Nothing brings out the holiday cheer like an adorable ‘first Christmas’ picture of a baby. So I decided to collect some of the best ideas if you need some inspiration for your DIY photoshoot.
I've partnered with Minted on this because these shots would make superb Christmas cards and they are the GOAT when it comes to exquisite holiday paper products.
I’ve tried to find 'doable' photo ideas for both newborns and babies who are almost toddlers. There are some incredible photos out there that are truly Christmas miracles but I wanted to keep the shots reasonably easy to achieve.
Baby's First Christmas Photoshoot Ideas
1. Christmas Ornament
For this photo, you will need either an extra pair of hands or something to hold your phone or camera. I like this one for newborn babies because they don’t need to sit up and if you're holding the ornament they can't pull a tree down on themselves. All you need is some Christmas pajamas, a soft surface like a rug and some decorations.
2. Milk & Cookies
I feel like it’s easier to have your baby’s first Christmas photo shoot when they’re asleep. Newborns can be very malleable when they are in a deep sleep so you often take advantage of this sweet spot. I found a similar hat on Carter's if you're on the hunt.
3. Festive Feet
Capture the little details like tiny feet with Christmas decorations in the background. All you need is a festive Christmas outfit and a blanket.
4. Santa Baby
I love this baby Santa idea because someone is holding your baby. You could do this with an elf, little angel or reindeer costume too. Bonus points for the ornament in hand, although, you probably want to use something non-breakable.
5. Ho Ho Hold
Instead of dressing up your baby, consider dressing up someone else as Santa to hold your baby. I feel like this is a great win for anyone with a newborn and older kids who would get a kick out of Santa’s lap photos.
6. Ornament Idea
This is a great idea because you’re getting the baby’s face and a close-up of the year of your baby's first holiday. (Etsy has some gorgeous custom ornaments right now.) If you like this concept, be sure to check out the site – she does a great tutorial on how she got this shot.
7. Christmas Elves
The clever part about this photoshoot is that the babies are on their backs and it’s shot from overhead. You can buy the elf outfits and I feel like the rest of the props would be reasonable to source out. Do you think that's white glue in the milk bottle?
8. Gift Basket
This is from an amazing series of photographs one mom took throughout the year with a Moses basket. I love how it’s all tucked under a rustic Christmas tree with seasonal touches like the blanket and garland.
Note: Moses baskets are iffy when it comes to sleep safety so just use them for the shoot or hanging out.
9. Christmas Lights
Okay, normally I would try to avoid lights in baby Christmas photo ideas because you know the first thing a baby will do is put them in their mouth and/or freak out in the tangle. However, if you have an extra pair of hands nearby, or you’re quick on the draw, you really can get a beautiful shot.
10. Checkin' It Twice
What I love about this shot is that the key Christmas elements are the Santa hat and the Christmas tree backdrop. You could do this with wrapping paper taped to the wall then take your baby’s photo right in front of it. A letter board would work with this too.
11. Perfect Gift
If you have a soft blanket or rug and a bow you’ve got yourself a perfect baby photo shoot set up. You'll want to set up fairly far in front of the tree to capture the lights.
12. Christmas Ball
If you keep your photoshoot ‘tuffet’ ready to roll you can pop your sleeping newborn in there and they won’t even know they’re part of a photoshoot.
13. Christmas Baubles
This ups the game a bit on the Christmas ornament theme but you might be able to swing it. I think the key is taking the picture before your baby clues into being surrounded by shiny goodies.
14. Gingerbread House
Yes, I completely recognize that placing a choking hazard in front of older babies might not be a hot idea, but it will dazzle them long enough to capture a great picture.
15. Winter Wonderland
This is definitely the handy work of a professional photographer but you might be able to recreate something like this in your home with some white foam, a pine branch, an ornament, and your iPhone if you play with the portrait setting.
16. Candy Cane Lane
Take advantage of a newborn’s love of gripping things. I would have the rug, Santa hat, candy cane and stocking ready then add your sleeping baby already dressed in their Christmas outfit after.
17. Baby in a Stocking
I noticed that a lot of very clever people put the stocking over their babies rather than trying to stuff them in. It keeps the stocking nice and flat and reduces the baby torture significantly.
18. I'm the Gingerbread Man!
How smart is this gingerbread idea?! I think it’s great for older babies who might not dig sitting still for a full photoshoot and you get to eat some cookies while capturing your picture. Win-win.
19. Bubble Beard
When I saw this shot I thought, ‘that’s smart’! The only prop you need is a Santa hat and a bubble beard and you’re ready to go.
20. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
This is a simple concept but makes for such a touching photograph. I think it’s just beautiful. After some sleuthing, I even found the exact book they used.
21. Where's Santa?
How adorable is this? You could probably do this with fairy lights in the background if you don’t have a tree.
22. Santa Hat
So many baby Christmas picture ideas are shot straight on so flipping the perspective gives this a nice twist.
23. Let It Snow
There’s no rule that says your baby has to be decked out in tinsel to capture a great holiday picture. You might not get the bonus of the snowflake backdrop but you never know.
24. Angel Wings
I think we can all agree that you'd have to be fast with this one. (And not have pets or older children who will inevitably walk through the pristine snow right before you take the shot.) Still, I found it so memorable so if you think you can swing it, go for it!
25. Baby Snowman
This baby’s face just melted my heart. It’s a tricky one but it’s a winner if you nail it. I feel like the outtakes with this would be adorable too.
26. Sign of Santa
27. Elf on a Shelf
This is from a series of elf on the shelf photos that this dad photoshopped (it is beyond brilliant so check it out). I’ve included it here because you might be able to pull off this shot if you have a good grip on your elf.
28. Festive Ride
I love this photo but this is trickier than it looks. You’ll need a red car (the one shown is a Cozy Coupe from Little Tikes but it's either been painted or photoshopped) a mini tree with lights, a wreath AND a baby who's in a good mood.
29. Decorate the Christmas Tree
Babies are notorious for not staying put so take some shots when they are being held. Moms are often left out of family photos (don’t get me started) so capture these memories when they happen!
30. Giggles and Garland
I thought this was just a beautiful way to capture a baby’s first Christmas – just added some festive props and giggles.
31. Festive Family
Don’t forget to grab some candid shots. This would be perfect for your Christmas cards too.
32. Christmas Miracle
This shot is included because I feel like it is almost impossible to recreate but it’s so gorgeous – it's also one of my favorite holiday memes. If you can get your baby and your family’s pet in the same shot then I tip my Santa cap to you!
33. Decorating the Tree
This is a fairly easy shot to capture just make sure they don't hulk the whole tree down with them or pull off something breakable.
34. Sleepy Santa
This is a good one for newborns because they sleep so often and so deeply that you can arrange them like a stop motion Rankin Bass Christmas special. Obviously, this isn't a safe way to sleep on the regular so move them to a safe spot once you capture the shot.
35. Twin Christmas Stockings
If you are the parents of twins and take ANY photo let alone something as impressive as this, I tip my hat to you. The little pacifiers are from Wubannub it's their moose but it can easily pass for a reindeer in my book.
Tips for Your DYI Photoshoot
- Use natural light - light that is facing your baby (vs behind) is better than most lights you can buy.
- Get in close - when in doubt, get in close to your baby. The portrait setting on your phone is another great trick.
- Retouch - if a shot doesn’t look ‘quite right’ go into your photo editing and try dialing up the brightness and dialing down the ‘yellow’. Those two tweaks often make a big impact.
- Simple props - you can probably get away with items you have around the house and some festive PJs – Carters, Old Navy and Etsy often have great outfits and props that are budget-friendly.
- Manage your expectations - there is a 99% chance your baby isn’t going to dig this shoot. It doesn’t matter - you are capturing a moment in time and sometimes that moment is a baby freaking out with a Santa hat on. You’ll love that photo one day so don’t delete it.
Do you have a great idea for a baby Christmas photoshoot?
Drop it in the comments or send me a photo!
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