It is hard to believe we are staring the holiday season in the face.  I just bought my annual bag of cinnamon pinecones.  If that is not a sign of the holidays around the corner I don’t know what is.  As a mom of 6 with 13 years of experience under my belt, I see myself as experienced in this picture business.  I now do not fret about capturing images of my children to share with friends and family.  I started out like most moms, stressed out working for the perfect image of my children all angelically looking at the camera and smiling.  You know what I am talking about right ?  The image next to the christmas tree that is all a glow.  Yeah, I am pretty sure you are starting to stress out reading this, right?  Once I realized that perfect is not always the better I started to trust my own creativity.  Once I relaxed my kids started to relax in front of the camera.  Since we are all heading into the holiday season I was happy to partner with Pampers and Babies”R”Us to help them share tips that will help their consumers capture their babes this season.

1/ Santa’s Coming to Town

Christmas for young kids is magic.   Sometimes that magic is wrapped around a jolly old man wearing a fluffy red suit! It is so much fun to incorporate him into some of your own holiday images. Although you can get pictures taken at the mall when you snap some at home you can capture the true excitement in a place your baby is most comfortable, home. It is super easy to rent a Santa suit and have one of your older children, a friend or Dad dress up.   Then you can grab an image of your emerging walker holding Santas hands for extra support or your new baby cradled in Santas arms.

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2/ Growing and Going

Babies on the move can be some of the most difficult to grab for moms. Here are some things to take into consideration. Light is probably the most important. Babies who are crawling or walking move quickly and photography is all about light. The more light the better chance you have to capture your child clearly. I am sure you have seen the the image of your child looking like a blur of movement. Light helps with those situations and gives the camera the chance to capture the image percisly. I usually give the child a couple things that grab their interest and let them go to town. I move back and wait for them to get comfortable. These images will give you the opporutnity to capture those milestones of movement in a natural setting. You will just love the outcome!

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3/ Christmas Keepsakes (i.e. details)

Memories can be in the details. For special occasions like the holidays I try and remember what my kids looked like all the way down to their fingers and toes, especially when they were babies. I set the babies in a place in the house where there is not a lot of clutter and lots of natural light. I give them a candy cane or a cookie and I capture their fingers wrapped around it.  I focus in on their toes as they are taking the first bite. This is also a great time to grab those eye lashes that are just so beautiful when they are little. Babies change so much over the first 5 years and I promise those details will be something you will cherish.

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4/ Remembering the magic

We moms often think images of our children need to be of them with a big smile looking into the camera. Those are great images, but I find images with your child just being themselves often have more meaning. Their little pouty face, or the way they look at you when they are relaxed and comfortable will trigger memories for a lifetime. With that in mind I try and create an environment where the kids are comfortable. I give them some things to play with like boxes and tissue paper and I watch them play, always with my camera ready to go. Once I see them relax I start snapping images of them. Most of the time these images become my favorite.

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5/ The More the Merrier 

As a mother grabbing my kids together in one image is so important to me! Proud parents want those memories of our kids being kids together but sometimes cooperation can be difficult especially when your kids are still young. My stratagy is to make it fun! I love to set the kids together and encourage the older child to hug the younger one, or give him or her a kiss. If they are not into extra love I throw in some candy canes or tissue paper that catures the interest of both children. Nothing is more amazing then an image of all my kids laughing and having fun!

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6/ Positioning

Babies who are not sitting independently are best captured in a their most comfortable position, laying on their tummy or back. They love to play with brightly colored items and thankfully there are a lot of those laying around during the holiday season. I like to take ornaments and use them in create ways. A perfect example is hooking an ornament to a natural stem of evergreen.   It turns into the perfect mobile to keep your child interested. If your baby is more comfortable on their tummy, lay them on a furry blanket and let your child play with some plastic christmas ornament balls or a toy candy cane. You are sure to grab some great holiday shots either way.

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7/ These Eye Have It

I believe a childs eyes are the gateway to their heart. They speak for babies who are not able to speak themselves just yet. I have found the best way to capture babies eyes is to make sure they are comfortable and playing. I generally grab something interesting and have someone hold it right above my head so I can grab the attention of the little one. Once they look up I snap the picture and capture those big beautiful eyes!

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So get ready, get out there and start grabbing those moments.  Spend less time worrying about the perfect moment and more about having fun with it.  I promise when when you download those images you will glad you captured the memories because time goes by so very quickly!

Are you a new parent? Babies”R”Us and Pampers are hosting a slew of events over the next 3 weeks for all moms celebrating those first milestones!  Check out their site for the in store calendar of events you can attend.  Make this holiday season extra special.

OX Katie