Christmas & holiday is a time we cherish and want to celebrate our family. We have a tradition every year where we take our family portrait on the steps of our house.

We've been taking these kind of photographs the past 7 years and I like to see how our family and kids have grown and changed.

Here are my top tips to capture your own family portrait while being in the photo too:

Do it at a time everyone is happy, fed and rested. If small kids are not happy, try bribe them with their favorite toy/ pizza/ McDonalds/ whatever usually works.

Don't set your expectations too high. If you are looking for something professionally crafted you'll need to get a pro photographer. If you aim for a series of more candid photographs, you'll have something fun to remember your family by as it is at this point in time. These are by no means professional family photography, but I believe it's important to document your family and to take photographs when everyone is together.

Take more than one. If you're trying to take a photograph of more than 2 people, it's very likely that someone's eyes will be closed in one photograph, another photograph you might be mid expression or even running between your chosen spot and pressing the timer on the camera. Take a series of photographs, upload the best ones to Facebook and call it a success. Getting the entire family into one picture is TOUGH.

Take your photos when you're all dressed for a special occasion and heading out the door.

Only spend five to ten minutes. Anymore time and your subjects will get grumpy.

Take yearly photos with something being the same, like a family portrait by the Christmas tree. Very dear friends of mine, celebrate their anniversary each year by taking a couples photograph in front of a different church. Another set of friends, is from a big family, and every year at Christmas lunch, they line their party of 24 plus in a long line to take their photo. How special?!

Use a tripod and some kind of trigger system on your camera. (This year, I positioned my iPhone on a tripod and pressed the timer from my iWatch. One of THE. BEST. features ever!)

If you don't have a trigger for your camera, you'll have to set your camera to timer, get everyone in position and then one person runs back and forth between shots pressing the button and getting back into position in 5 seconds ;-)

Have fun - if it causes any stress, find another way to make it happen. Your family is most certainly NOT going to cooperate if they feel like its not something fun to do.

Tickle attack! It's the quickest way to get everyone laughing and smiling.

Tag me on Instagram /Facebook and let me know if you used these tips and managed to get your shot!