Christmas is a special time when you have a newborn in the house. I remember wanting to commemorate everything for my daughters’ first holiday–their first gift, the absolute wonder in their eyes when they beheld Christmas lights, and even their mild terror when they met santa for the first time. What better way to celebrate this special holiday than a photo shoot? The only problem? Family photos–especially holiday photos–can be quite expensive. If you’re looking for adorable baby Christmas photo ideas I hope you love my list below.
As a mom of two and a total amateur photographer, I love how the poses below are easy to replicate, low-prep, and fun! I’ve included some newborn Christmas photo ideas, as well as a few for older babies–plus some helpful tips to get you started.
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1. Baby in a Christmas stocking
This one is so fun to do with newborns! Grab an XL-stocking, and tuck those cute legs inside. Some moms like to bring the stocking about to the chest level.
It’s cheap, low-prep, and if you’re dealing with a sleep newborn, easy to replicate.
2. Wearing a Santa Hat
Sometimes getting your baby in a Santa costume can be a bother. Dolling them up in a Christmas hat is a good compromise.
The picture above pairs a Santa hat with faux fur and a sweater blanket. I think this contrast of colors and textures adds more interest to the picture.
3. Baby with a holiday bow.
I adore this picture (below) because, once again, it is so cheap and easy to replicate. If you want to try to include your baby’s booty, remove the back half of the diaper just before you take the shot. Leave the bottom part under the baby, hiding it with the blankets.
Props to you if you want to attempt this. My daughters would pee the second I removed the diaper.
4. Holding the First Christmas Ornament
Have you bought your newborn a first Christmas decoration? What am I saying, of course you have! Arrange some blankets, and take a picture of your little one either holding a ball or placing it next to your baby’s’ head.
Tummy time is an excellent photo op too, as displayed in the picture below.
5. Wearing Reindeer Antlers
This baby Christmas photo pose is super easy because you can take it in their diaper, a blanket, or in pajamas. The Dollar Tree sells reindeer antlers for $1.25. Otherwise, you can also find them on Amazon here.
6. Playing with Christmas tree ornaments
You can control the vibe of this picture by being intention with the ornaments you select. Choose light colored blue tones for a whimsical look. Or, you can go red and green if you’re feeling more traditional.
7. Baby in a basket
Oh my heavens, the picture above is adorable. The camera lens here is obviously stellar, but it’s still totally possible to recreate this baby Christmas photo at home. Let’s unpack what makes it work:
- Contrasting textures. The baby is wrapped in cozy looking red swaddle, wearing a knitted santa hat, and laid on rustic wool and thick, knobby green fabric. Then, you can see a hint of the hardwood and wooden basket beyond.
- Layers. I love that we’re also seeing red lights in the background. This adds some fantastic interest points.
- Clear Focus Point. Blurring the background details can emphasize the focus on your little one. A 50mm lens is a good way to achieve this affect. If you’re taking pictures with an iphone or Android, you can use Lightroom Mobile to blur the background.
8. Wearing a tiny elf costume
The most difficult part is finding an elf costume in your baby’s size. You can go for a white background, but I think adding a few small present boxes to the picture makes this much more fun.
9. Sitting inside a Santa sack
Because we both know that your little one is the best gift Santa could ever give you! This is going to follow the same concept as the stocking picture. A white background is great for a more dramatic contrast, however, placing your baby under the Christmas tree adds a story element to the photo.
10. Surrounded by Holiday Stuffed Animals
Reindeer, elves, snowmen, the Grinch, and cute little snow bunnies! You can place baby on a coordinating blanket and take a few photos without any prep.
11. Holding a candy cane
As long as they don’t eat the candy cane! This picture is fun if your baby is wearing a santa hat as well. Or, you can dress them in either white or red to coordinate with the candy cane’s colors.
12. Sitting in Christmas-themed wagon.
A fantastic newborn Christmas photo idea, because the more active your baby is, the easier they can topple out of the wagon.
You can find holiday-themed wagons on Amazon or Etsy.
13. Sitting in a gift box
This is best for baby’s that can sit on their own. The most difficult part of this baby Christmas picture idea? Keeping your baby in the box.
Well…and possibly wrapping the box. If you’re anything like me.
This picture really works when you’re enthusiastic with your baby. Try playing peek-a-boo just before you take the picture. Let your baby mimic your movements, then take the shot just as he emerges.
14. Baby’s First Christmas Tummy Time
For this picture, you just need a pair of pajamas with “baby’s first Christmas” written on the bum. Lay your baby in front of the Christmas tree on his belly. Make sure he’s facing the tree so you can capture the words in your shot!
Here’s a picture from Instagram to show exactly how it’s done!
15. Decorating the Christmas Tree
For my daughter’s second Christmas, she wanted to help decorate this Christmas tree. Let me tell you, things have not changed. She practically decorated our tree this year!
If you have an older baby, you can take a picture of them decorating the Christmas tree. Add a cute outfit to elevate the photo. I think a frontal picture like the one above is best, but a rear shot is really cute too if you catch them reaching up high.
16. Christmas Angel
For your baby’s first Christmas photo, set up a little “Christmas tree” on the floor with a green blanket, “decorate” it with garland, decorations, and bows. Place your baby at the top and use either wings or a blanket to create wings. Add a strip of gold garland to create the halo.
This tutorial on Instagram shows exactly how to do this.
17. Baby in a Santa Suit
I mean…how cute can you possibly get? Amazon sells adorable baby Santa costumes. If your baby hates that kind of thing, a onesie and a Aanta hat can work as well.
18. Wearing a Christmas-themed Tutu
A tutu adds a whole level of cuteness to any photo! Add a holiday-themed headband and you’ve got the perfect first baby christmas photo!
If your baby is sitting up, you can place her next to the tree, and add a few Christmas presents or decorations to the backdrop. Think of the overall theme of the shot when you choose your props. Is your baby wearing a traditional red tutu? Coordinate with green and red ornaments.
19. With the Siblings
My favorite pictures are the ones with my girls together! It’s so fun to see them grow and develop every year.
It’s fun to coordinate their outfits ahead of time, whether that’s matching jammies, dresses, or simply color coordinated clothing.
20. Surrounded by Christmas lights
A couple of things: make sure that you use LED lights (rather than hte incandescent, which get hot). Also, keep an eye on your baby’s chompers. Sometimes they like to munch on the cables.
I recommend surrounding your baby with the lights (colored or white), take the photo with either a white blanket that reflects the lights really well, or in a rustic setting with hardwood.
21. Flat Lay with Christmas Ornaments
Are you struggling with posing your baby? This is an easy shot to try for newbies and also low-prep. Basically, just lay down a white sheet on the floor. Add a few Christmas essentials: garland, Christmas decorations, candy canes, and more around the sheet, leaving a space open for your baby to rest in.
Then, lay your baby in the center of the frame. Make some silly faces and take the shot once your baby (hopefully) smiles.
If you’re on the short side like me, make sure you have a step-stool to take the shot.
22. The Ornament Shot
I saw this picture on Pinterest and had to add it! Basically, strip the little one down to nothing (or a small diaper), hold an ornament (or cookie) close to the camera lens to hide your baby’s booty, and take the shot.
Here’s a cute example from Instagram!
23. Reading a Christmas Story
If your baby is sitting up independently, you can help him hold your favorite Christmas story book. Otherwise, you can lay your little one on one page and a take a headshot.
24. Holding a snow globe.
I know what you’re thinking. Disaster waiting to happen, right? Well, these shatter-proof snow globes are exactly what the doctor ordered. 😉
I think this has the potential to be a very whimsical picture. I would get your camera ready before giving your baby the snow globe. Then, when they see it for the first time, you can capture their wonder at watching the snow fall down.
25. Newborn in a Wreath
If you have a beautiful wreath and a few soft blankets, you can recreate this beautiful newborn Christmas photo.
Here, you just want to wrap your sleeping newborn in a lose blanket, cradled gently in a bowl or basket (slightly elevated from the wreath). I love how the photographer used faux fur in this photo as well. It contrasts really well with the rough texture of the wreath!
Tips to Take a Baby Christmas Photoshoot at Home
Believe it or not, newborn photography is a cinch! They’re so drowsy. My friend is a professional photographer, and she gave me a few of her favorite tips on how to take great photos at home!
Lighting is everything
Try to take the photos in the room of your house where there’s great morning to midday lights. This shocked me, because I always thought this was the worst light. Outside, midday light might look a little harsh, but inside it’s warm and bright enough to make your photos great.
Upgrade Your Lens
There’s nothing wrong with taking a photo with your iphone. There’s plenty of filters on Etsy to make any photo look beautiful with Lightroom Mobile (my favorite photo editing app).
But, if you can afford it. Try using a wide angle lens. This makes newborn photography so much easier! You’ll be able to capture all of the beautiful details surrounding your baby and crop the picture if necessary.
My camera is a Nikon 3500. I would say this is an entry level DSLR camera. I bought it on Black Friday when there was a sweet bonus deal that included a telephoto lens. Soon after, I bought my Nikor 50mm lenses with autofocus. It’s less than $200 and takes incredible photos.
Take the Photos While Your Baby is Asleep
A sleeping baby is a happy baby, and much easier to manipulate into cute poses.
Many parents (including me) make the mistake of trying to photograph a newborn while they’re awake. If you have a newborn, try doing the photo shoot while your baby is asleep.
Older babies, on the other hand, take better photos right after a nap and a bottle.
You’ll notice that a lot of the above contain a mixture of soft and rustic textures. This adds interest and contrast to your pictures. Faux fur, rustic wooden floors, soft blankets, wrapping paper, wreaths, adding all of these elements creates interesting elements in your photos.
And it sets the theme of your wonderful photo!
Background Elevates the Photo
The background of your adorable christmas photography is a combination of great posing, lighting, props, and background. Don’t neglect the background. For more dramatic, whimsical pictures, you can use a white backdrop. This focuses on the baby. But if you’re trying to create a “mood”, try adding interesting objects in the background. For example, you can take the photo in front of a Christmas tree or use lights in the background.
Take Lots of Photos
For every stunning picture you see a photographer take, there’s probably ten of the same thing that didn’t make the cut.
The perfect shot does exist…but it takes about a hundred photos to find it! When I take photos, I take at least five of the same shot, varying the angle ever so slightly with each one. Why? Because you never know which photo is the one. You never know which photos are blurry or also slightly off the angle you’re going for.
Essentials for a Newborn Christmas Photo Shoot
Here are just a few items that I deem absolutely essential for a baby’s first Christmas photos.
- A knitted sweater blanket. I love using sweaters in my own product photography because the texture is easily identifiable and sets the vibe for the picture.
- Faux fur. Once again, we’re setting the tone. You’ll notice that quite few of the photos above have faux fur.
- Posing fabric. It is amazing what a simple white blanket can do. It can be used as a prop, a swaddle, or a backdrop. You can also add this to cushion your baby in your posing prop.
- A basket, bowl, or present. This, of course, is to put your your darling newborn in.
- Santa hat, Christmas headbands, etc.
- Lightroom Mobile. It’s $10 a month and you can use it on Androids and iPhone. Seriously amazing software. I also recommend buying a preset on Etsy. It’ll make your photos look stunning!
- Christmas decorations. Christmas tree, ornaments, garland, and whatever other fun Christmas-themed objects you can think of!
What Are Your Favorite Baby Christmas Photo Ideas?
Look, I know that there’s a lot of pressure to take Christmas card-worthy shots, but let me encourage you–just have fun with this! If you surround your baby with adorable lights and decorations, take the picture in a bright room with plenty of natural light, and manage to take the photos before your little baby turns into a screaming banshee, you can’t go wrong! At the end of the day, you will have a great holiday photos to cherish for years to come.
I sincerely hope that one of these Christmas baby photo ideas get you started. Let us know some of your favorite poses!