Mom holding baby wearing reindeer antlers for first christmas photo
Photography Holidays New Baby

32 Best 'Baby's First Christmas' DIY Photoshoot Ideas

By Amy Morrison
Partnership with Minted. Contains affiliate links.

Nothing brings out the holiday cheer like an adorable ‘first Christmas’ picture of a baby. So I decided to collect some of the best ideas if you need some inspiration for your DIY photoshoot.

I've partnered with Minted on this because these shots would make superb Christmas cards and they are the GOAT when it comes to exquisite holiday paper products.

I’ve tried to find 'doable' photo ideas for both newborns and babies who are almost toddlers. There are some incredible photos out there that are truly Christmas miracles but I wanted to keep the shots reasonably easy to achieve.

Baby's First Christmas Photoshoot Ideas

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1/ Christmas Ornament

For this photo, you will need either an extra pair of hands or something to hold your phone or camera. I like this one for newborn babies because they don’t need to sit up and if you're holding the ornament they can't pull a tree down on themselves. All you need is some Christmas pajamas, a soft surface like a rug and some decorations.

Jennifer Ellen Photography

2/ Milk & Cookies

I feel like it’s easier to have your baby’s first Christmas photo shoot when they’re asleep. Newborns can be very malleable when they are in a deep sleep so you often take advantage of this sweet spot. I found a similar hat on Carter's if you're on the hunt.

Courtney’s Sweets

3/ Festive Feet

Capture the little details like tiny feet with Christmas decorations in the background. All you need is a festive Christmas outfit and a blanket.

alexandravertinskaya

4/ Santa Baby

I love this baby Santa idea because someone is holding your baby. You could do this with an elf, little angel or reindeer costume too. Bonus points for the ornament in hand, although, you probably want to use something non-breakable.

Best Betts Photography

5/ Ho Ho Hold

Instead of dressing up your baby, consider dressing up someone else as Santa to hold your baby. I feel like this is a great win for anyone with a newborn and older kids who would get a kick out of Santa’s lap photos.

The Boho Diaries

6/ Ornament Idea

This is a great idea because you’re getting the baby’s face and a close-up of the year of you're baby's first holiday. If you like this concept, be sure to check out the site – she does a great tutorial on how she got this shot.

Popopie

7/ Christmas Elves

The clever part about this photoshoot is that the babies are on their backs and it’s shot from overhead. You can buy the elf outfits and I feel like the rest of the props would be reasonable to source out. Do you think that's white glue in the milk bottle?

Dani Reggiardo

8/ Gift Basket

This is from an amazing series of photographs one mom took throughout the year with a Moses basket. I love how it’s all tucked under a rustic Christmas tree with seasonal touches like the blanket and garland.

Note: Moses baskets are iffy when it comes to sleep safety so just use them for the shoot or hanging out.

Melissa Diep Photography

9/ Christmas Lights

Okay, normally I would try to avoid lights in baby Christmas photo ideas because you know the first thing a baby will do is put them in their mouth and/or freak out in the tangle. However, if you have an extra pair of hands nearby, or you’re quick on the draw, you really can get a beautiful shot.

Falls Studio

10/ Checkin' It Twice

What I love about this shot is that the key Christmas elements are the Santa hat and the Christmas tree backdrop. You could do this with wrapping paper taped to the wall then take your baby’s photo right in front of it. A letter board would work with this too.

Nicole Coffield Photography

11/ Perfect Gift

If you have a soft blanket or rug and a bow you’ve got yourself a perfect baby photo shoot set up. You'll want to set up fairly far in front of the tree to capture the lights.

Verloskunde_martinizh

12/ Christmas Ball

If you keep your photoshoot ‘tuffet’ ready to roll you can pop your sleeping newborn in there and they won’t even know they’re part of a photoshoot.

babiesbybazal

13/ Christmas Baubles

This ups the game a bit on the Christmas ornament theme but you might be able to swing it. I think the key is taking the picture before your baby clues into being surrounded by shiny goodies.

Nicole Starr Photography

14/ Gingerbread House

Yes, I completely recognize that placing a choking hazard in front of older babies might not be a hot idea, but it will dazzle them long enough to capture a great picture. A Christmas toy or this wooden advent gingerbread house might work well too.

LJHolloway Photography

15/ Winter Wonderland

This is definitely the handy work of a professional photographer but you might be able to recreate something like this in your home with some white foam, a pine branch, an ornament, and your iPhone if you play with the portrait setting.

Sarah Jordan Photography

16/ Candy Cane Lane

Take advantage of a newborn’s love of gripping things. I would have the rug, Santa hat, candy cane and stocking ready then add your sleeping baby already dressed in their Christmas outfit after.

Nelle Creations

17/ Baby in a Stocking

I noticed that a lot of very clever people put the stocking over their babies rather than trying to stuff them in. It keeps the stocking nice and flat and reduces the baby torture significantly.

Hannah Schaaf

18/ I'm the Gingerbread Man!

How smart is this gingerbread idea?! I think it’s great for older babies who might not dig sitting still for a full photoshoot and you get to eat some cookies while capturing your picture. Win-win.

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19/ Bubble Beard

When I saw this shot I thought, ‘that’s smart’! The only prop you need is a Santa hat and a bubble beard and you’re ready to go.

Erin Joyce Photography

20/ 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

This is a simple concept but makes for such a touching photograph. I think it’s just beautiful. After some sleuthing, I even found the exact book they used.

J Carter

21/ Where's Santa?

How adorable is this? You could probably do this with fairy lights in the background if you don’t have a tree.

Gekalaa

22/ Santa Hat

So many baby Christmas picture ideas are shot straight on so flipping the perspective gives this a nice twist.

My Life of Muses

23/ Let It Snow

There’s no rule that says your baby has to be decked out in tinsel to capture a great holiday picture. You might not get the bonus of the snowflake backdrop but you never know.

The Architect's Think Tank

24/ Angel Wings

I think we can all agree that you'd have to be fast with this one. (And not have pets or older children who will inevitably walk through the pristine snow right before you take the shot.) Still, I found it so memorable so if you think you can swing it, go for it!

Danielle Brasher

25/ Baby Snowman

This baby’s face just melted my heart. It’s a tricky one but it’s a winner if you nail it. I feel like the outtakes with this would be adorable too.

Paper and Wool

26/ Sign of Santa

The simplicity of this is so gorgeous. You can buy the hanger from Paper and Wool but if you don’t want to order from the UK, you can find similar baby Christmas photo props on Etsy.

That Dad Blog

27/ Elf on a Shelf

This is from a series of elf on the shelf photos that this dad photoshopped (it is beyond brilliant so check it out). I’ve included it here because you might be able to pull off this shot if you have a good grip on your elf.

mychristmasfairy

28/ Festive Ride

I love this photo but this is trickier than it looks. You’ll need a red car (the one shown is a Cozy Coupe from Little Tikes but it's either been painted or photoshopped) a mini tree with lights, a wreath AND a baby who's in a good mood.

Caltomare6114

29/ Decorate the Christmas Tree

Babies are notorious for not staying put so take some shots when they are being held. Moms are often left out of family photos (don’t get me started) so capture these memories when they happen!

Dr_nikitina

30/ Giggles and Garland

I thought this was just a beautiful way to capture baby’s first Christmas – just added some festive props and giggles.

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31/ Festive Family

Don’t forget to grab some candid shots. This would be perfect for your Christmas cards too.

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32/ Christmas Miracle

This is shot is included because I feel like it is almost impossible to recreate but it’s so gorgeous – it's also one of my favorite holiday memes. If you can get your baby and your family’s pet in the same shot then I tip my Santa cap to you!

Tips for Your DYI Photoshoot

  • Use natural light - light that is facing your baby (vs behind) is better than most lights you can buy.
  • Get in close - when it doubt, get in close to your baby. The portrait setting on your phone is another great trick.
  • Retouch - if a shot doesn’t look ‘quite right’ go into your photo editing and try dialing up the brightness and dialing down the ‘yellow’. Those two tweaks often make a big impact.
  • Simple props - you can probably get away with items you have around the house and some festive PJs – Carters, Old Navy and Etsy often have great outfits and props that are budget-friendly.
  • Manage your expectations - there is a 99% chance your baby isn’t going to dig this shoot. It doesn’t matter - you are capturing a moment in time and sometimes that moment is a baby freaking out with a Santa hat on. You’ll love that photo one day so don’t delete it.
Jamilia Jean Photography

Do you have a great idea for a baby Christmas photoshoot?

Drop it in the comments or send me a photo!

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