It’s the most wonderful time of the year! To many that means sweet treats, holiday decor, whimsical music, gifts with over-sized bows and everything jolly, but to me it means an opportunity to enjoy a side passion of mine. Most of you know me as Mud Pie’s Baby Designer, but I have a hidden talent aside from designing over-the-top Christmas outfits…that’s right, I LOVE taking photos. From portraits of friends and family to places and lifestyle shots, I am always looking to capture moments that turn to memories. And what better time of the year to do just that?
One of my favorite purchases – well besides my princess poodle, Olive – was my camera lens, a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L. It has brought a recollection of the best moments throughout the past years.
It’s the season to gather your family, and dress your kids up in a delightful outfits (even if they “don’t wanna”) for that perfect holiday photo. The digital world has turned this event into a hot trend. With that being said, I want to share my passion, and 10 tips for capturing holiday photos!
1. FIND A CALM AND RELAXED ENVIRONMENT
Keep the room comfortable. Kids get easily distracted when they are in a space they aren’t familiar with, so pick a comfortable spot. Make sure the location is kid friendly—put away anything you think a kid could get into!
2. HAPPY KIDS = HAPPY YOU
Make sure to schedule the shoot during your kid’s happiest time. It’s not a good idea to schedule a photo shoot with a stranger during nap or eating time. Make sure the child is well rested and has a full belly. This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised to see how many people end up scheduling the shoot during nap time and then complain when it doesn’t work out.
3. COME PREPARED WITH SURPRISES
I have a small checklist I go over before I leave for a baby shoot. These items are MUSTS when photographing kids. Always, always, always bring bubbles… the kids love them! I also ask the parents to have their favorite toys handy- just in case. I hate to say it, but bribery works. Come with a stash of cookies or lollipops… it works every time.
4. HAVE AN ASSISTANT
Bring a friend or ask the mom to have someone on stand-by to help out. Although we want mom there for the breakdowns, it’s not always a good idea to have her there during the shoot. If a kid gets nervous they will cling to mom. It’s best to start in a room away from the camera and then distract the kid from their mom.
5. CHOOSE YOUR OUTFIT WISELY
It’s important to choose a cute outfit but nothing that outshines the kid. Here are some of my favorites Holiday outfits from Mud Pie!
Christmas Car Footed One-Piece | Santa Tunic & Legging | Christmas Longall | Ribbon Tree Tunic & Legging
6. DON’T HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS
They are kids. They won’t always act the way you think they will. It’s okay. Better luck next time.
7. PICK GOOD LIGHTING
Natural lighting is the best. If possible, choose a spot with a large window where a lot of natural light comes in or take the shoot outside. I prefer when it’s cloudy, so everyone is not squinting and eye colors pop. If you happen to schedule the shoot on a cloudy day the pictures will turn out even better.
8. MAKE THEM SHINE
Don’t forget PROPS! Although the kids are cute by themselves, props add a little dimension to the shoots. Here are some of my favorite holiday props from Mud Pie.
Pom Pom Hat and Reindeer Hat are Sold Out. A similar option is below.
Santa Stocking & Hat Set | Holiday Daddy & Me Bowtie Set | Red Organza/Grosgrain Bow | Knit Tree Hat
10. PICK SOME GOOD JAMS
Kids love to dance, clap and sing along. I make sure to always bring my iPad and a speaker to all my kids shoots. Some of the songs that get the kids smiling are… Uptown Funk, Call Me Maybe and Shake It Off.
10. BE PATIENT
Some shoots take one hour some four. Be patient. It will pay off!
Good Luck and HAVE FUN!