Take Time for a Family Picture

Life is short.

Let me repeat- life is short. The sudden and tragic death of my neighbor and her son made me realize that while things can be going along fine and dandy, you never know when you won’t be coming back home.

What does that doom and gloom have to do with the topic of this blog? Well, I want to challenge you, yes – CHALLENGE YOU, to take time to get a quick family picture this holiday weekend. It does not have to be the exact Thanksgiving meal, but take it some time.

The picture above was one I took at Easter. I set up my tripod, set the timer on my camera and ran to sit down. It took about three tries, but I finally got one I was happy with it.

While I am on the topic , moms – let kids take pictures of YOU! So often WE are the ones taking pictures and we’re seldom IN them. When my mother died, at the young age of 47, we were shocked and saddened by how few pictures there were of her or her with us. I am trying hard to not make that mistake.

When my kids want to take pictures of me, I let them. They are almost never flattering, but I let them do it, because I know they will cherish any and all pictures of me if I were to not come home one day.

All pictures taken by my 11 year old son


Okay, back to family pictures….

You are not going to perfection or glamor here, just capturing YOU with your family. It doesn’t matter how big or small your family is, two people, ten people. It doesn’t matter what camera you use: iPhone, point and shoot, DSLR. Just take the picture.

Because this is something I feel is very important, I am going to do two things to help prod you into getting a picture.
  • First, I am going to have a “linky” party, starting Saturday and running through to the next Saturday, where you can link up your family picture.
  • Second, I am going to giveaway something special but the only way to enter will be through “linking-up.”


About Amanda

I am passionate about helping others learn how to use their DSLR cameras and editing programs. More information about me can be found at my About page, or by visiting my personal blog.


  1. Thank you for this. I have struggled this year with making time to do this, finding someone to take it for us–it just seemed like a hassle and this was a great reminder for why it is SO important. Excellent advice today. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. great reminder Amanda!!

    I love setting up my camera timer and catch my family just doing something ordinary too!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement. I love the picture of your family around the table. That’s a perfect family setting. I’m going to give it a try!

  4. Thank you for this important reminder, Amanda! I am always behind the camera, so the handful of times that I get someone else to take a photo, they are usually so awful that I end up deleting them. I finally realized that I had edited myself almost completely out of every family outing we had. It made me realize that I need to keep those photos, if for no other reason than to prove that I was there, too!

  5. I totally agree. I had a friend take our family picture this fall. I don’t love that I am heavier than I would like to be or that my son’s hair cut is inches shorter than I asked for, but in the end, it is our family on that day. I do look forward to a do over in the spring/summer when I am smaller, but for today that was a reflection of our family and for that I am grateful!

  6. The only family photos we have are the ones where I’ve got my camera arms length in front of us and all you could see is parts of our faces! 😀 I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to get in front of the camera more, so that’ll be one thing I’ll just have to keep working on, that and more family moments taken! Hope you guys have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Thanks for the reminder. Now that I have a tripod, I’m going to hold Thanksgiving meal hostage until we get a family picture with everyone that is visiting us! I don’t think we have a picture of all of us together. Just the other day we handed a cheap digital camera over to our kids and I love seeing the pictures that they take. It’s great to see their different perspective (even if half the pictures are blurry)!

  8. I know, also through personal experience, how true your words are and heartily endorse both of your suggestions. You have given a gift to those who have yet to encounter tragedy, and those who are always the photographer for the family and later discover there is no documentation of themselves in family happenings. It’s as if they never participated, or existed. Thank God for the magic of Photoshop, but how much more meaningful it would be if they had been in the original photo 🙂
    Happy Thanksgiving to you & your sweet family gathered in the kitchen, where the best meals are had.

  9. I am ALL for giving this a try this year! We will be going to my brother in law’s new house this year and I plan on taking my dslr anyways to take shots of everything but will make sure to set up my tripod and get me in on some at least. I hardly ever get a photo of myself in anymore, I’m always the one behind the camera. Family photos is important to me and I want to leave something meaningful behind for my daughter’s to cherish when I’m one day gone.
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  10. I agree, Amanda. I started doing this a few years ago – family pics — some of the best (and funniest) photos ever — no plan, planned – tripod and timer or wireless release. The family has learned to go with it — and secretly are thankful. I have found that you can take ho-hum shots and dress them up in digital scrapbook with journaling and create the Best photo book. I also owe A LOT of my tried and true editing techniques to your tutorials and workshops — so thank you! Enjoy your family and Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Well said Amanda. I hate to have my picture taken and don’t have many at all with my family. This year that will change! Thanks for the motivation. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  12. kelly tonks says:

    great post amanda!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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