A kid's first Christmas is one of the most important childhood milestones. Even though the little ones probably won't remember it, it's only more reason to save the magic of the moment with some memorable photos. However, as all parents know, organizing a photo shoot with a toddler is not exactly easy and getting that perfect pic can be a bit tricky even for a professional. Below, you'll find a few helpful tips on how to capture the once-in-a-lifetime experience that is a baby's first Christmas photo shoot.
1. Dress Up with Christmas Element
Dressing up the baby for the Christmas photoshoot is often half the fun. The ways to make a toddler even sweeter and more adorable are practically endless. This means that parents shouldn't be afraid to experiment a bit and get creative when choosing the Christmas photography outfit. They can go minimalistic and have the kid wear only a red Santa hat and a diaper. Or, they can veer off from traditional Christmas themes and choose more bold and colorful clothing patterns. Of course, a classic Christmas look is a sure thing. There's no baby that won't look cute in a cozy onesie or knit with a seasonal print.
2. Use Natural Light
If possible, organize a Christmas photo shoot in the morning or late evening as that's when the natural light is the softest and without harsh streaks of sunshine.
In the morning, you should position the baby so it faces the light and has its back turned to a Christmas tree or a fireplace. This will provide a lovely and natural glow over the baby's face, especially if the light comes down at a 45-degree angle. However, this setting will make the Christmas tree lighting less visible. For a more festive feeling and to emphasize the tree or a fireplace, it's better to organize a photo shoot in the evening. Taking a picture of a baby with string lights or a fireplace in the background, with minimal outside light and dimmed room lighting, will create an effect that will make the pic look like it's taken straight from the Christmas card.
3. Add Festival Props
Of course, the easiest way to add some Christmas spirit to the baby photograph is by using various festive props. Feel free to try out different props until you find the perfect ones. Here are some suggestions:
- Christmas ornament - Let the baby hold a Christmas ornament, stage hanging the ornament on their own, or place the baby in a bowl full of ornaments. Of course, make sure that ornaments are soft and safe for the baby.
- Milk and Cookies - Nothing says Christmas morning like milk and cookies. Dress the baby Christmas outfit and have it nibble on the cookie or just hold it next to the glass of milk.
- Christmas lights - Baby playing with string lights will make for a wonderful picture, especially if you nail the lighting. You can also place the baby on the blanket and arrange the lights around it in any way you like.
- Gift box - Have some fun by making the baby the best Christmas gift of all. Place the little one in the gift box, add a big bow, and place it under a tree for a perfect Christmas pic.
4. Capture the Candid Moment
Creating a great baby Christmas photograph is all about capturing the candid moment. You want the baby in the picture to look natural and caught in the moment that displays its true charming nature. Of course, as babies are not professional models and are not exactly patient, creating these kinds of moments is not easy. The best thing to do is to make a game out of the photoshoot. Sing a song, smile, invite the baby's siblings and encourage them to play with the toddler while you patiently try to snap those genuinely candid moments.
5. Focus on Hands and Feet
All of us will agree that baby's feet and feet are among the cutest things in the world. So, you'll want to make use of all that cuteness and make these adorable body parts the main subject in some of the Christmas photos. These tiny hands and feet will look even sweeter in a Christmas outfit. Make use of the macro mode or macro lens on your camera to isolate and accentuate them. You will likely need some help for these shots as money will have to hold the baby while you focus your shot on hands or feet.
Photo by Eric Froehling on Unsplash
6. Shoot Various Angles
Finding a flattering angle for the baby picture may be a tad more difficult than you think. This is why you'll have to get creative and try different angles until you get the Christmas photo you want. If you can't get a good staged pic, just let the baby crawl and move around the Christmas tree and decorations. At the same time, try to get as many shots as you can from various angles. Chances are, one of those will be the one you're looking for.
You can also get on a ladder and take the shot from above while the babe lies on the festive blanket or next to stockings. Or, while above, place the baby under the tree and shoot through the branches to capture a unique Christmas feeling. Another good idea is to get down low and snap photos at the eye level of the baby or slightly upwards as lay down on your belly. You may not be able to get a good view of the tree or whatever is behind the baby, but, remember, the focus is on the baby, not the decorations. You can also create a wonderful picture by shooting from behind and capturing only a baby's silhouette in a Christmas outfit against a festive backdrop.
7. Find Happy Time
Babies do a lot of crying, eating, and sleeping but don't smile very often. And, for the Christmas photoshoot, you want a smiling baby, fully engaged in a festive spirit. However, trying to get a baby to smile can be challenging. Most parents know at what times of the day their baby is the most content and what makes it happy. So, the good idea is to schedule the shoot at around that time and try to recreate those moments to get a smile out of the little one.
8. Keep Shooting
Babies are rather unpredictable in their behavior. So, deliberately creating a perfect moment for the shot is nearly impossible. The baby Christmas photoshoot is only so long, so you'll want to get as many shots as possible.
Having your camera in burst or continuous shooting mode will allow you to get shots of the baby from different angles and catch different moods, emotions, and facial expressions. Do this while the baby is seeing Santa for the first time, going through the presents, or exploring the Christmas decorations. This way, you'll ensure that you capture genuine smiles and moments of elation. Burst mode is there to guarantee you won't miss any of them.
9. Talk to the Baby
Photo by Katie Emslie on Unsplash
No matter how perfect the Christmas setup is, it's hard to get a quality baby photo unless the little one is engaged. Talking to the baby while shooting will not only get them interested in what's going on but help create a connection with a photographer. This will make a photoshoot much easier as it will make the baby more relaxed and more inclined to make eye contact with the camera.
10. Involve the Family
The more is always the merrier and the same goes for the Christmas photoshoot. Having the family involved will make things much more fun for everyone. With the baby's parents and siblings also in the picture, it's much easier to capture moments of love and tenderness that the family will cherish for years. You can make things even more fun by having all family members wear matching Christmas outfits.
11. Photo with a Christmas Backdrop
To add to the Christmas atmosphere and create a more festive spirit in the photo, you can use different Christmas backdrops. The variety of festive backdrops available will make sure that you can find the one perfectly suited for the spirit of a certain family. You can find a ton of awesome backgrounds at Kate Christmas photography backdrops.
Christmas is the happiest holiday but it's even more wonderful if it's the baby's first. The celebration is more special than in the normal year and the best way to capture this unique feeling is with a baby's first Christmas photo shoot. By doing this, you will get much more than mere photos, you'll get memories to cherish and save for generations.
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