too!

    I’m new to your blog…LOVE IT! Found you via For the Love of – I’ve been reading through all your archives. I’m so glad I found you!

  15. Jackie W says

    I love Shutterfly and I’ve ordered at least 3 of their photo books and dozens upon dozens of prints. Great giveaway, thanks!

  16. brookstar says

    this is just in time. we’re a bit late, and need to get cards out to our family in the uk really soon. i’m not sure what photo we’ll use, but i’m a bit tempted to only use photos of our pets!

  17. Erin says

    I would totally use that. You’re all looking at the camera and no one has anything on his face? PRINT IT.

    As for us, we’re already the people who make their dogs pose for Christmas card photos every year…I shudder to think how we’ll behave once we procreate.

  18. Jessjca says

    I love your family photo! Of course a family with two boys would have a cowboy-themed Christmas card. Nobody is actually happy when Mom makes them dress in dumb clothes and stand in front of an old barn.

  19. Rebecca says

    I would love to get this in the mail, I prefer genuine to pretentious any day!

    I sooooooooo hope I get picked, we haven’t done anything with our wedding pictures from 4 years ago.

  20. Megan says

    I’m in love with your photo! Way more personality than a card full of matching sweaters and forced grins. My husband hates to be in front of the camera, so it’s Christmas cards with only our daughter again this year.

    (PS- I still haven’t ordered those, so I’d be down with a win!)

  21. Claire says

    Fun family Christmas cards are the best! We used the “Laughing all the way” card from Shutterfly and a picture of all of us goofy dancing outside.

    Your caption “Bringing in the new year with a bang” is fabulous! I’d definitely hold on to that card!

  22. Larissa says

    You should totally use that picture for your Christmas card. Who cares what people say about the guns?! At least they’re not in camo with hunting guns. That’s always been my husband’s dream picture. . .

  23. says

    Everyone’s expressions in this photo are perfect! Your smirk, Nico’s “omg-what-have-I-gotten-myself-into”, Mikey’s scowl, and your husband’s serene & composed, yet tough straight face.
    You know your family & friends better than I do but I would completely 100% recommend sending that as your Christmas card! The one and only photo Christmas card we’ve done was when we had 2 cats that didn’t like each other. I set the camera on a tripod and set it to repeat shutter then Sweetie & I proceeded to attempt to lure each cat onto our laps so it appeared “natural”. It was the most entertaining series of shots but not a single one was appropriate for a card. So we chose 3 shots that showed the progression of events the best. Everyone loved it and thought it hilarious.

  24. Danielle says

    I love that picture! And I think it would make a great Christmas card! :)

    If I win this fabulous giveaway, I won’t be using it to make Christmas cards, however. My husband and I don’t have kids and let me tell you, if you think an old timey Western pic is bad (and it isn’t, by a long shot!), how about a pic of just 2 boring adults? Let me tell you, no one wants to receive that – except for our parents.

    But back to the giveaway, I would use it to jump-start my plan to someday print our digital pics. We’ve had a digital camera since at least 2004 and I’ve printed at most a handful, tops! The upside is that I don’t have a bunch of pics waiting to go in an album! Oh wait, I do – those are from before 2004! ๐Ÿ˜€

  25. Amy says

    Love the pic. I just had a conversation about this with a friend leaving the JCP portrait studio with her family all a-matching. We never coordinate. Ours is always a picture from a family adventure during the year. If we need to coordinate, I figure I can always make it B & W.

  26. Katie VB says

    What a great giveaway! We are half way to “that family” that takes professional pictures every year – we’re terrible about taking pictures of the every day and sometimes we get our act together to hire someone to help us out.

  27. says

    When I was in high school, my mom made us all dress up in white and had us artfully staged around a horse pasture. The photographer used a million filters, so the picture is all fuzzy. We call it the “heaven picture”. It looks ridiculous. I like yours better.

  28. Kendra says

    Our ‘professional’ wedding portrait is a caricature that was drawn in the upstairs lobby of Excalibur in Las Vegas. Sometimes you just have to embrace the cheese. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Oh and in these here parts it’s nothing to receive at least 2-3 Christmas cards involving either A.) a dead deer B.) an entire family dressed in camo (collar on the dog included) or C.) all of the above.

  29. Kendall says

    The credit would be fun but I know I would end up using instagrams. Even though we have a nice camera I snap 100x more photos with my phone than anything else. If my hubby wants me to carry around a camera everywhere we go maybe he will help me invest in a new/larger purse? We can only hope! Winning this prize might help with the convincing.

  30. says

    Wild West, baby! Seriously, do it.

    Funny, I just spent a pretty penny at Shutterfly on our holiday cards. I price-compared with several sites, and it won. Plus it had some of the better designs.

  31. Megan says

    Ha! I grew up in Colorado where these were all over the place. I always wanted to do it, but my fam was never as eager to look like a crazy person as I was. I totally think you should use this for your Christmas card!

  32. Christy says

    I love Shutterfly. They produce very high quality products and are almost always running some sort of special.

    I also love the Wild West photo and think it would be a shame not to use it for your Christmas card. :-)

  33. says

    That would make an awesome Christmas card! I’m just hoping to get some cards out this year. Ideally they would contain a picture of the toddler, but that may or may not happen. This will be our 4th Christmas since we got married and I have yet to send out Christmas cards!

  34. Bari says

    I love that picture! One of my favorite pictures of my husband and I is an wild west salon picture we had taken. Since you linked to Shutterfly I had to look and see if that was my picture, what would I do, and I think the Silent Night Flourish Religious Christmas Card or Merry In Elegance would be perfect for the picture.

  35. Sue H. says

    I spit out my soda the picture was so CUTE! You have that Miss Kitty “I’m going to WHAP you” look but Mr. Pancakes is way cuter than Marshal Dillon. I want your children for my own (always wanted a little bank robber and a “Who? Me? I’m innocent I tell ya!” Definite Christmas card material.

  36. says

    Oh my gosh, please use that picture as your christmas card. It’s brilliant and different and funny and so much more memorable than the one I’ll send out :)

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