Eleven Types of Family Vacation Photos

Brianna Krueger's picture

Vacations wouldn't be complete without a family photo. You need something to show off to all your friends and relatives after you get back. Hearing about isn’t enough; I want the visual aids, like the picture of your family (hopefully) having the time of lives at some destination that I wasn’t invited to.

However, not all family photos are created equal. It doesn't necessarily matter who is in the picture, as it depends on how you take the picture, because there are eleven types of family vacation photos that are possible to be taken. You maybe don't notice at first glance, browsing through your family vacation photos, but take a closer look because you'll see some differences.

The Nice & Normal

AKA THE vacation photo. Nice and normal photos are the cream of the crop. They're what everyone desires. Scenic background, everyone smiling, and oh my gosh, we look awesome. These are the ones that you will print off to hang around the house and office. There's a good chance it will be your holiday photo, too. After all, only so many decent photos come out so you'll want to share the best, and under most circumstances nice and normal ones are the best.

11 types of family photos - the nice and normal

However, nice and normal are only so unique. Let's face it - we see them from everyone, just different family, different background. If you switch it up a little, you'll get the rest of the list. And probably a laugh too. 

The Pout

I'm pretty sure I invented this, and if not, I perfected it. The pout is pretty self-explanatory. It's the person who's making the picture taking process ten times longer because they're having something similar to a temper tantrum. Clear signs include crying, nose stuck up in the air, and arms crossed. Other variations may exist. And they are prone to any and all vacation destinations, even Disney, the most magical place on earth.

11 types of family photos - the pout

The Not Ready

Someone pressed the flash button before everyone was ready. This means you usually look silly with one eye closed and your mouth ajar because you weren't looking. You were yawning, you were on your phone, or whatever - you just weren't ready. It also typically means you're going to redo the picture and not post it because you're trying to get a good one. However, my family's Not Ready pictures are just too good to pass up. Many are from the pre-digital era, before we realized we’re not so photogenic on the first shot.

11 types of family photos: the Not Ready

The Purposely Funny

Classic funny photo poses include bunny ears, hair mustaches, sticking out the tongue, and trying to appear like a monkey. Of course there's more room for everyone's definition of funny, but the main point is that no one is taking the picture seriously because sometimes it's nice to be a little silly.

11 types of family photos: the Purposely Funny

The Do We Have To?

A close relative to The Pout, these pictures exemplify that the person has no desire to have their picture taken. Signs of disinterest (other than asking 'do we have to?') include a lack of frown or smile in favor of no emotion, a turned away body, and sometimes slight attitude. Apparently I am also very good at these, despite always being the first to ask to have my picture taken...

11 types of family photos: the Do We Have To?

The Look At Me

Or perhaps the diva as my family sometimes suggests when I tell them to take a picture of me. These scream 'I'm ready for my close up.' Chances are your arms are spread, trying to bring attention to 'hey guys, look where I am!' And it will be hard to not notice, seeing as the look at me subject will make sure to be seen, even if it means blocking someone else.

11 types of family photos: the Look at Me

The Where To Look?

Close relative to The Not Ready, the where to look has some people ready and others not as it usually happens when multiple cameras are out. My family knows that we get restless taking the same photos over and over (and over) so they bring out multiple cameras (the idea that we can simply share pictures does not matter to us). While using multiple cameras, which means not all are centered and are often to the side, it's hard for the posers to know which camera they should be saying cheese for. It is obvious in photos if your eyes are not directed at the correct camera.

11 types of family photos: the Where to Look?

The Recreated

Recreated photos are exactly that. You pose yourself (usually in the same vacation location) to mirror an original photo. However, there are variations to this rule. Sometimes it’s impossible to recreate 100% perfectly, so instead pictures are taken at the same location which is close enough to recreation if we're not being too technical. My family always takes a photo at the edge of the break wall in Port Austin, Michigan.

11 types of family photos: the Recreated

The Drink

Much like taking pictures of your food has become popular thanks to instagram, so has taking pictures with your alcoholic beverages.

11 types of family photos: the drink

You can never start too young. Just kidding! It's a fad, popular for those of drinking age to show off themselves with their drinks. I don't know how much more I can explain it other than stating the person will have a drink in hand. Nothing says family like drinking together.

11 types of family photos: the Drink

The Jump Shot

Very self-explanatory, jump shots are actions shots of people jumping. It's a rather recent phase that isn't terribly hard to capture, even for amateur photographers, but that doesn't always mean it's easy.

11 types of family photos: the Jump Shot

The Staged

The final pose has many variations. What makes a picture staged is that there's an obvious set-up, whether it be matching poses, posing with a character or object, or pretending you're Tyra Banks. However, what takes this above and beyond being Nice & Normal, or Purposely Funny, or Look At Me, or any other pose is that it does not rely on being 100% of any of the other poses. If anything, it overlaps and borrows to create the staged pose.

11 types of family photos: the Staged


Do you have a great family photo from any of these categories? Share them with us!


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11 types of family vacation photos - #6, the look at me!


Brianna Krueger is the Chief Editor at Wandering Educators


All photos courtesy and copyright Brianna Krueger 







Comments (1)

  • Cat Gaa

    10 years 8 months ago

    I cringe looking at family photos! Not only did I have a horrid "Dorothy Hamill" wedge, but my poses were outrageous!

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