For many Mums and Dads, Christmas really is the most magical time of the year.
And what better way to spread a little festive sparkle than to capture it with a festive photography shoot? Would you like to take some photographs of your baby’s 1st Christmas to treasure as keepsakes? Maybe you’d like to give photos of baby as Christmas gifts? Or you’d love to have a go at taking your own family Christmas card? This post is for you! We’ve put together this Bump, Baby & You guide to holding Baby’s 1st Christmas photoshoot at home. Plus, we’ve included tips on hiring a photographer if you’d like to invest in some professional photography too.
We called in a few of Santa’s little helpers to bring this piece to you! Special thanks go to Chloe at Springate Photography and Rachel from Rastle Photography. You’ll find their expert tips and advice in this piece along with some gorgeous photo examples. You can find a little bit about each of these talented ladies by clicking through on their names. Right, ready to style, sparkle and shoot? Let’s get started!
When and Where To Shoot Christmas Photos
It may only be November, but it is, as they say, beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Grotto gates are opening and there’s frost on the ground outdoors too. However, both of our photo pros suggested that if you’re going to photograph your baby, toddler or child yourself, doing so at home is generally a safe bet. Why? You’ll have the outfits, props and tools to make everything to a little more smoothly and relieve time pressure. And if your tinsel, tree or gingerbread house is already put up, you can make the most of your Christmas decorating efforts too.
Rachel told us: “With shooting at home, there won’t be any pressure if you all need a break for a little while if it isn’t all going to plan – even if you wanted to try again another day then you have that option.”
But where exactly in the home should you set up your ‘studio’? Good lighting is crucial for getting good shots. Ultimately, photographers will always seek out quality natural light.
Chloe at Springate Photography explains: “If you are photographing inside, you will need to find as much natural light as possible. Artificial light can give off an unappealing quality that is obvious to most people, so using your front room ceiling light probably isn’t an option. Find a big lit up area of your house.”
With this in mind, forget dark corners and seek out rooms with light coming in through windows.
Baby’s 1st Christmas Outfits, Props and Equipment
Let’s be honest, dressing your little one up and taking snaps of them with items that sparkle and shine is why you want to take Christmas photos. The good news is, you don’t necessarily need an expensive camera in order to be able to get decent quality images.
“Don’t go out and buy an expensive camera unless you need to,” Chloe told us, admitting that she often ends up snapping her own little boy with her smartphone when it’s at hand. Not only does it make impromptu shoots easier but it can allow you to move around more easily and smartphone camera technology is so advanced now, you can get some really crisp shots.
Baby’s 1st Christmas Photo Outfits
Wondering what to put dress your little one in to take those cute baby girl or boy first Christmas pictures? You could take things in a slightly cheesy direction with a Santa or elf hat. However, our experts agreed that something a little simpler may be all you need. Chloe loves to see little ones dressed in Christmas jumpers or their Christmas pyjamas. Rachel suggested selecting something classically festive but cute to hint at the season “without being too in your face”.
Choosing Your Baby and Toddler Christmas Photo Props
- A special bauble or ornament
- A favourite soft toy or comforter
- A festive blanket, throw or rug
- A box of baby safe Christmas decorations
- Fake snow
- LED Fairy Lights
- A mini Christmas Tree
“Christmas Photoshoots are mostly always about the props used,” Chloe told us and we have to agree! We love the idea of incorporating a special bauble or a favourite soft toy to remember in years to come. Experiment with different props to see what baby engages with best rather than throwing everything into shot. The latter could make it harder to get their attention!
Set the scene with a Christmas printed throw or rug or Rachel suggests, a faux fur rug can suggest a wintry landscape. Plus, snuggly things provide a comfortable spot for baby to lie down. To capture genuine looks of wonder, try allowing little ones to explore a box of Christmas decorations (providing they’re safe for little ones to play with). This will hopefully allow you to snap some of those fabulous mirrored bauble shots.
Want to take things up a notch? A smaller Christmas tree that you can use year after year is a great photoshoot investment piece, says Rachel. They’re closer to baby’s level so will make for easier shots and unlike with larger trees, you’ll get more of the tree and your little one in each shot if you use one. Finally, if you’d like to let it snow, fake snow could be the way to go. This tip from Chloe is definitely something we’ll be trying out:
“You can buy the sheets of fake snow for a couple of pounds. They are made with a double layer, if you pull them apart and fluff it up and rip it, it looks so effective.”
What Makes The Perfect Family Christmas Card Photo?
Are you hoping to take a winning photo that you can gift to the grandparents in a frame? Maybe your dreaming of a family photograph you can print onto Christmas cards? What do you think makes a winning Christmas card photo? “Anything to show the joy for the time of year” was the answer that came from Rachel. And we have to agree.
The very best shots aren’t always those where the kids pose perfectly and look straight at the camera. In fact, if you can get a shot where everyone is interacting, laughing and having a great time it will tell a little more of your family’s Christmas story.
We loved what Rachel had to say on this: “Don’t keep searching for that shot if no one will look at the camera at once, there will probably be a beauty of a photo hiding in the ones you think aren’t perfect!”
Select a Professional Photography for Baby’s Christmas Photoshoot
Taking photos of your little ones can be lots of fun but if you’d like to be sure of a high-quality outcome or you’re keen to feature in the images yourself, you may want to hire a professional. To keep costs down, you could check which local photographers are running time slot sessions on special Christmas or family shoots. These usually involve a short shoot with a few edited images for a fixed fee.
Don’t forget to check what festive photography experience your potential photographer has including looking at their portfolio. The photographers we spoke to advised asking questions about time constraints on the shoot itself and also finding out in advance when images will be ready. After all, you’ll want to know that you will be able to use the photographs for any gift plans you have. It’s also key to check what’s included with any shoot – does it cover post-production time? How many images will you receive? Will there be any prints covered in the cost?
Being able to relax with your photographer and feel confident that they’ll take the time to get the kind of images you’re hoping for is also crucial.
Chloe said: “One of the biggest worries my clients tell me is that they were worried their children won’t behave and will cry during the experience but that’s something I have yet to see happen. We work with children all the time and understand that children have bad days just as much as us. We can give you all the time you need.”
And Over to You!
Are you hoping to take some photographs of your baby’s 1st Christmas this year or have you booked a professional shoot for the whole family? We’d love to see your 1st Christmas photography efforts on the Bump, Baby and You page! Do let us know if you have a go at taking any photos at home using the tips and advice in this post.
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