I've likened the family vacation photo album to a book of mug shots, for pretty obvious reasons. Static composition, stiff poses, and the like. Page after page of this gets tedious. ;)
Here's a transcript of one such photograph (with names changed, of course):
Okay, Claire: you need to take a step to the left. No, I mean my left, your right. That's it. John, don't make rabbit ears behind your sister. Hon, your face is in the shadow, can you step forward? Actually, everybody step forward one step. Good. Yes, Claire, we do have to take these "dumb pictures." Some day you won't mind so much. John, take your gum out, or stop chewing. No! No rabbit ears, please, John. Okay, look at me. Get ready. Yes hon, I'll be there in a second, let me set the delay. (click) Hang on, the camera just went off... okay, I think I got it now. John, please no silly faces. Okay, here goes... Coming.
Despite this photographer's attention to details, the picture was only so-so. Aside from the contrived circumstances of stiff, unnatural poses obstructing a backdrop, all that discord really came through.
It really begs the question: why the need to take these stiff family portraits time and time again? Candid shots of some of the members of the family being natural, doing what they always do—maybe not even aware of the camera—would be a refreshing change. You get to see the personalities, not just cardboard figures in array. Yeah, so you get a few pictures of John putting rabbit ears behind Claire's head. But that's John (at least at this age! ;) After a few pictures of him doing that, (and maybe one of Claire getting the rabbit ears on him, too!) he'll outgrow the novelty.
Doesn't that seem a tad bit more memorable?
Sure beats a book of mug shots....