There are few better times to do baby photos than at Christmas! The most wonderful time of the year calls for some truly memorable pictures of your baby or newborn.
Baby’s first Christmas calls for the most adorable pictures you can take and today you will learn some pro tips for creating Christmas baby pictures you will cherish for a lifetime.
Focus On Your Baby
When doing a newborn photo shoot you should always make your primary focus the baby. Refrain from getting to complicated with your poses and props and you will be so much happier with your results.
When adding props keep them low key and Christmas inspired. A cute red and green knit hat or even a baby santa hat will be adorable without distracting from your baby.
You want the image to focus on your baby’s features, face eyes and hands, and not some other prop.
Also keep your poses classic and simple. The classic poses offer a coziness to your photos that is perfect for Christmas.
Christmas Themed Props
Speaking of props, when you do us them make sure they really bring out the Christmas spirit. While I keep the props simple that doesn’t mean they need to be boring.
Think about your favorite Christmas themes. Santa, Frosty the snowman, reindeer, the Grinch and home style themes like holly Christmas trees wreaths and snowflakes just to name a few.
Use hats, potato sack poses, stuffed animals and little mittens with these themes and you can really bring your newborn Christmas photos to life.
When setting up your scene think about how all the elements come together and create flow where the focus remains on your baby. Use the rule of thirds to properly frame your image and you will create lovely yuletide photographs.
Get Big Brother and Big Sister In On The Fun
Christmas is the season for family and caring so how better can you put this on display in your newborn photos than adding brother and sister to the shoot.
Sibling poses are some of my favorite Christmas pictures. They can show a bond that parents cherish forever.
Be sure your older children can calmly and safely hold the baby or just lay next to them if they are not old enough yet.
Get their clothing to blend with the theme. They can fully match with baby or they can add a contrast. For example, have baby wear a grinch hat and older sibling wear a Who shirt. The possibilities are endless and you can create an absolutely adorable scene when sibling and baby are together.
Get Yourself In The Scene
To keep with the Christmas theme of love and togetherness get yourself in front of the camera with baby. This allows you to show you celebrating the Christmas season with your newborn.
Take images with both parents and each individually with baby. Mix it up and try different simple poses with each configuration.
Parents should focus primarily on the baby. Avoid the old fashion looking at the camera pose unless a traditional shot is desired. Looking at the baby creates an intimacy in the image that is truly beautiful.
Have them touch the baby’s hand or giving them a kiss. Think about love and you will capture amazing Christmas images.
Again think about how your outfits flow with baby’s. Be creative and consider classic colors as well.
Don’t Forget Fido
Whether you have a dog, cat, or even horse, if they can safely be included in your photo shoot then do so!
Adding the family pet to photos brings the whole family together and makes for a heart warming baby picture.
You can add a Christmas sweater or hat to your pet or keep them just as they are. Either way adding the family pet to a baby Christmas picture makes a lovely image.
Incorporate Snow For An Authentic Scene
I live in an area that almost always has a white Christmas and I love capturing that in my images. For many people snow instantly transports them to a festive state of mind and you should tap into that with your images whenever possible.
Whether you pose baby with a window showing snow in the back or dress them up in a snow print onesie, incorporating the image of snow will make your Christmas images so much more impactful.
You can take a couple photos outside in the snow as long as baby is properly dressed and you make it very quick. Just don’t fuss around too much if you do or baby will get cold.
Get Shots Of The Details
So far we’ve focused on the more standard Christmas pictures but we cannot forget about those precious detail pictures. Getting closeups of baby’s hands, feet, toes, eyes, and even ears can create beautiful images.
Closeups of a smile is one of my favorite images to capture. Think about putting cute little Christmas mittens or socks on your baby and snapping a picture. A closeup of the side of their face with a cute snowman hat on.
The possibilities are endless. So don’t forget to get those detailed shots.
These pictures create an intimate feeling and are always some of the most cherished shots taken.
Parents and baby can hold hands in front of the Christmas tree with the image a closeup. Keep your imagination engaged and you will create some awesome photos.
Do One Christmas Themed Outfit
While most of your images should be simple and subtle in their imagery, there is nothing wrong with doing one more detailed wardrobe change.
Dress your baby as a cute little elf, or Mrs. Clause, an angel, or even an adorable reindeer. Keep the background simple to offset the wardrobe.
These images are just so cute you can’t completely skip them. Just be sure to keep it quick and not to go overboard.
Use A Sleigh or Wreath
I like to keep one larger prop with me in case baby is up to it. I tend to use a baby sized Christmas sleigh or a large wreath. Both are great for conveying the Christmas theme without being too busy.
You can create your own wreath or buy one yourself. I got my antique Christmas sleigh (it’s actually an old wooden sled) on eBay for a great price.
If you use a sled be sure to use pillows or bean bags to safely hold baby in place. Remember safety always comes first and if baby isn’t liking the pose don’t force it.
Create Cozy Christmas Images
When arraigning my scenes I always try and create that cozy Christmas at home feeling.
I capture this vibe by using warm lighting and adding small touches to the scene.
Christmas classic books like The Night Before Christmas and A Christmas Carol are placed on a nearby table. Or I may have baby sleeping while mom or dad read them the book.
These images create the soft quiet moments of Christmas Eve that make for wonderful images.
Don’t Forget the Tree and Other Christmas Objects
The Christmas tree, presents and even a Christmas snow globe can be used to create great images.
If baby is old enough pose them so they are fixated on a gift or the snow globe. Getting an image of them looking in excitement at a present is a truly precious image.
The snow globe can be used to reflect Christmas lights or even baby’s eyes. Get creative and you can get some unique newborn images.
If you have antique wooden toys they can be used in the same manner. It creates a traditional image that is just too sweet for words.
Turn Baby Into A Christmas Gift
What better gift at Christmas than baby themselves? Safely pose baby in a decorated Christmas box (lid not on of course).
Use solid color wrapping paper and a large bow around the outside of the box. Try and snap baby with a big smile and you will have one of the cutest Christmas pictures you’ve ever seen.
Use Christmas Lights Strategically
White Christmas lights can be used to create a fairy lighting effect. This creates a lovely and warm background lighting for your scenes.
Use a simple baby pose for these pics. Place baby on a soft rug and have the lights in the background. Create a bokeh effect so the lights are blurred with baby in focus.
Use a wide aperture and you will create this effect easily. It is a great classic Christmas image.
Use Black and White For Memorable Pictures
Most of my Christmas newborn shots are in color but you should always take some black and white images for some great statement pics.
Black and white images can create a classic Christmas feeling so use some traditional props when shooting in black and white.
You can create some very standout images this way and it only takes a minute to include them.
These images I like to include parents, siblings, and the tree. But some individual baby black and white images should be captured too.
Include Family Traditions
Christmas is all about a family’s traditions. And these traditions should be captured in your photo shoot. If you are shooting your own pictures take some time to think about what traditions are most important to you and how you can capture them in picture.
If you are going to photograph someone else’s baby then take time to talk to them about their traditions so you can include them as well.
Tradition focused images should be shot candid. Staged photos of this nature tend to fall flat so have baby and parents do things and capture those images on the fly.
It can be decorating the tree, wrapping presents, or sitting by the fireplace. Whatever it is, just don’t get too staged.
Capture Those Natural Moments
Keeping with the theme of not staging all your images, think about how day to day life is around Christmas and capture those moments in photographs. Maybe it’s getting baby dressed or singing a Christmas carol lullaby.
But no matter what it is you want to capture a slice of at home Christmas life for baby.
Often times baby is more of a backdrop to these activities but they can create powerful family images that shouldn’t be ignored.
Take Pictures Of Baby With Their Gifts
Luckily newborns are not as picky about when they open presents as some adults can be! Use this to your advantage and capture images of baby opening presents if they are old enough.
You can snap images of baby smiling as they grasp a bow or crinkle wrapping paper.
You can also take pictures of the first gift opened. These make great baby first moments. Don’t worry too much about your baby’s reaction. Capture the real moment and it will be a cherished photograph.
Include Extended Family
Christmas is all about family time and that means your baby photos should include them too.
Get grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles, cousins and other related babies involved if possible.
Do some individual pictures with extended family members and don’t miss the chance for group shots while you’re at it.
There are so many ways to create lasting memories through your baby Christmas pictures. The key is to think about your family traditions and how to get those in front of the camera.
Keep baby safe in all poses and consider how to show their personality in your images. Incorporate subtle Christmas props and include as many family members as possible without stressing baby.
Spread your photo session over multiple days to limit stress and don’t sweat it if you think you’re missing out on certain poses. If you follow these Christmas baby picture tips you will capture beautiful and memorable newborn images you will cherish forever.