Celebrating baby's first Christmas with a special photo for your family Christmas cards is a great idea. While many parents do use a professional photographer for their Christmas card portrait, you can save money with a do-it-yourself approach. All it takes is patience and a bit of creative thinking to come up with easy baby Christmas photo ideas that are perfect for your family.
Most people send out Christmas cards around the first or second week of December. To allow time for editing and photo processing, this means you should plan your photo shoot for around the end of October or the first of November. See our article on Digital Photo Developing Options for New Parents if you need help choosing a photo developer for your Christmas card pictures.
Ideally, you should schedule your photo session for a time when your baby will be well rested and well fed. If you have a large family or want to include pets in your Christmas card photo, ask a friend to assist you in setting up your shots. If you have no assistant, you'll need to have a tripod and a camera with a self-timer in order to take your Christmas card photos.
Cute Baby Christmas Photo Ideas
When taking photos of baby's first Christmas, it's a good idea to remember the principles of basic portrait photography. Choose a clear background with no distracting elements and avoid dressing your baby in an outfit with a busy print that will take attention away from her adorable smile. Use props and fun poses to add interest to your holiday portrait.
Some popular ideas for cute Christmas photos include:
- Place your baby inside a large colorfully wrapped box with lid. Gather everyone around the package and have someone hold the lid while the rest of your family looks inside as baby "pops" out of the box.
- Take a cute picture of a newborn by nestling her in a wicker basket lined with a red or green blanket. Surround the basket with colorful Christmas ornaments.
- A photo of baby dressed in nothing but his diaper and wearing a red Santa hat makes for a simple yet cute Christmas card photo. If you have other children, have them kissing baby's cheeks when you take the picture.
- Take a picture of baby dressed in her Christmas best holding a sign that says "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Holidays!"
About Photography has articles with Christmas Card Photo Tips for Kids and Christmas Card Photo Ideas for Families that you may find useful when developing a list of posing ideas for your photo shoot.
If you can't get your baby to cooperate for your family photo, don't despair. Even if a photo of your child screaming on Santa's lap wasn't exactly what you had in mind, these images have a special charm that will make you smile long after your son or daughter has grown up.
Enhance Your Baby's First Christmas Photos
If you have a snapshot from another occasion that you'd like to use as part of your family Christmas card, you can use image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop Elements to give it a holiday feel. Here are a few easy tricks to try:
- Add a red and green Christmas border around the image of your choice.
- Type a greeting directly onto the photo using a decorative seasonal font.
- Add thought bubbles and captions to the picture to create a funny cartoon.
- Add a distressed photo overlay to create a vintage effect.
- Turn the photo into a black and white image. Add spot color as desired to enhance details such as the Santa hat on baby's head or the Christmas ornament your baby is holding.