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Holiday photo op: Dressing your kids for Christmas morning

Bed head and excited eyes are the markers of a great Christmas morning. Follow these tips on how to dress your little ones to get the perfect Christmas morning photo.

Christmas morning


Sometimes the best memories are those that are 100 percent authentic. Have your kiddos choose the pajamas they want to wear. If it is the favorite tattered nightgown or too-tight footie, know that the imperfections will make your morning photos that much more endearing. Capture the details of their favorite sleeper by taking closeups of the imperfections — those elements will help you remember the feeling of their favorite morning of the year.


If you want to get a traditional shot that is cute and coordinated when the kids roll out of bed, dress them in matching pajamas the night before. Choose holiday prints that are not too busy to keep the focus on their faces. If your kids are too far apart in age to find the same pajamas, match style — footie, gown, button-up — and color palette to keep them coordinated.


Choose fun colors that will stand out. Don’t be afraid to be bold by pairing jewel tones with an interesting accent color like mustard yellow — for hair accessories, tights, jewelry, etc. Make sure the colors you choose complement one another without matching exactly. Then tie the shot together by adding the accent hue to each look.


A great outfit can make your morning photos really pop. A great way to add depth to your pictures is to add layers to your kids’ outfits. Add a sweater, scarf or comfy socks to their ensemble to make the shot interesting.


When taking a group shot, add one element of surprise. Have the youngest in a bold pattern or dressed only in the accent color of your choice. Then, have the kids pick a pose or make a funny face. Don’t get too caught up in making it perfect. The day is all about fun!


Set up a shot that captures the details. Don’t always capture the entire outfit in the frame. Take shots that focus on the hair bow and cowlick, or on the pant legs and cozy socks from grandma. Shoot hands in their shirt cuffs and in pockets of jeans. Take a shot of the baby in his or her outfit from last year to see how much they have grown.


Have two photo sessions on Christmas morning: the first in pajamas or sleepwear with a just-rolled-out-of-bed look and the second in a new outfit they opened up.

Follow these tips to make your Christmas morning photos look professional. Remember, you can never get the moments back, so make sure to take more shots than you think you will need.

Add an element

Props are a fun way to spice things up. Incorporate Christmas lights, ornaments or gift boxes.

More tips on getting great shots of your kids

Creative pose ideas for kids
Tips for keeping kids happy during photo shoots
Best photography blogs for moms

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