Christmas Sessions – Behind the Scenes
When you mention Christmas in September, people start to look at you funny. But did you know many photographers start planning their Christmas session setups in early summer?
It’s not just a case of deciding your theme for the year but it’s then sourcing props.
Unless you go for the same setup every year, Christmas sessions are notoriously hard to buy for. As much as we feel that the sparkle hits the shops earlier every year, it’s never early enough for a family photographer. This year I decided to go for 3 different looks. And even after sourcing my backdrops I still changed my mind at the last minute.
So how did I go about choosing? Well, something fun that the kids enjoy is always a good place to start, and voila! The kitchen was born. I sourced my backdrop from the amazing Props for Togs
who specialise in backgrounds for photographers, then thought about what I would need to finish the look. Most of my kitchen table props (festive cutters / table cloth / kids chefs hats) all came from eBay
. And the table I’ve moved through from my viewing room.
Option number 2, I wanted something a little plainer. An image that doesn’t necessarily mean Christmas. And one you could print big and pop on the wall all year round. And as I am now lucky enough to have beautiful big high beams in the studio, I ordered a macrame swing. Guess what…. eBay again. God, I love eBay!
It was an absolute bargain and one that I will keep up permanently, as it’s already been a popular choice for little ones at cake smash sessions and family sessions too.
It only needs a white background and bingo, a beautiful but simple setup that can be ‘Christmassed up’ or kept minimal.
Then finally the fireplace. This was my last-minute change of plan. I had originally planned to do a bed shot and ordered another lovely backdrop from Props For Togs. However, it wasn’t floating my festive boat enough, and I decided I needed something more. The sort of image that parents will want to put on their Christmas cards. This year more than any other. So I decided a festive fireplace was the way to go.
So to source a fire surround. My go-to for local items… Facebook Marketplace. If you’ve not discovered this yet, I’m sorry. It’s addictive. I’ve bought (and sold) so much on there. I found the perfect one, £10!! Bargain. And the following morning I was rushing to Reading to pick it up.
I attached a large sheet of my paper roll backdrop to the wall and screwed the fireplace surround over the top to make sure it was safe and secure. I then did a quick trip to Homesense
. My absolute favourite shop, especially at this time of year. And was excited to see a selection of Christmas bits already for sale. Finally, I raided my own stash of decorations for the Santas and candle holders. Plus nabbed the top part of my home tree and popped it in one of my newborn posing buckets. Perfect mini tree!
I was so excited to see it all come together. Ready for my first day of mini sessions last Saturday.
So why do we do them so early?
Firstly we’re fitting these in within our normal bookings. And November and December are notoriously busy for family photographers. Last-minute shoots for Christmas gifts. As well as all the newborns I currently have booked in.
We then need time to edit the gallery. On average, a mini session edit takes about 2 hours. And with 7 or 8 sessions in one day, that’s a whole lot of editing to do.
And finally. People need time to get things printed. Not only am I offering some wonderful printed items with my packages, but cards and gifts all take time to order and write ready for posting. And with COVID looking like it’s sticking around, who knows how long things will take to arrive this year.
So there we have it. A little insight into the behind the scenes of my Christmas Mini sessions. Jeez, have I said Christmas a little too much in this blog post?
Have a look at the little video below if gorgeous little Sonny and my own little cherub Sienna testing out my backdrops.