A (different kind of) family portrait |


It's "Do it!" time! This time with a family portrait. I know that many families send out family portraits as Christmas or New Year's cards. Some prefer the "Royal Family Lookalike - Contest" (all dressed nicely and putting on a sophisticated royal smile), others try to be funny and different (some successfully, others - well... It's a thin line. We decided to walk the thin line.) When I found this image on pinterest I knew what our family portrait would look like. Later I realized that it was a  perfect fit for the "Do it!" column on MINA MOKA. So here we go!


For new readers: DO IT is a column where I transform a pin from my ideas board on pinterest into reality. Find two previous examples here and here. I try not to copy it exactly, but to use it as a starting point - and I try to work with things I already have instead of buying more. The motto: Stop pinning, start doing! Today: Stop pinning, start posing! 

A (different kind of) family portrait |


I planned to paint faces on paper bags together with the kids - but ended up doing it by myself because they didn't want to join me. What can you do...


The problem during the week before christmas when we wanted to take the pictures: The only times of the day when the four of us were at home at the same time it was completely dark outside, even in the mornings. We took it one day before school and work. You don't want to know what our tired faces looked like under those bags. Because I couldn't use natural light the pictures turned out to look horrible in color, forcing me to go for the black and white option. I like the old fashioned look of it, but would have liked to think of that before I picked the colors and took the pictures. Trial and error, as always!


A (different kind of) family portrait |
A (different kind of) family portrait |


More paper bag mask portraits: Photographer Inge Morath's brilliant Mask Series, together with illustrator Saul Steinberg.


A complete series of creative family portrait cards of Judith from joelix and her family can be found here.


Another nice option: A painted family portrait, offered by a couple of illustrators on etsy, like this one.


And another one from my ideas board - maybe for this year...?


A (different kind of) family portrait |

Write a comment

Comments: 11
  • #1

    Judith (Tuesday, 28 January 2014 12:56)

    Awww, what an awesome picture of the 4 of you! The "what's under the bags" element is extra cool, I totally see you in the morning rushing to get that picture. Reminds me of our annual pictures, always such a mess behind the scenes ;) Thanks for including our series, Lena!

  • #2

    minamoka (Tuesday, 28 January 2014 13:03)

    You're welcome, Judith - I thought your series was really impressive! We did take pictures where we took the masks off, but they stayed within the family. Definitely not something I'd share here!

  • #3

    monsterscircus (Tuesday, 28 January 2014 22:05)

    Aww this is awesome Lena! And I really love your version! We're not really using that family portrait thing, but now I HAVE to convince the family to do this DIY. Looking forward to browse some great portrait inspiration, thanks for sharing and have a happy week

  • #4

    geraldine@littlebigbell (Tuesday, 28 January 2014 22:26)

    Such a cool DIY. Love the new year's card above! x

  • #5

    minamoka (Tuesday, 28 January 2014 23:48)

    @mette: Thank you! Looking forward to your family portrait then…

    @geraldine: Thank you, Geraldine!

  • #6

    gudy herder (Wednesday, 29 January 2014 09:52)

    Oh, that is just great! I don't mind the b&w pictures since you took the others in color. What a super cute idea. How did your family react when receiving the card? Would love to know:-)xx

  • #7

    minamoka (Wednesday, 29 January 2014 11:21)

    @Gudy: I don't mind the black and white, but had such a hard time making this photo look acceptable - painting the bags in strong contrasts would have helped a lot! Oh, my family loved the photos, of course! I guess they thought it was typical for us to make these kind of photos. Or at least typical for me, knowing that my husband was probably forced to do it ;)

  • #8

    Ana (Wednesday, 29 January 2014 20:33)

    Ha! I love this idea! It's so unique and so much more fun then your usual family portraits. :) And the kinds also probably have more fun and just smiling into the camera. :)

  • #9

    mel (Thursday, 30 January 2014 06:40)

    Lena I LOVE this idea, it's so much fun and would make anyone smile that receives it… Great series too and also a brilliant and creative idea of yours. M xx

  • #10

    Anni (Wednesday, 05 February 2014 16:18)

    Aaaaaaaaawww, I LOVE this idea! Awesome family portrait. I´m sure everyone is really treasuring this card. Looking forward to your next one! I like the bucket idea... =)
    And I agree, really impressive collection by Judith and her family.***

  • #11

    Claudia (Thursday, 06 February 2014 02:34)

    haha, that's really cool! Awesome picture :-)Something different and unique! Very nice xx




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