To help you, parents, to come up with a shortlist of studios where you can have your photo sessions, we've compiled a list of recommended studios and photographers in Metro Manila. Plus, a mom photographer shares tips on what you need to do to prepare for the much-awaited photo session.
Where to have your Christmas family portraits taken in Metro Manila
1. Bundle of Joy Studio
Location: Scout Rallos Extension, Quezon City
Rates: Php 10,990 on weekdays, Php 11,990 on weekends
Mommy Eunice Velasco has nothing but praise for this studio, where they had their Christmas portraits taken. The studio offers two themes: Tinseltown Christmas or Elegant White Christmas, both styled styled by celebrity and international event stylist Gideon Hermosa. Families can bring up to six members for the session, with the option to pay an extra P500 for an additional person. The package includes 30 edited photos in high resolution, along with one framed 8R photo of your choice.
She told Smart Parenting, "From inquiries to the actual photographs, our whole experience was an absolute pleasure, thanks to the very professional staff of Bundle of Joy Studio. They have a brilliant way of engaging with clients (especially kids), which made our session smooth and more enjoyable."
2. Little Heartbeat Photography
Location: Quezon City
Rates: Starts at P15,800
Smart Parenting celebrity editor-at-large and mom of two, Rica Peralejo Bonifacio, recently shared their family portraits with A Winter's Tale theme on Instagram.
She wrote a beautiful note on why they had their portraits taken, "A way to freeze ourselves in time. Preserving ourselves in this age as we know we won't always be strong, not always together, but we will always love each other this way in every season."
She commended the studio for doing "such a great job." Among the photographers of this year's Merry Little Heartbeat is Jayjay Lucas, the father of Courageous Caitie. His family is among Smart Parenting's 20 Filipino Families That Inspire.
3. KenjCapture Photography
Location: Pasig City
Price: Php 7,500
What made Cherrie Julian, Smart Parenting's associate video director, choose this studio is that the package already includes the hair and make-up. "So clothes na lang ang poproblemahin ko," the mom of one said. Thank you for helping moms in reducing their mental load!
4. The Baby Village Studio
Location: Taguig City
Rates: Php 10,000
According to the pricelist in their website, they are offering their basic package for family photoshoots at half the price! From P20,000, you can have your Christmas family portraits for only P10,000. It includes one theme layout, props, and 30 professionally edited photos.
5. Christmas Photo Sessions by Little Coeo and Bella Morcen
Location: Quezon City
Rates: Php 7,800
When it comes to taking photos of kids and families, it's the expertise of Bella Morcen. With her studio Little Coeo, they just revealed two new themes for their Christmas sessions: L’Hotel Noel theme just like you’re in a staycation; and Tartan & Velvet Soiree that feels like you’re in your own home.
Christmas photo session tips from a mom photographer
Mom of two Ericka Ana Mercado has been taking newborn and family photos in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada for a couple of years now. She shared on her website some tips for parents on how we can better prepare for our Christmas family portrait shoots.
1. Wear whites and neutrals
Brown, white, gray, and muted colors are timeless, according to Ericka. "They also photograph well, and they act as a good reflector so that the subjects' faces are actually brightened." She adds, "It literally helps you glow in the photos."
However, if you prefer colorful outfits, check out these online shops where you can buy matching clothes for the whole fam!
"When you look back at the photos, what do you want to see and remember? Feed them that. Love and joy, I hope!" —Ericka Ana Mercado, newborn and family photographer
If you are taking photos with a newborn, she recommends letting them wear a snap up or zip up clothing, so it's easier to remove if they need to change outfits.
2. Bring snacks and respect nap times
"Make sure everyone is fed, please," Ericka reminds parents. And it includes the mom and dad, of course. Some studios offer snacks in their package, but if you don't want to incur additional costs, choose a schedule that's right after lunch time or one that works around their nap times. You don't want anyone getting fussy or "hangry" during the session!
3. Get everyone ready and excited
Ericka recommends talking to your kids about the session weeks before the actual shoot date. Again, this includes the parents too. Inform your husband and the kids about where the shoot's going to be, what clothes they will wear, what poses you can try out, and if possible, who will be the photographer taking the photos. Having this pep talk early on could also help them open up in case they have questions or they want to share their ideas.
4. Have fun with your family
Aside from getting great photos, take this moment to simply bond with your family. Ericka says, "When the photographer gives you a prompt like "walk together," you don't have to look at the camera unless I ask you to." If you are unsure where to look, she reminds, "Look into the eyes of your closest family member, and give them a smile, hug, or kiss." These moments of affection will surely look good on camera!
5. Don't stress
During the shoot, there might be things you can no longer control, like the weather or some technical issues. However, Ericka reminds that what we can control is how we react to things.
"If these tips are hard to follow and you miss one, we can fix it. Things are still going to work out. Try to avoid stress because kids feed off their parents' energy," she said.
She adds, "When you look back at the photos, what do you want to see and remember? Feed them that. Love and joy, I hope!"