DIY · photography

Favorite Christmas Book Photo Shoot

Back in October, my four month old nephew visited from Texas. We decided to do a Christmas photo shoot, so my sister would have some cute pictures for her Christmas card. So after perusing Pinterest and deciding on a few photos, we ran to the library, checked out a few Christmas books, and prepared to shoot a few photos that looked like this:


Of course, we forgot to take the photos.

So the last night of her visit, we remembered that some photos needed to be taken. So at about 7pm, inside a house with no overhead lighting, we scrambled around and set up the shot, finally getting a sleepy baby fully asleep and in Christmas pajamas.

My version
My version

Despite the lighting, which was horrendous, I managed to get a number of sweet baby shots, until the little one woke up. shattering the chances of getting the perfect Pinterest-inspired Christmas photo. However, I keep shooting, taking the chance to get a few pictures of his inquisitive eyes taking in the surroundings.


At the end of the impromptu shoot, I had a number a good photos and a once-again-sleeping baby. Not too bad for a last minute photo shoot with no natural lighting!


Here’s a few tips for those of you wanting to recreate these shots in your home.

1. Find a carpet, rug, or blanket with some texture. It adds depth and interest to the photo.

2. Low light ended up working perfectly for this sleepy-time portrait, so don’t fret if your lighting isn’t perfect. Just avoid the flash!

3. If you’re using library books, try to make sure any bar codes and stickers on the dust covers are hidden. I failed to do this in a few shots, and though it isn’t very noticeable, it still bothers me.

4. The “falling asleep on his favorite book” shot was precious, but don’t be upset if baby wakes up. Just keep shooting and get some “hey, I’m trying to read!” pictures too.

5. Shoot with a low aperture to get a smaller focal point, creating that “dreamy” quality. I used my 50mm lens and had the aperture set at f1.8, for most of my photos.

6. Shoot from several angles: up top looking down, from the side, from baby’s head and feet, from the edge of the book to his face. Just have fun with it!


So, what do you guys think?

Like the photos? Check out Jen Kay Photography on Facebook.



3 thoughts on “Favorite Christmas Book Photo Shoot

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