How To Take Your Own Christmas Family Picture With Sleepyheads + Giveaway

Growing up in the Philippines, you can quickly feel the Christmas spirit as soon as September hits. Everywhere you go feels like Christmas! I remember when I was younger, my mom and I would always fill our house with Christmas decorations as soon as September starts; we would always go out and get ourselves some delicacies that are only being sold during the Christmas season; and we would sing along to Christmas songs while they’re playing. These are the things I still dearly miss since I moved here in the U.S., Filipino Christmas traditions that I no longer get to do.

However, moving thousands of miles away from where I grew up and starting a family of my own have allowed me to start traditions of our own. Like reading one Christmas book a day on the days leading up to Christmas, or taking our family picture wearing our coordinating festive outfits every single year during Christmas and New year! But this year, I want to take it up a notch so I partnered with Sleepyheads to bring you tips on how to take your own Christmas family picture + a surprise for you at the end.

Note: I may receive commissions from clicks or purchases made through links in this post at no additional cost to you. While I wish these commissions were enough to let me stay at home with my kids, they’re really for paying the fees to keep this site up and running. Thank you for your continued support!

Wear Matching Or Coordinating Festive Outfits

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Outfits during the photo shoot really matter to make the Christmas family picture cohesive. While we’ve never really done matching outfits before (I’ve always gone for coordinating outfits – like this and this), I thought it might be fun to try it this year. Instead of getting everyone matching shirts & pants, we opted for matching pajamas from Sleepyheads instead.

Sleepyheads is your one stop pajama store.  They offer something for everyone, from the newborn to the great-grandparent; taking into consideration, everyone’s budget too. We chose the matching Christmas Nordic Pajamas. We love that this matching pajama set has several different options, a nightgown, a button-up set, and a lounge set! They even have a matching pajama for your pet & child’s doll. How fun is that? You can read more about them here.

The quality of our Sleepyheads pajamas is amazing! The moment we took them out of their plastics, we felt how soft they are. They washed very well and the softness remained even after washing. They are so comfortable too! We wore our pajamas the entire day and I honestly didn’t want to take them off! And the kids didn’t complain one bit about their pajamas being itchy too, so that’s a win! Check out their amazing selection of matching pajamas here.

However, if wearing matching clothes is not your thing, you can absolutely do coordinating outfits instead. Look for pieces of clothing that have coordinating colors and go with those. Check out how we did red & black, fuchsia & blue, and leopard print & black the past couple of years.

Get Your Equipment Ready

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To take our own Christmas family picture, the main things that you’re going to need are a tripod and a remote or a camera with self-timer. Or there are also those cameras that have mobile apps that allow you to use your phone as a remote.

For our photo shoot, I used the following:

My camera has a phone app, PlayMemories Mobile, that allows me to use my phone as a remote, as well as send photos from my camera directly to my phone. So I used this app during our photo shoot. And since we did an indoor shoot, we had to use a lighting kit; but if you’re going to do it outdoors with lots of natural light, you won’t be needing one.

Choose Your Location & Visualize Your Decors

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Since we are wearing matching pajamas, I opted for locations inside our house for our photo shoot.  And because I don’t have my Christmas tree setup yet, we can’t easily shoot in front of our Christmas tree (just like what we’ve always done) for that “perfect” Christmas family picture. I had to think of rooms that I could easily decorate to make it look festive. The first rooms that came to my mind are our basement (where the fireplace is) and our bedroom. As soon as I had the locations covered, it was time to plan how I will make these rooms as festive as possible with very little effort.

For our photo shoot, I used the following props:

I figured I could hang our Christmas stockings on the fireplace in the basement. Plus the character the brick wall adds to any picture is simply perfect! And then for our bedroom, I planned to hang our garland in the bed’s headboard. Lastly, I needed some items that the kids could play with that would also fit the theme; and the ornaments, and Christmas lights were simply perfect for that.

Test Your Setup & Be Prepared For The Unexpected

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Since we are doing a photo shoot with 2 young kids, it is very important to do it as quickly as possible; because they tend to get bored very quickly. And when that happens, they would stop cooperating. So to make sure that we will be spending as very little time as possible doing the shoot, I had to do several lighting tests to find the best light we could possibly get in our basement. So for 3 straight days, after we get home from work, I had to test different setups to make sure that everything is ready during our photo shoot. And all we would be doing was turn on the lights, sit, and take our pictures. True enough, we only spent around 15 minutes on our first location.

Our second location was a totally different story. I was very confident that we will get a lot of natural light because we will be shooting in our bedroom so we won’t be using any of my lights. But boy, was I so wrong! It was cloudy the whole morning up to early afternoon during our shoot day, so we didn’t even bother trying to shoot then. But when the sun came out later that afternoon, I decided to shoot in the basement first because it was still “too bright” for what I like. Of course, the sun was starting to set right around the time we moved to our second location; and the sun was shining directly through our bedroom window creating unattractive rays of light in our bed. We ended up using my lighting kit and had to close the window. I was ready to call it quits and just be done with our first set of photos because it was just too dark for my liking; but then I remembered I can adjust the ISO setting of my camera. So make sure to play around with your camera settings even before the photo shoot.

Go With The Flow

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I couldn’t stress this enough, but this one is very important. As a mom, I had a vision. I had a vision of how things would be set up; a vision of how our Christmas family pictures would turn out. The room would be perfectly lit, the decors would be perfectly hanging, and everyone would be smiling while looking at the camera. But of course, none of those visions came to life.

Having done some photo shoots with my kids for over a year has taught me that I should let them lead it. I still try to ask them to do some things during our shoots, but they always do things differently. It used to stress me out before; but when I learned to adjust and just follow their lead, photo shoots with them turned out to be so much more fun. If someone wants to stand when everyone should be sitting, just stand with them and click that shutter. It maybe unconventional, but it could work!

Have Some Snacks & Treats Handy

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I don’t know about you but my kids seem to be hungry ALL.THE.TIME! People who know me personally would probably laugh really hard at this because they know I get hungry every 15 minutes! My husband would always tell me that my kids got that from me. LOL! Anyway, because of that, I always make sure we have snacks with us whatever it is we’re trying to do, and wherever it is we’re going.

And especially during photo shoots, snacks and treats would keep my little ones happy and satisfied. So when things would go out of hand during our shoots, I would promise them some treats after if they’d continue to cooperate for a few minutes more. And that has always worked out for me. These treats also saved my a** when I was trying to setup the lights in our second location.

And as much as possible, try not to let it get to you. Because sometimes, despite your best effort, mom life, just like your pictures, isn’t perfect. And that’s what makes it more interesting and fun anyway. Believe me, the most candid shots turn out to be the best ones; because they tell a story, and they bring your family’s character to life.

I’ve compiled some of our outtakes for you just because they’re so fun to look at!

Sharing some of our outtakes from when we took our own Christmas family picture. #christmaspajamas #matchingchristmaspajamas #sleepyheadspajamas | matching christmas pajamas family | matching pajamas | matching pajamas family | matching pajamas christmas | diy christmas family pictures | diy christmas family photos | how to take your own family pictures | diy family pictures

If you love our matching pajamas from Sleepyheads, you’re going to love this! I’ve partnered with Sleepyheads to give one lucky winner’s entire family (max of 4) pajamas for free in the exact design that we are wearing. How amazing is that? You can probably do a fun photo shoot just like we did for your Christmas card this year! Enter below for a chance to win! And don’t forget to share this awesome giveaway with your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open until November 2nd at 12AM EST and is open to U.S residents within the 48 contiguous states only. The winner will be notified through email within 24 hours after the giveaway closes. Please make sure to add [email protected] to your contacts to make sure you will receive the notification. If the prize is unclaimed after 48 hours, we will choose another winner.

If you loved this post, don’t forget to pin it.

Don't waste your money hiring a professional photographer to take your Christmas family picture! You can absolutely DIY! Here's a ultimate guide on how to, complete from the equipment & props down to some tips & hacks. #christmaspajamas #matchingchristmaspajamas #sleepyheadspajamas | matching christmas pajamas family | matching pajamas | matching pajamas family | matching pajamas christmas | diy christmas family pictures | diy christmas family photos | how to take your own family pictures

This post was published in collaboration with Sleepyheads. As always, thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and my own.

What did you think of this post? Do you see your family wearing matching pajamas? Have you taken your own Christmas family picture before? What other tips would you like to add? Let me know in the comments. You know I always love to hear from you.

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Kisses, Belle - blog post signature

157 Comments

  1. October 19, 2017 / 5:32 AM

    Oh gosh, can’t believe we’re nearly entering into the xmas season! These are amazing photos – so beautiful! Thank you for sharing these tips

    • October 21, 2017 / 8:59 PM

      Right? How is it that there’s only 2 months before Christmas? Thank you, Lindsay!

  2. Tamika Mapp
    October 19, 2017 / 6:04 AM

    I can’t believe Christmas is right around the corner. It’s my favorite Holiday and was thinking of doing this for my Christmas Cards this year. I told myself that I’m going to start early, so Thanks for the tips. I’m going to try to do this after Halloween to give me some time to try it out and get them printed to mail to family and friends this year. I love your pictures as well!

    • October 21, 2017 / 9:00 PM

      I’m glad you found these tips helpful! Good luck with your pictures! I hope they turn out great!

  3. Marissa Pedersen
    October 19, 2017 / 6:07 AM

    What adorable pajamas! You all look so comfy and happy in this. Now you got me excited for Christmas. 🙂

  4. Erin Ellis
    October 19, 2017 / 7:32 AM

    My favorite Christmas tradition is making cookies with the neighborhood kids. So fun!

  5. October 19, 2017 / 7:39 AM

    Your photos are so cute! My family tries to take a family photo every year and with seven of us kids…it can definitely be quite the ordeal! Having a remote for the camera helps a lot, or else at least a friend to push the button, ha!

    • October 21, 2017 / 9:01 PM

      Thank you, Rachel! Yeah, I can only imagine trying to get everyone in front of the camera must be very challenging! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Emily Soto
    October 19, 2017 / 8:29 AM

    These are such cute photos! I love your Jammies!

    Emily
    withstyleandgrace.net

  7. October 19, 2017 / 8:45 AM

    The photos look great! And it looks like you all had a fun time taking pictures too! Cute pajamas! 😀

  8. Megan Rogers
    October 19, 2017 / 8:52 AM

    I have been looking for matching pjs for my family for Christmas! These are adorable. And I love the idea of taking your Christmas picture in them. How adorable.

  9. October 19, 2017 / 9:33 AM

    Cute ideas. I had no idea people actually do this. Can’t wait to do this for my future family!

  10. October 19, 2017 / 9:38 AM

    This is awesome! I love matching PJ’s, I hope I win, fingers crossed! I’m always looking for new places, glad to hear this one is good, off to look, I’m in charge of buying all of the cousins (12 of them) matching pj’s for our Christmas party!

    • October 21, 2017 / 9:03 PM

      Thank you, Sarah! Keeping my fingers crossed for you! Wow, all 12 of them! That is a challenging task! But I’m sure it’s going to be so much fun!

  11. Heather @FrenchPress
    October 19, 2017 / 10:00 AM

    seriously, these are SO cute!! you are going to have awesome cards this year

    • October 21, 2017 / 9:04 PM

      Thank you, Heather! I’m really happy with how the pictures turned out too!

  12. Marcie
    October 19, 2017 / 10:11 AM

    What a fun giveaway! We did matching jammies last year and it was a lot of fun! Love your photos!!!

  13. amy loochtan
    October 19, 2017 / 10:27 AM

    Love these tips and these turned out adorable!

  14. tayloraube
    October 19, 2017 / 10:38 AM

    All of these pictures are so adorable! You did a great job 🙂

  15. Shannon Marie
    October 19, 2017 / 10:40 AM

    I love these pjs so much! I tried to get my boyfriend to buy us a matching set last year which didn’t work haha. I will definitely be entering this contest though! I’ve always loved wearing super festive pjs during the holidays.

  16. October 19, 2017 / 11:02 AM

    You guys look so cute in those jammies! We’ve been getting family jammies the last couple years and I love it!

  17. Jenna Urben
    October 19, 2017 / 11:34 AM

    How fun! My favorite Christmas tradition is having champagne cocktails as we open presents.

  18. Lynn White
    October 19, 2017 / 12:28 PM

    I thought about doing this for this year because I didn’t want to have plain, boring pics. Yours turned out great!

  19. Camille Cochran
    October 19, 2017 / 12:32 PM

    Your family photos turned out so good. We are taking our own for our Christmas card this year. I think we’ll be outside but if I decide to an indoor shoot, I may have to get some matching Pajamas. So cute!

    Camille
    http://www.thecocooners.com

  20. Zan Turner
    October 19, 2017 / 1:26 PM

    Loving all your awesome tips on this. I have done photo shoots myself for our family but boy is not always the easiest to get the correct lighting, plus getting the kids to corporate at the same time. Snacks are so helpful for the littles during photos shoots. Thanks for the tip about adjusting the ISO onthe camera – I need to do that more. Your photos are amazing and Christmas PJs are always so fun to have -I feel like stores always run out or maybe I wait too late to buy them. Thanks for the tips and a great giveaway! And how fun that Christmas traditions begin in September back in the Philippines?

    • October 21, 2017 / 9:07 PM

      Yeah, I feel like with holidays, you always have to start early! And it really isn’t that easy to take indoor photos! And yes, Christmas traditions begin in September in the Philippines. I really miss that a lot!

  21. Kristen
    October 19, 2017 / 1:56 PM

    These pics are so adorable!!! My husband and I didn’t do a card last year, but I think we are going to do one this year! Thanks for the inspo and great tips!

    xoxo, Kristen
    http://www.theglamorousgal.com

  22. Fash-n-Curious
    October 19, 2017 / 2:52 PM

    Your pictures are awesome! Your daughter is tooooo cute too!

  23. October 19, 2017 / 3:52 PM

    These are beautiful photos – such wonderful memories captured! Those Sleepyheads pajamas are perfectly adorable!

  24. October 19, 2017 / 3:55 PM

    such cute photos! and I love the jammies. I need to get a light kit, I can’t believe how great these look, on a cloudy day.

  25. Elizabeth Voyles
    October 19, 2017 / 4:06 PM

    I will have to look at Sleepyheads. We like to do matching PJs for the kids in my extended family but it is so hard to find all the sizes and these are super cute. Glad I saw this post!

    • October 21, 2017 / 9:08 PM

      Thank you, Elizabeth! I hope you get to find the right sizes for your family this year!

  26. Margaret Wahl Westhoff
    October 19, 2017 / 4:21 PM

    Those matching PJs look so cute and comfy! Excellent job on taking your family’s Christmas pics. With two toddlers, taking decent family pics is a struggle, but your post has inspired me to try and take our own pics this year. Great tips!

    • October 21, 2017 / 9:09 PM

      Thank you, Margaret! You should absolutely try it! Just stock up on snacks and treats. LOL!

  27. Jacqui
    October 19, 2017 / 4:34 PM

    I was just telling my husband this morning that we were going to be in matching PJs this year for Christmas and that he better get ready! Too cute!

  28. Ashley Hargrove
    October 19, 2017 / 4:43 PM

    These look amazing!!! I need to try and get some Christmas pics taken and it would be WAYYYY easier to just do them ourselves! LOVE!

  29. Lauren
    October 19, 2017 / 7:04 PM

    We’ve never tried the matching pajamas for Christmas and it may be time. You guys look great! Thanks for the tips!

  30. arress
    October 19, 2017 / 7:18 PM

    My favorite tradition is reading the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. It was a tradition that I carried on from my grandmother to my Grandchild.

  31. Melody Angel Butler
    October 19, 2017 / 9:29 PM

    This is going to be my first Christmas as a married woman but sadly my husband will be overseas, so we’re planning how we’re going to take a family photo with our two pets. I love the idea of having family photos every year!

  32. tabithablue
    October 19, 2017 / 10:41 PM

    So cute! Love the pjs and those pics on the bed 🙂

  33. Ashley Peggs
    October 19, 2017 / 10:48 PM

    My favorite x-mas tradition is having the whole family over for a xmas pj party! We play games and eat good food and then watch a movie together.

    • October 21, 2017 / 9:11 PM

      That is such a fun tradition! I bet everyone always have a blast! Thank you for sharing!

  34. Dawn Princess Darnell
    October 19, 2017 / 11:26 PM

    Adorable family and great photo tips too!

  35. Katie @ Book Ink Reviews
    October 20, 2017 / 12:15 AM

    Such a cute family! We have a tradition of the kids always getting matching PJs for Christmas eve. I love this!

  36. Leighann Hall
    October 20, 2017 / 12:21 AM

    You guys look so cute! Love the Jammies and all of the decor you used! I feel like it’s the holiday season, just looking at this!

  37. Gabriella
    October 20, 2017 / 12:52 AM

    These are great pictures of you and your family. I love the matching outfits!

  38. Christina Almond
    October 20, 2017 / 2:39 AM

    We love waking up on Christmas Day and having a nice breakfast followed by opening gifts and then we get busy COOKING so much! It’s always so much fun! <3

    • October 21, 2017 / 9:13 PM

      That is the perfect way to wake up on Christmas day! Thank you for sharing!

  39. Nicole Zerbini
    October 20, 2017 / 9:03 AM

    We love searching and cutting down our own Christmas tree each year!

  40. OurCookery Com
    October 20, 2017 / 11:02 AM

    Our favorite tradition is opening presents late on Christmas Eve and having grandpa dress up as Santa Clause.

  41. Dawn Wairimu
    October 20, 2017 / 2:06 PM

    these family photos are the sweetest! i love all the smiles.

  42. Kate
    October 20, 2017 / 8:22 PM

    Honestly, we’ve never tried to take our own Christmas photo before, but maybe I’ll order a tripod and give a Christmas morning photo a shot.

  43. Tiffany Banks
    October 20, 2017 / 8:39 PM

    My favorite family tradition is baking cut out cookies with my kids!

  44. Melissa
    October 21, 2017 / 7:42 AM

    Your pictures came out adorable ❤ Thanks for sharingthese great tips.

  45. Ashley Kolpak
    October 21, 2017 / 12:28 PM

    We decorate the tree together

  46. October 21, 2017 / 1:30 PM

    My favorite holiday tradition is decorating tree with my family. We also love baking seasonal goodies. – HilLesha

    • October 21, 2017 / 9:15 PM

      Love that tradition! I used to do that with my mom too! Thank you for sharing!

  47. Leila
    October 21, 2017 / 7:00 PM

    Your pictures are adorable! We do lots of cooking and baking together over Christmas.

    • October 21, 2017 / 9:16 PM

      Thank you, Leila! I love cooking and baking together with family! Thank you for sharing!

  48. October 21, 2017 / 9:00 PM

    Thank you, Kari! I’m really happy with how the pictures turned out too!

  49. October 21, 2017 / 9:02 PM

    That is such a fun tradition! It’s crazy how things change as you get older huh? But I’m sure you had tons of wonderful memories during those times! Thank you for sharing!

  50. October 22, 2017 / 12:00 PM

    This is such an awesome idea, and your photos turned out great! We will have to give this a try this year!

  51. Sami Mast
    October 22, 2017 / 5:02 PM

    These are such great tips! And the photos are all so cute!

    xo
    Sami
    The Classic Brunette

  52. Taylor Smith
    October 22, 2017 / 6:35 PM

    These are so stinkin’ cute. I am OBSESSED.

  53. janetfaye
    October 22, 2017 / 11:29 PM

    My favorite holiday tradition is Christmas Eve dinner.

    • November 5, 2017 / 10:33 PM

      That is such a fun tradition! I love that too! Thank you for sharing!

  54. October 23, 2017 / 1:42 PM

    We like decorating the Christmas tree together.

  55. Meredith
    October 23, 2017 / 11:20 PM

    Omg these pics are THE CUTEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. October 24, 2017 / 11:39 AM

    Your Christmas pics turned out adorable!! Can’t even believe that it’s already time to start thinking about the holidays!

  57. Kelly Bandas
    October 25, 2017 / 7:15 AM

    Your photos are adorable!! And I’m LOVING the PJs!!

  58. Taylor Dietrich
    October 25, 2017 / 1:57 PM

    These pictures are adorable! And I am loving the tips!

  59. Sarah Ramondt Lennon
    October 25, 2017 / 2:07 PM

    I cant believe you took these yourself! These are awesome!

  60. sharaylah o
    October 25, 2017 / 2:51 PM

    So cute! We love decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving as a family and then doing our photos for our Christmas card!

  61. October 25, 2017 / 7:01 PM

    This is adorable!! Since it’s our first Christmas with our daughter, we definitely want to get matching PJs and make a tradition of it! I’ve never heard of sleepyheads but I definitely have to check out their website!! ❤️

  62. Bee K
    October 26, 2017 / 8:16 PM

    We don’t really have any traditions besides going to mass and dinner at my parents!

  63. Molly Pitcher
    October 31, 2017 / 7:29 AM

    My family doesn’t celebrate Christmas. But that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t all I have a matching pajamas to celebrate the festival of lights!

  64. Keri Justice
    November 1, 2017 / 8:36 AM

    Your family is beautiful! I love your pictures. My favorite Christmas tradition is baking cookies together.

  65. JillianToo
    November 1, 2017 / 3:47 PM

    We always decorate gingerbread houses on Christmas Eve.

  66. Julie Terry
    November 1, 2017 / 9:33 PM

    I love to make cookies with my daughters.

  67. Amanda Whitley
    November 1, 2017 / 10:03 PM

    my christmas tradition is opening gifts at my moms house with my entire family.

  68. E J Boyce
    November 1, 2017 / 10:17 PM

    Opening presents, playing games and eating is our day. Your family is so cute.

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