How to Have a Successful Holiday Photo Shoot with Your Little One

Assuming you troll Pinterest every once in awhile, I’m sure you have seen all kinds of adorable holiday themed pictures of cute, squishy and mostly naked babies.  Given that this is my first Christmas with a cute, squishy, though rarely naked baby, I wanted to take some adorable pictures of my own.  But I wasn’t about to shell out the cash for the pro shots, instead I decided to give it a go on my own.  And I learned some important lessons that you can hopefully benefit from should you decide to torture your little Squirt like I tortured mine.

1.  Choose the right time of day.  We waited until right after Squirt’s morning nap and bottle.  That is typically the time of day that is the happiest as he is rested and full.  Nothing is going to spoil your shoot faster than a cranky baby so try to aim for right after naptime.

2.  Have a helper on hand.  We shot at my mom’s house and it was essential to have her there to help with wrangling.  She helped to keep Squirt still (as much as possible with him) and also acted as a holder-upper in some of his sitting shots.  Plus, it is nice for there to be someone else there to try to get your kiddo to smile since they tend to get bored with one face pretty quickly.

3.  Use props.  Nothing is cuter than babies with props.  We used a Santa hat and a copy of The Night Before Christmas.  You could also use a stocking, an ornament, a sign, or Christmas lights, to name a few.

4.  Find good light.  The number one thing that tends to separate pro shots from the amateur ones is lighting.  Our house does not get good natural light and that is why we chose my mom’s for the shoot.  Make sure you have lots of natural sunlight (this can also affect the time of day you choose) and supplement with additional light if you need to.

5.  Keep shooting–the outtakes are just as good as the posed shots.  Of course your little one is not going to sit perfectly still in their assigned pose for very long (if at all), but keep shooting anyway.  Some of the best shots you are going to get will be the candid ones, or the mess ups (see adorable Santa-hat-over-the-eyes shot above).

Have fun with your photo shoot, no matter the outcome, I’m sure you will get some precious shots of your little Squirt!

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