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The holidays may be the only time of the year that you have all of your family members in one place at one time, so we know how important it is to take advantage of that and capture a family picture. We also know that if you’ve got a big family it can be extremely hard to get everyone on the same page just for a photo, so it’s crucial to have everything planned out beforehand. With all of that in mind we’ve put together a list of places that can provide the perfect backdrop for a family photo that everyone will love.

Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge

The Ballantyne Hotel is beautiful any time of year, but especially during the holiday season. There are Christmas trees galore, roaring fireplaces and mantels draped with garland around just about every corner — giving you plenty of options to choose the perfect background for your family photo. While you’re there, your whole family can explore the hotel’s popular Gingerbread Lane display. We also suggest staying for the Ballantyne’s afternoon tea, where you can warm up by the fireplace sipping tea and indulging in delicious sandwiches and pastries.

Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge|styleblueprint.com

A cozy afternoon tea beside a warm fire at Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge

Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge|styleblueprint.com

Ballantyne’s annual Gingerbread Lane display should become one of your yearly traditions.

Billy Graham Library

Another festive location for a great family photo is the Billy Graham Library. Take your pick between the library’s famous barn or the silo, which boasts a larger than life wreath for your snapshot. After you get the perfect shot, your family can enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride and the live nativity scene that has an actual camel! As an extra special treat, Christmas carolers will serenade you as you meander through the grounds.

Billy Graham Library|styleblueprint.com

Horse-drawn carriage rides at the library | Image: Billy Graham Library

Billy Graham Library|styleblueprint.com

You never know what you might find while visiting the library | Image: Billy Graham Library

Biltmore Estate

Okay — we know this isn’t in Charlotte, and it does involve a road trip, but hear us out: the Biltmore Estate is one of America’s most visited places for a reason — actually many reasons — and it’s somewhere everyone should visit at least once, especially out-of-towners. So why not kill two birds with one stone by taking a memorable family trip together and knocking out that family picture at one of the most beautiful places in the country? (We won’t tell anyone if you try to play it off as “your weekend home.”) There’s no shortage of places to pose, including in front of the house, next to the 55-foot Norway spruce on the front lawn and, our personal favorite, the marble lions that greet you at the front door. You can also have your picture taken by a professional inside the house!

Biltmore |styleblueprint.com

We couldn’t imagine a more perfect setting for a family photo.

Biltmore |styleblueprint.com

Another fun photo op outside the Biltmore with the marble lions

Christmas Town USA

Not sold by just the name? You should be, because the small town of McAdenville, NC, has earned the honor of being named Christmas Town USA year after year for its impressive nightly light display. For 61 years, thousands of twinkle lights have lit up the homes and streets of McAdenville, drawing countless visitors — it’s truly a sight to see! You may need to use a flash to capture the full effect of all the colorful lights in your family picture, but it’ll definitely be one of the most festive photos around. We even like the idea of everyone wearing ugly sweaters to make it really over-the-top!

It's like a movie set, isn't it? Head to McAdenville to get in the Christmas spirit ... and to grab a great family photo. Image: Facebook

It’s like a movie set, isn’t it? Head to McAdenville to get in the Christmas spirit … and to grab a great family photo. Image: Facebook

Duke Mansion

Built in 1915, Historic Duke Mansion is a Charlotte staple and perfect for family photos. We personally could stay there all day taking pictures of everything and think the house is one of the most stunning places in the entire city. Plus, the mansion’s four-and-a-half acres are full of beautiful gardens, sculptures and fountains that can also be used as backdrops.

Duke Mansion|styleblueprint.com

The beautiful Duke Mansion’s back lawn

Duke Mansion|styleblueprint.com

The historic house and gardens provide several great locations to snag a quick family photo.

Firebird

The eclectic Firebird statue located outside of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is probably one of the most distinctly Charlotte landmarks you can find. The 17-foot sculpture that’s covered head-to-toe in mirrored glass has quickly become one of the Queen City’s must-visit sights and most popular places to photograph. It’s a great idea for large families — plus, you won’t find it anywhere else in the world!

Charlotte Firebird|styleblueprint.com

A provisional class of the Junior League of Charlotte posing in front of the Firebird

No matter where you take your family photo this holiday season, we hope it’s magical. Say cheese!

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