14 Reader Family Portraits

Some of you, dear Gizmodo readers, have lovely families who celebrate the holidays with Hallmarkian rigor. Others...don't you realise that duct tape wasn't meant for lips?

Lead Shot - Telechristmas The camera is a Logitech Communicator STX, sitting atop a Powerbook G4, unorthodox, I know. Being that my family is a bit scattered right now- parents in southern California and sister & her husband in Tennessee, with myself in Northern California, the only way we were going to take a family portrait was to try our hand at a video conference- and then take a screen capture of all our smiling faces. Even that seemingly simple technological feat was slightly out of reach, as we struggled to get 3 different grades of hardware and software to match up, so, in the end, I combined a video chat window of my parents & the family dog with one of my sister & brother-in-law. I would have loved to orchestrate the whole family together with my DSLR, but this was a fun way to [try to]get the family together. Maybe next year!

-David Lou

Ornamental Celebration

Got bored so I started taking pictures of my parents Christmas tree. I noticed each family member had their own Snowman ornament so I grouped them together to take a very informal family portrait, if it can be called that. Camera: Canon T2i, Canon 18-55mm, 1/10, f/5.0, ISO 1250.

-Brandon Woods

Laptop Love

I felt like modern families were more connected by facebook, and text than through face to face contact. So i decided to show this in my picture, each of the laptops show a family members profile picture, and together they make the modern family portrait.

-The Awuyah Family

The Yellow Sweater

This was shot in front of the Aria hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Thanks to my family for a wonderful Xmas vacation! Canon T2i, 18mm

-Diego Jimenez

A Very Simpsons Christmas

I used my Canon PowerShot SD880 IS precariously clamped to the entertainment centre using my gorilla tripod. The poor lighting condition was accomplished by pointing two floor lamps in our general direction. The Simpsons were the main inspiration for the shoot. We wanted to do something untraditional for the Christmas cards this year, so we found some rockin' Christmas sweaters and this was the result.

-Donavon Hoover

Christmas, Unplugged

I come from an artsy-fartsy family of actors and musicians, so I knew I had to capture that spirit in this challenge. When my dad and sister started singing carols after Christmas dinner, I told my mum to join in. My mum keeps a small mirror on our grand piano for when she teaches voice lessons, so I angled it to get myself in the shot. The room didn't have much light, so I fired away and prayed. Most of the shots were pretty blurry since they're such animated people and couldn't sit still. This one was the best: my family in their unmitigated form. Nikon D70, Nikkor 24-120 zoom @ 45mm, ISO 800, F 4.5, 1/8 shutter (shot on A-P to keep my iris open).

-Grady Welch

Dinner Is Served

I was wondering what to shoot on my way to my in-laws' in Arkansas on Christmas Eve day. I had my tri-pod and remote, but not much else, so I decided to imitate: riff of of a Norman Rockwell classic. I set my tri-pod on a coffee table, and snapped a few pictures as my mother-in-law served the roast beef. I think it has a sense of humor, and captures our holiday experience well. In the picture from left to right are my sister-in-law, my father-in-law, mother-in-law, me, and my wife. Canon 300D, 28-135 IS lens, f/3.5, ISO 400.

-Greg Thorne

Say Cheese

Nikon D90, 18-200mm Nikon Lens, f/3.8, ISO 1600.

-Jason Simmonds

Some Facetime

This shot was taken on Christmas evening around 6:45 in a dimly-lit living room. Three generations of Zingers gathered on the couch in Rhode Island to video chat with (son, brother, uncle) Morgan out in Oakland, CA. I was struck by how everyone was sitting on the couch in typical family portrait positions, and how Morgan was really on the couch too even though he didn't make it home this year. Instead of smiling at the photographer's camera, they're all smiling at the built-in on the laptop. I took several of these some of which are technically better, but this one felt the most genuine to the moment. Canon S95, Av Mode, Aperture f/3.2 ISO 1600. colours warmed up and photos sharpened in Lightroom. Merry Merry!

-Liz Sundermann-Zinger

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

The story is that we took one normal family picture in front of the Christmas tree with my brand spanking new dslr and realised that shot wouldn't make it on to gizmodo, so we decided to put our best rock'n roll faces on and spice it up a little. Canon Rebel Xs, EF-S18-55mm, ISO 800, Exposure 1/13 sec at f/4.0. Threw everything but the kitchen sink at it in photoshop, but mainly softened it up a little.

-Michael Arenas

Dogs In Snow

My family portrait is of my boys being boys in the Holiday Blizzard! Arrow (the husky) loves hopping around in the snow, and showed Henrik (mut puppy) how it's done in his first snowstorm.

-Rachel Dobkins

Don't Look Now!

This started out as a legitimate attempt to take a family Christmas photo. But neither of the kids wanted to cooperate and and look at the camera. So I suggested nobody look at the camera. The kids actually thought this was fun and forgot about not wanting their picture taken!

The initial photo was taken using a Canon PowerShot S2IS with a secondary bounce flash. Then I processed it using the iPhone Camera+ app "So Emo" effect and added the border.

-Russell Kavanagh


I wanted to take a family photo for my parents as we hadn't taken one in a long time. Thanks to some curtains and lights from IKEA, we headed to my Dad's warehouse to assemble a photo studio. While we did take a serious photo before this (for my mum), we thought that my Dad would enjoy something a little more upbeat. My sister suggested we toss on some mustaches for one of the final shots. As a result, we have the "I don't want to be here" look: essential for any family photo. Canon T2i, f/1.8, 1/20, ISO 100, 50mm 1.8 lens.

-Ryan Spotowski

Winner - Man Vs. Martini

This was our annual family/christmas portrait. I am the man being carried away as my wife enjoys her martini! This was our christmas card to our friends and famiy. The picture was taking w/ an olympus sp-550uz the specs are F3 1/40 & iso around 2000. Then using picnik, I just enhanced the shadows. The camera was set using scene for low lighting, I have no idea what the specs are. I hope you enjoy!

-Stephen and Sara Buzard

Since we didn't have a ton of entries this week, I decided to feature them all. Still, you can find the full sizes on flickr and, just out of tradition, there's a gallery below. Thanks to everyone (and their families) for sharing.

Today on Life, Panoramic, we're featuring photos from London.

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