Paint Fight Family Pictures! {Our Christmas Card}

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I’m so excited to finally share with all of you our Paint Fight we had for family pictures nearly 2 months ago! I wanted to do this a year ago, but we had just taken our fun at-home pictures, so I have  been waiting…it was SO much fun, and I encourage all of you to get out of the “posed picture box” and do something fun!

Paint fight for family pictures

The reason I keep them hidden is because I get excited at the element of surprise when my friends and loved ones open the Christmas card I send–I don’t want them to have already seen the pictures before the card, so I keep the images under lock. and. key. I’ve heard from several of my closest friends that the cards arrived (and that their girls were very worried about the paint coming out of our hair) so it’s safe to share now. I’m also excited to share about my card design and where I had them printed with a discount code for you, too!

My friend Tricia at Dunlap Portrait was our photographer, and we even had our friend Tui Leauanae here to catch some video (he also took/edited my Beginner Photography Workshop Video).


I went to our local Savers thrift shop to buy all white stuff, and got the boys some very light khaki pants. I probably spent $25 total for all of our clothes. I also got handkerchiefs at Hobby Lobby, we were each assigned a color of paint that coordinated with the handkerchief. I made a rosette necklace with mine. We first took some up in the treehouse my husband built over the summer….

treehouse family pictures

…then we ventured to an open field down the street and started to paint. I filled mason jars up with paint, and got some cheap paint brushes. I didn’t tell the kids ahead of time what we were doing…

family pictures

I suggested they simply splatter our family canvas with the paint, so we flicked it. They had fun, “trying” not to get paint on them. I told them to be very careful not to get paint on their clothes. Then (in the bottom right corner pic) I got my sneaky face on (whispered in the 4 years olds ear what I was doing so she wouldn’t get scared/freak out) and started to splatter them…

Paint Fight

That was fun!

Family Photography

Then the kids really got into it, but I had to remind them to just splatter, not dump or smear. Mean mom, has rules with the paint fight!

family painting

blue mason jar

paint a canvas

dumping paint

Kids painting

Paint Fight collage

mom and daughter picture

paint pictures

paint dip

family photography paint fight

Now to our card! I don’t do well with design, but I can take a template and manipulate it! I got my photoshop template from Melissa Davis Designs (subscribe to her newsletter, she often does 75% off sales!) On the inside I quote The Family Proclamation, and emphasized the importance of wholesome recreational activities by the family–isn’t that what this paint fight it all about???

Melissa Davis Designs Photoshop Template

I am so happy to review the Press Printed cards (with red colorful envelopes) and stickers from Black River Imaging Photo Lab.

black river imaging


It is the FIRST pro lab that I’ve heard of that offers colorful envelopes and that is HUGE for me, because I want my card to be extra exciting from the second it is seen from the mail box! BIG plus from me.

Black River Imaging Press Printed Cards

I also like to make my own labels, and I got stickers for the back (these types of stickers can be designed as you’d like for business products as well), kids faces on them, you name it. Generally pro labs like this request you to have a photography business to use their services, but contact them and get an account set up via their contact page, you don’t have to be a photographer to have an account. I got set up pretty quickly, and I really liked their ordering system organization. I ordered pearl card stock paper, which gives it a touch of glittery feel to it. When set up and ordering, use the coupon code: KJOY32 for 20% off of cards, stickers, color envelopes til the end of the year!

We had lots of fun, and now the huge canvas is up in our colorful game room as a reminder of that day. I’m going to print up some of these to hang around it, too.

painted canvas complete

My husband is AWESOME to support me in my crazy ventures!

paint kiss

Do you want to see how we decorated with these family pictures? I know you do! Here is a hint:


If you want to see the little video our friend made, click PLAY.

If you want to see our card and family pictures from LAST YEAR, with links to previous years pictures/cards, check it out! I still have a handful of cards to mail out to blog readers that send me a family picture! Mail to me at: P.O. Box #4085; Cedar Park, TX 78630

So what do you think, would you ever do a paint fight for family pictures??? Sounds F-U-N, or NO WAY!!



Join The Discussion



  1. Fawn says:

    Love Love Love it. What a fun and loving family. Have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Emily says:

    SO SO SO fun!! I would love to to do this.. maybe next summer!! Thanks for sharing! EMily

  3. Wow, how fun! Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday 🙂

  4. Carol says:

    NO WAY! But glad that your family had fun with it! Merry Christmas!

  5. Shelley says:

    Seriously, So cute!!! I loved your card and I’m glad your kiddos did it! I think I’m a maybe on if I would or wouldn’t…I’ll think about it. 😉 Cute family!

  6. Karli says:

    LOVE this! Oh my goodness now I can’t wait to have kids so I can do a photo shoot like this!

  7. Ava says:

    That is so awesome!!! What a FUN idea! Can’t wait to see your post on hanging the canvas and the photos!

  8. Very cute idea! This year I did a combination of one posed shot and the others are us messing around in the snow. Would I do a paint fight scene? Probably not, because I’m too practical. Very fun though.

  9. Liz H says:

    pictures turned out great. nice work!!

  10. These are SO MUCH FUN!!! What a great idea! What a fun mom you are to do this!

  11. Claire says:

    SO FUN!!! I love them. They turned out awesome. And I really love that you included a quote from The Family Proclamation. I love that thing. Fantastic, as always!

  12. Crystal says:

    Super fun!!! I love this!! The pictures turned out awesome!! I’d totally do a paint picture!!

  13. I LOVE this! I actually have a 6 pack of paint sitting here waiting to do something very similar. Though I’m not sure my husband would play along. My kids would love it though! You have certainly inspired to go ahead and do this. Once the weather is nice enough to be outside, of course. Cold, snowy winters and outdoor paint fights don’t mix well. 🙂

  14. Dawn says:

    Love your creativity!!! Your card from last year was one of my favorites. I definitely want to do something like this next year.

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Well thanks! I try to create memories with our family sessions, now to think up next year!

  15. Aline says:

    Oh, how absolutely fun!!!

  16. Raelene Hill says:

    Love IT! I shared with the missionaries at our Christmas conference about Discovering Joy in their lives and added if they can’t “Discover” they can CREATE JOY! You have a great talent of CREATING JOY in your family. The added bonus is that you are not afraid of getting “messy” or “sticky” or a little “crazy”! What a great memory you’ll always remember of Family JOY!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Thanks mom, I think it’ll be a pretty fun memory for the kids of creating joy!

  17. Elise says:

    Love love love your family pictures! Your Christmas Card is gorgeous also! Thank you!

  18. Meg says:

    Kristen- I noticed you used a different photographer for each of your personal family sessions. May I ask why? Easier to swap photo’s with different people every year, wanting to try different styles..?

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Hey Meg! I have 3 really close photographer friends that live near me. 2 of them are good friends with each other as well, and we’ve often done 2 of us taking pics of the other family at the same time–offering different perspectives. Both this year and last year, we tried to work it out to have two shooting, but it didn’t work out, so I was happy with one! I feel very fortunate to have good friends we can swap services for each other!!

  19. Karie D. says:

    Wow, that’s awesome!!! And you still all look amazing covered in paint! 🙂 What great memories you’re creating!

    PS. I sent you one of my Christmas cards, but I was in such a mode of ‘stuff-and-seal’ that I didn’t include a note to tell you how much I LOVE your blog and your photography. You are one seriously talented lady! Keep those rockin’ posts coming!! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

  20. So bright & beautiful, Kristen!
    I haven’t been around to visit in forever.. You look as lovely as always & your kids are sure growing!
    Happiest holidays to you & yours.

  21. Nicole says:

    Absolutely love it! Such a fun Christmas card and great memories. How did you possibly get everyone back home without paint all over everything? Great inspiration for another fun family activity. Thanks for sharing, and Merry Christmas (a little late 🙂 !!

  22. Abbey says:

    What kind of paint did you use? 🙂

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  24. Samantha says:

    What type of paint did you use?

  25. Layna says:

    Awesome idea! But what kind of paint do you use?

  26. What type of paint? Does it stain skin or hair? I want to do this!!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      I bought clothes at good will or used old stuff, because I wanted it to stay to wear later for fun. It didn’t wash out. Hair and skin were just fine! I just got non toxic paint at the craft store

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  29. Candi says:

    Sounds F-U-N!!!! I’ve already contacted my photographer and have a date on the calendar! I am so excited! 🙂

    Do you mind telling me what size canvas you purchased? Trying to gauge by the pictures can be a challenge. On my supply list I penciled in a 28 x 36 canvas. Am I close?

    And did you paint your easel before the shoot to match or did your purchase it that way?

  30. Julie says:

    Love this!!!!!!! What kind of paint did you use??

  31. Brittany says:

    I love these photos! May I ask what type of paint you used for your photo session? I have some clients that I would love to try this with.


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