a blog about parenting, home daycare, adoption and life in general.
DIY Projects

The DIY Family Portrait Project

I love having our family portrait done.  We usually go to this amazing place (** ahem — the Photo Studio at Zehrs — ahem**), where they let us do whatever they want.  They usually start us off in some prescribed pose, but it quickly degenerates from there.  We’ve done pile-ons and squishy sandwiches and rabbit ears … but it’s all for a good cause.  And the photographers always seem to enjoy it.  Our last one said he’s never had so much fun taking a family’s picture before!

I’ve learned over the years that not only are the typical family poses where everyone smiles and says ‘cheese’ cause way more stress than they’re worth, they’re expensive too.  Especially when you’re like me and want all of the shots!

So this time around we thought we’d give it a try on our own.  Since Andy’s got an amazing camera, and since portraits just aren’t in the budget right now, it made sense.

I decided that the tidiest, least distracting setting would be the master bedroom.  We were going to try some in the living room as well, but we ran out of time and focus — the kids started to get a wee bit crazy after awhile.

We came up with some promising photos by setting the camera on the time lapse setting.  We edited them in Picasa, and it’s amazing what a difference it makes!  Here are some of our photos, with original (before) and then after we’ve edited them:

Not too shabby for our first try!  We’re going to have to redo the whole family together because none of those worked out terribly well.  Someone was always either grimacing or trying to run away or something.  But that’s okay — we can give it another go whenever the kids are well-rested and in good spirits, no booking required!

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. Rebekah@asoftgentlevoice

    This is a great idea!! You really did get some great shots for your first attempt. I think we may copy your wonderful idea!! Thanks!

  2. Lisa Hall-Wilson

    What a great idea. Love the photos. Did you have another child when I wasn’t looking?

    • Megan Elford

      Lol! She’s our .5 🙂 She’s the daughter of a friend of ours that we call our “honourary 4th child”. She’s with us often enough that we thought we’d include her in these pics!

  3. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    That was a great idea. I love the way they turned out.

  4. Mrs. Jilly Fisher

    Wow I never realize how much you could do in Picasa! These pictures are beautiful! We also only take pictures at home, but we are thinking of getting them professionally done next year.

  5. Dhemz

    family portrait is quite expensive…we did it once and never booked again! I’m satisfied with DIY family portrait….Picasa works wonders!

  6. Liz Mays

    I think they came out so nicely and show a lot of warmth. Really cute!

  7. Joanna Sormunen

    Love the before and after effect! What a cool app to have!

  8. crysta911

    That makes a huge difference!

  9. Michelle Snow

    Your photos turned out really nice! And it looks like everyone is relaxed and having fun with it. That’s important. I hate the typical smile and say cheese-type of photos – I like shots with personality. Good job on yours!

  10. Onica {MommyFactor}

    i think you did some great edits to the photos. It’s amazing what a little cropping and photo tinting can do. I’m sure the kids will be better about posing for photo later.

    • Megan Elford

      I do hope to have “normal” family portraits one day, but in the meantime I must say I do love to uniqueness of ours!

  11. Lucero De La Tierra @earthformed

    They came out great. It’s amazing what a little editing in Picasa can do for your focus, color and lighting!

  12. Carly Anderson (@lipglosscrayons)

    I think these photos ended up great! You did a wonderful job of editing them.

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