Tips for Taking Fabulous Family Photos

It’s fun to capture the moments of your life in photos – and, when you get that great shot of your kids, friends or family members, it can feel like a huge accomplishment. However, too often we get excited for that perfect shot, only to see that something doesn’t look quite right. We have some tips for you to be a better photographer. Not even the best photographers get perfect pictures every time, but we can give you a few pointers so that you can set up your photos with a little extra expertise… say “cheese”!

Tips for Taking Fabulous Family Photos


Avoiding the “row of heads”

First, if you are doing family portraits with a lot of adults, or with any people who are approximately the same height, avoid having a row of heads. By having some people sit, others stand, and maybe some kneeling or on chairs, you will create a more pleasing and interesting composition.


Second, if you’re shooting a family portrait that involves both adults and children, it can be hard to get both children and adults into the frame if everyone is standing in a row. It’s best to have the adults sit or crouch so that they are close to the children’s heights. That way, you can see everyone’s faces without an awkward disconnect between heights.

composition tip Composition Tip

Close the gaps

Family togetherness? Yes! If you’re photographing a group, avoid awkward gaps. The closer everyone is physically, the more connected they will appear in the photo.

Close the gaps

Capture movement with natural posture

Remember, too, that your subjects aren’t robots. That means that your photos will look awkward if they’re too stiff. Encourage people to move, bend and have a natural posture when you’re taking their pictures.


Let subjects be a little off-center

Finally, keep in mind that not every photo has to have your subjects exactly in the center. Sometimes, the people appear even more enhanced when they are off to the side with something interesting in the background.


Be eye-level with your subject

The angle from which you shoot your subjects can make a huge difference in how people appear. For example, if you’re shooting from below face-level, you could get unflattering double chins. It’s better to shoot from above or at eye-level.


… or have a fun angle, like from above!

Experiment with fun angles, especially if you’re photographing children. Try kneeling so that you are ground-level with the kids, or shoot from above while kids are lying down.

Kids kids


Using a direct light source

If you’re taking indoor photos, avoid relying on only overhead light. Instead, use lamps or, if it’s a darker day, a direct light source.

Direct Light Source Tip

Avoiding backlighting

The next important concept is avoiding backlighting. In order to get indirect light, move your subject to the side if you can. Twilight and dusk are the two best times to shoot photos outdoors.

Avoid Backlight


Remember, photography is about capturing the essence of the moment – not about ensuring that everyone looks perfect. You want to remember your loved ones for how they actually are, not as perfectly posed images worthy of a greeting card. That means let the kids laugh, play and have fun. Even if you’re trying to get a group, you can have everyone doing a little something different or fun. Your photos will be that much better if people’s personalities are able to shine!

Photo Tips

10 Birth Announcement Trends for 2015

After months and months of waiting, your precious new bundle of everything is here, and it’s time to tell the world!

babyOne of the best ways to share your joy is with a Photo Birth Announcement. Photographs are a great opportunity to showcase the cuteness that has stolen your heart. Not only can friends and family oooh and ahhh over a Photo Birth Announcement, but they can also put it on the fridge or even frame it. My aunt has a wall in her hallway with all the grandchildren’s birth announcements cleverly framed and displayed with pride.

So in an homage to Late Night television and Late Night feedings, here are the top 10 Photo Birth Announcement trends for 2015:

10. Hand Lettering.
Mixbook’s Hello Overlay and Hello Baby! announcements are excellent examples of this hip, eye pleasing style that uses casual typography to warmly welcome your newest addition.

Hello Overlay Birth AnnouncementPhoto Birth Announcements

9. Overlay
Subtle overlays of soft, translucent color artistically unveil your photograph in Mixbook’s Colorful Overlay and Ombre Overlay birth announcements.

Photo Birth Announcement IdeasBirth Announcement Trends

8. Watercolor
From graduated stripes in Mixbook’s Watercolor Stripes announcement to a swash of color in Watercolor Stroke, natural brushstrokes add a pop of magic that feels fresh and frolicsome.

Watercolor Photo Birth Announcements 2015 Birth Announcement Trends

7. Collage
From Mixbook’s modern Graceful Gray announcement to its more shabby chic Adorable Baby Girl Birth Announcement, photographs of baby’s sweet face, sweet feet, and – let’s face it – sweet everything are a treasure trove of precious, captured moments. For those whose late nights have them seeing double, Mixbook’s Wood Block Collage provides a simpler template that’s easy to fill.

Collage Birth AnnouncementGirls Birth AnnouncementsCollage Photo Birth Announcements

6. Monogram
Monograms never go out of style as seen in Mixbook’s classically chic Bold Monogram Girl and Simple Monogram Announcement.

Ideas Birth AnnouncementsBirth Announcements

5. Glitter
Glitter’s not just for New Year’s Eve. Celebrate your blessings with sparkle in Mixbook’s darling Glittered Confetti Announcement.

Glitter Birth Announcement

4. Chalkboard
There’s something sublime about an old-fashioned blackboard and Mixbook takes it to the next level with modern, eye-catching graphics. For those who love stylish simplicity, the Chalkboard – Blue, Chalked Border Announcement, and Chalkboard Girl Announcement hit the mark.

Chalk Birth AnnouncementsChalked AnnouncementBirth Announcement Trends

3. Washi Tape
Those in the know know that a tiny tab of Washi Tape creates a world of difference when it comes to creating a unique perspective. Mixbook is definitely in the know and has created the delicately divine Whimsy Washi for all you trendsetter parents.

Whimsical Birth Announcement

2. Craft Paper
For those who love a little bit of color, a little bit of stylish flair and a whole lot of cuteness, Mixbook offers the Adorable Baby Boy, Kraft Color Block and the Crafty Girl Birth Announcement. They combine the essence of homemade crafting with the design know-how of experts.

Craft PaperKraft Color BlockBirth Announcements

1. Herringbone
Timelessly appropriate for any occasion, Mixbook appropriates the classic herringbone pattern in its charmingly tasteful Herringbone Announcement. It’s a statement and an announcement all in one.

Birth Announcements

The Latest, Greatest Bridal Shower Invitations and Party Ideas

Your bestie has found her One True Love and she’s ready to settle down, starting with a colossal party. That’s awesome. And I can say from experience – eleven years into a happy marriage that is only growing stronger each year – that, while a good man is key, one’s girlfriends are a huge part of long-term happiness. So celebrate each other as you approach this major milestone. Your closeness might ebb and flow over time, but you all – the bride’s girlfriends – will see her through for better or worse, too.

So gather her best girlfriends to celebrate the soon-to-be bride. Make her bridal shower special in way that truly reflects who you are collectively – in other words, think about the group spirit that brings you all together in support of your dear friend. It’s not necessarily about creating a magazine-worthy party scene, it’s about generating excitement before the occasion, bringing both meaning and levity to the actual event, and ushering a bride through this rite of passage so that she’s that much more mentally prepared for the exciting transition.

Bridal Shower Invitations

A great invitation sets the tone of anticipation. A sweet, stylish printed card tells the guests that this is a real occasion – something special, something important. Mixbook’s latest bridal shower invitation designs are spot on. Here are our latest favorites, and celebration ideas to go with them.

Afternoon Tea Bridal Shower, Downton Abbey–Style
Send out Mixbook’s Modern Flowers or Classic Bridal Shower invitation for the most classic of English ladies’ gatherings. Whether you host the event at a venue that specializes in a traditional British Afternoon Tea or you’re welcoming the girls in your parlour or garden, take advantage of the opportunity to make like Lady Mary and embody the life of leisure. Serve finger sandwiches, scones with butter and jam, an assortment of cakes and, of course, lovely tea. For decoration: flowers, of course. And there’s nothing like the flutter of tissue-paper garland to set the mood to lighthearted and fun. Follow our six simple steps for creating this ultra-simple tassel garland – or, better yet, ask the help to take care of it.

Bridal Shower InvitationsBridal Shower Party

Yoga Bridal Shower
Send out Mixbook’s Watercolor Bridal Shower invitation, and make sure you add details of what to wear both pre- and après-yoga session. Have a friend or hired yogi run an all-level-accessible yoga class in honor of the bride. Plan ahead so that the session is punctuated with hints for how to relax in the stressful weeks leading up to the big day. If you’re inclined, you can also ask the yoga instructor to lead a group blessing, where each participant offers up an intention dedicated to the bride-to-be. Follow the session with a healthy lunch, tea and something sweet and light.

Bridal Shower

Spa Bridal Shower
Send out Mixbook’s Bridal Shower Typography invitation, making it clear to guests what to expect in terms of spa treatments so they can be sure to bring flip-flops or a small makeup bag if need be. Host the shower at a spa, or hire aestheticians to come to you. A little collective indulgence is a great way for a group of girls to relax and bond together. Serve up artisanal tea or flutes of sparkling wine, and have healthy snacks on hand.

Bridal Shower Invite

Photo-Book Making Bridal Shower
Send out Mixbook’s Chalkboard Bridal Shower invitation, including details about what guests need to provide before the shower – and what they need to bring on the day of the celebration. Have friends send digital photos, poems, wishes and reflections to you prior to the party. Begin a Mixbook photo book – the Everyday Chalkboard photo book theme ties beautifully to the invitation design – by uploading all the content you receive prior to the event. Then ask the bride’s friends and family members to customize their pages in person by choosing the page layout, fonts, stickers and design elements right there at the party. You can even use photos taken at the shower itself, uploaded into the book in real time! After the shower, simply click “print” and with bride-to-be will have a memento from your wonderful celebration.

Bridal Shower Party Ideas

Bridal Shower Photo Book