Published on July 27, 2015

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Family photos are (supposed to be) fun and memorable. If you’re finding yourself sans ideas this year, try thinking outside the traditional setup and head to some of your family’s favorite hangouts instead. You can go the professional photog route if you’d like, but you can also snap a few pics yourself using a cleverly placed tripod or even (gasp!) a selfie stick. 

At a vintage diner. 

Photo scouting doesn’t have to take you to locations with too much “fancy” to them. If your family has a local vintage diner, look into snapping a group pic in a booth. The whimsical background is right there waiting for you. Bonus: No worries about weather! 

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Photography by BUZZFEED

In a sweet little shop. 

If cupcakes (etc.) are your family’s favorite sweet treat, try taking a photo at a cute little table in your favorite dessert shop. The best part is clearly the photo props!

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Photography by LONELY PLANET

On the water.

A harbor cruise, or even a ride on a ferry boat will make for gorgeous family photo ops. City skylines make beautiful backgrounds, or even time it well to catch a sunset. A word of advice, wait for a day that’s not too windy! 

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Photography by @SHANISILVER

From your favorite view. 

Find your favorite way to see the sights from above in your city, and make sure you have a camera in tow. We have a feeling you’ll take home some fun memories, too! 

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In your treehouse!

It’s (more than) okay to have a little fun with your family photo. We love the idea of a photo taken in a space that’s dedicated to imagination and play. Don’t have a treehouse? Ask a friend if you and your nearest & dearest can borrow theirs!

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Photography by ALTO-HARTLEY

At your favorite family restaurant. 

If your family has a special spot you go to when celebrating big family events or accomplishments, consider taking this year’s photo there. We’d even suggest including a fun anecdote from the restaurant in your holiday card, telling friends and family what makes this place special to you. 

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Photography by @SHANISILVER

At the museum. 

The hardest part about this photo will be choosing just one exhibit to pose with! Museums are full of wonder and powerful pieces that make for truly stunning photo backgrounds. 

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Photography by YESANDYES.ORG

In an old movie theater. 

This one might require a bit of coordination with a manager or two, but if you can swing it, find an old theater as the setting for your photo. This one might best taken with a pro, as lighting in these old movie houses can be a bit tricky! 

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Photography by GALLERYHIP

At a vineyard. 

Beautiful, lush surroundings will make a gorgeous canvas for your family’s annual pic. Row after row of vines will create cool depth and a special touch that will make this photo like a work of art. 

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Photography by DESIGN SPONGE

At the farmer’s market. 

There’s nothing better than a sunny day shopping for fresh fruits and veggies at the farmer’s market. Bring along a camera (or a photographer, if you’re so inclined), and snap away! 

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Photography by @ROSA_LH

At your favorite bookstore. 

We can’t imagine a better backdrop! Bookstores, especially older or themed bookstores, provide an absolutely wonderful setting for a photo. Find a section that fits your family best and start snapping! 

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Photography by @RAVENANDCROW

At your favorite outdoor bookstore. 

If you’re lucky enough to have a spot like this in your town, take advantage of it! There’s something really special about shops with outdoor space. Can’t find a bookshop? What about a nursery?