How to create an amazing Christmas card photo

How to create an amazing Christmas card photo

This will be my daughter’s 2nd Christmas and as a baby photographer you’d better believe we’ll sending out some super cute Christmas cards again this year.

Creating the perfect Christmas card photo isn’t that hard, the way I see it you have three options.
1. Take the photos yourself at home
2. Go to a professional photography studio.
3. Train to become a professional photographer, spend years perfecting your craft, open a studio where you can bring your child in for his or her Christmas card photo-shoot.

Christmas card photo ideas

For me number three was my preferred choice but it’s a somewhat long-winded approach and with Christmas just around the corner you probably don’t have much time for that.

The second option is always going to be the choice I shamelessly recommend but it doesn’t have to be an expensive choice.
We have some Christmas mini sessions coming up at the Memory Gate studio. For full details and booking visit our website.

Christmas mini shoots

The first choice is for the creatives out there. You don’t really need lots of fancy equipment or lighting but it’s always good to use a camera rather than a camera phone.

First I would begin with a concept. Pinterest is an absolute goldmine for this but be warned, you may spend more time searching for ideas than actually creating them!
Personally I would try and keep the concept simple. I know there are lots of adorable photos of babies wrapped in fairy lights out there but honestly it can be more hassle than it’s worth!
Here’s a simple check list

1.Pick an outfit
2. Find a suitable background
3. Choose props
4. Think about what lighting you will use
5. Think about the pose. Can baby sit unaided etc.

For a Christmas card what you are really going for is a great expression. I’ll take a big cheeky smile over concept any day of the week. Be prepared to take plenty of shots and open that bag of tricks called “this makes her smile”.
If you are using natural light then pick a good time of day when you have plenty of it the morning or mid afternoon is always good. You’ll also want to coincide this with a “happy” time of day.

Outfits verses nappy shots
There’s a reason you see lots of naked or nappy shots on baby photographer’s websites. They look super cute.
The problem is trying to make them look Christmassy. You could go to town decorating a background but I prefer a more subtle approach.
This is where bibs come in very handy. My daughter last year was in the early stages of teething and getting through about four dibble filled bibs a day!
We started using Funky Giraffe bibs because of the sheer variety of designs. After all, a girl can’t be seen with a clashing accessory now can she?
The Christmas themed bibs are perfect to add a subtle touch of Christmas whilst still keeping that classic naked baby look.

Did you know you can get a free Baby’s 1st Christmas Funky Giraffe bib with every under 1 grotto experience?

Funky Giraffe baby bibs first Christmas

I do like outfits but some that turn up in the studio can overwhelm the babies. If you don’t know already, babies, for the most part, hate things over their heads. Santa hats, whilst being lovely are always trouble and never stay on for more than a few seconds.
Unless you are lucky enough to capture a great expression whilst your baby is pulling at a hat I would stick with something more simple.
Some of the more novelty outfits can be a bit on the cheap side and be rather itchy for the baby. This does not make for a happy smiley baby photo.

mary christmas photo baby

Once you have your photos it’s just a case of designing your cards and getting them ordered.
There are plenty of online printing sites that make this very easy. If you are getting for photos done in a studio then I would recommend using their suppliers. We use professional labs which always produce high quality cards.

Be aware of turnaround and delivery times and most importantly of all make sure you have time to get your photos posted before the Royal Mail Christmas cut off dates.

Key dates

Memory Gate Christmas Mini shoots
Saturday 28th November
Thursday 3rd December

Santa’s Grotto

Santa’s Grotto Weekends 12th, 13th, 19th and 20th Dec

Santa’s Grotto Weekdays 10th, 11th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd Dec

Royal Mail delivery cut off dates 2015

UK Inland Services
Saturday 19 December 2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For®
Monday 21 December 1st Class and Royal Mail Signed For®
Wednesday 23 December Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®

International Standard (formerly Airmail)
Friday 4 December Africa, Middle East
Monday 7 December Asia, Cyprus, Far East, Japan, Eastern Europe (ex. Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia
Tuesday 8 December Caribbean, Central & South America
Thursday 10 December Greece, Australia, New Zealand
Monday 14 December Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland
Tuesday 15 December Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA
Wednesday 16 December Austria, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain
Thursday 17 December France
Friday 18 December Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland


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