The winter holiday season is almost here, so now is the time to think about Christmas photoshoot ideas and schedule a couple and a family photo session! To get you inspired, I have compiled the best list of ideas and activities for making the holiday photos unforgettably magical.
Let’s start with a classic! Winter holidays in the Midwest = snow (most of the time), so put on those warm boots and jackets and head out to the nearest snow hill, forest, or park for a snowy photoshoot!
Mistletoe has a long history of healing properties throughout cultures. Its association with romantic traditions is still debated, but trust me when I say it goes back to quite a few centuries ago! So why not have a little fun in spreading a little love?
3. Cozy blanket
Winter in Chicago – is C-O-L-D! But let that be your theme and motivation for creating the perfect Christmas photo ideas! Plaid bright patterns are a great choice because they will stand out in photos where you have snow.
4. Christmas Tree Farm
Did you know that cutting down a Christmas tree is a lot more sustainable than buying a Christmas tree? Even when your tree is dried up it’s a great opportunity to use it for fresh logs in your fireplace and the needles for your garden or compost. If you pick the right tree it will fill your home with the best fresh pine aroma. So smile wide while your little ones run around to find the perfect tree!
5. Enjoy the community
Just about every town square decorates its streets with lights, so go out and enjoy them! Little towns and cities also host many fun events, like Santa appearances, showing the Nutcracker Ballet, and caroling. If you’re in Chicago be sure to stop by the Christkindlmarket and the annual Christmas Around the World in the Science Museum.
6. Hot Cocoa
Did someone say marshmallow hot chocolate is the best of Christmas photoshoot ideas? That’s always a yes from me! Continuing with the staying warm theme, you can’t go wrong with cheering as a family over a nice heartwarming beverage as sweet as this one.
Practice opening your champagne bottle with a little new years photoshoot! But by the time the photo session is over, you’ll be filled with bubbly goodness, become a pro, and have the best brag-worthy photos to remember!
8. Christmas Lights
Oh, the things you can do with just a few twinkle lights! Not only can you create truly amazing Christmas photos with a long exposure you can also set the perfect ambiance. And this theme does not have to be just at home either! Check out your local area for Christmas decor and activities, out here in Chicago the annual Zoo Lights is a perfect place to start planning.
9. Wear red
No matter if the weather is cold or warm where you live, nothing says Christmas more than wearing red. So dress up in berry, scarlet, burgundy, cherry, mauve, or any other shade of red, and be merry!
10. Ice skating
It is very likely that ice skating is on your holiday to-do list, so don’t miss the opportunity to schedule your fun winter photos when you plan to go out! It’s one of those perfect Christmas photoshoot ideas to get you active.
If you have little ones this idea is an absolute must. You’ll get the most genuine expressions of your cuties and also keep them occupied while your photographer takes all the photos. After the Christmas photoshoot is over, you’ll have the best-tasting snacks. Decorating gingerbread houses, frosting cookies, and baking pies are my favorite go-to ideas!
12. Decorating & Gift Wrapping
Combine the useful with the creative by having your photographer take photos while you decorate and prepare for the celebration. While you carefully wrap up your gifts for your family and friends, take a moment to pose for the camera! Just think of how many cute poses you plan, from adding the final Christmas topper to the tree to adding a bow on your head, you’re guaranteed the perfect Christmas photos.
Take advantage of winter-only gems – these can be berries, icicles, pinecones, mistletoe, and so much more!
Those are my top 12 Christmas photoshoot ideas! They’re perfect for Christmas cards, creating beautifully themed winter portrait artwork, and most importantly creating memories to cherish for years to come.
Did you feel inspired to schedule a photo session? Reach out and let me know, I’d love to work with you!
Hi! I'm Mariya Maximtsev - a published Chicagoland portrait photographer. I love taking pictures of amazing families, and creating custom sessions for women and business owners!