Resting Dad Face Ruined The Christmas Card


Resting Dad Face Ruined The Christmas CardDo dads really ruin family photos? A recent article by a family photographer on a popular moms blog thinks so. On a personal level, I have to admit that the article caught my eye, mostly because my husband has been known to ruin a family photo (or two) in his day.

Don’t get me wrong; he’s a handsome guy and has a great smile (it’s just a struggle getting him to crack one for the camera sometimes). Be it a frown, a half-smile, a sneeze or closed eyes, I always thought his tendency to ruin photos was unique to him and him alone. He’s notorious for looking like he’s posing for a mugshot (or otherwise in some form of pain) whenever we manage a family photo.

Anyone else find themselves shouting, “Smile with your teeth!” at your spouse during photo sessions?

I do it every time to remind my husband to smile like ‘he means it.’ Despite the photographer’s article going viral in mom circles and national news alike,  I couldn’t help but wonder whether other local women have struggled with ‘resting dad face’ (RDF). Are other moms dealing with their husbands’ lack or ability to smile in a photo too, negatively impacting their ability to send out a decent holiday card? Or is this struggle unique to our family and this photographer’s experience. I set out to find out by asking some local women whether it was true, and if so to submit their evidence!

Disclaimer: My poor sweet husband (pictured above smirking while awkwardly holding my daughter’s stuffed animal in our Easter photo), caught wind of this article and is convinced he’s only a mild-offender and innocent from any mal-intent. To that end, I’ll agree. He says he never ‘means to ruin the photos,’ and has made a concerted effort to ‘do better’ after presenting him several pieces of evidence. We actually had a good laugh about it and I hope you’ll do the same! These local moms also got a good laugh in sharing these photos of their sweet husbands.

Here are some of the best submissions that I’ve taken the liberty of categorizing for you:

The Original Resting Dad Face

These poor dads simply missed their cue, decided on a half-smile, or simply forgot where they were and what they were supposed to be doing! Bless their smirking-hearts.

The Mid-Photo Phone Call

We’ll let this one go, only because it could have been a work-related call, right? Plus, he redeemed himself after the call.

The Class Clowns

Some moms know what to expect from their husbands from day one: an eternal goofball who cannot be helped or trained.

These goofball dads even made avoiding their family photos a tradition! Don’t want to be in family photos? No problem! Simply turn around and put your back to the camera to avoid being in photos (and convince all your dad friends to do the same thing in every single photo for the rest of time). Just look at these stinkers!

And this dad loves to tease his wife by being a last-minute photo ruiner. Nothing like sticking out your tongue or pretending to fix your hair the second the picture is snapped.

The Mugshot Collection

Are they in pain? Were they just stung by a bee? Why dads, why?
No one:
Dads: “Everyone else is smiling…so I better not.”
Below is another favorite of my husband and two family friends. Really gentlemen? Was it that difficult?

The Holiday-Themed Photo Fails

If Santa Claus and fall festivals can’t get these dads to crack a smile for the pictures, we don’t know what can!

The Mild Offenders

Darn it! (These dads were sooooo close.) They almost had it. They were thinking about it…but alas. To be fair, it’s easy to look like you’re grumpy when your wives and children have such big and adorable smiles.

All joking aside, there’s a reason moms want family photos: as moms we rarely make the cut because we tend to be the ones behind the camera capturing all the family memories. So when we pay a photographer to ensure everyone in the family is in a photo, all we ask is that you crack a big (toothy) smile and pretend like we’re not asking you to scrub the toilets during game day.

Are we alone or can your husband/spouse be a photo-ruiner too? Share your evidence and memories with Knoxville Moms! We can all use a good laugh this time of year.


  1. Had some good laughs out of these resting Dad face photos! Your article was so on point! As Moms, we all just want that one good photo. Every family has a few of these “way to go Dad…ruin the family photo”. Isn’t funny at the moment but makes for some good laughs down the road!


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