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12 Indoor Christmas Photoshoot Ideas for the Holiday Season

Setting up a Christmas photo shoot at home is a great way to create some unique pictures for your friends and family. Start planning early with this fun guide.

By Ana Mireles

If you’re looking for some indoor Christmas photo ideas, you’ve come to the right place. 

I know that some of you might think it’s a little early to discuss a Christmas photo shoot. But it’s actually the perfect time. 

Many people and businesses need to hire professional photographers around this time. On one side, you need to book your photographer before they get too busy. 

But more importantly, you need time to prepare, print and send out your Christmas cards or brochures before the Holidays. Stores get their Christmas decorations and hand out promotional materials after Thanks Giving.

Timing is not very different for people who keep the tradition of sending Christmas cards to their loved ones alive. They need to mail them a few weeks in advance, or they’ll get delivered after the Holidays. 

As you can see, even if it’s not December, there are many reasons to start thinking about your Christmas photo ideas. 

So, if you’ve already read our guide to Christmas photography, now it’s time to dive back into the festive spirit with these photoshoot ideas.

12 Indoor Christmas Photoshoot Ideas for the Holiday Season

1. Matching Pyjamas

Credit: Any Lane

Many people like to take their Christmas photo every year. Some even hire a professional photographer for the family photo.

If you have this tradition, you know how difficult to decide what to wear. The right wardrobe helps you to make your Christmas photo ideas come to life.

Matching pyjamas make a great outfit for the family Christmas photo. They don’t have to be holiday themed; they’ll still give the sense of family union. 

2. Use festive props for your furry friends

Credit: Jakob Owens

Our pets shouldn’t miss out on the holiday season. You can do tons of Christmas photo ideas, including your furry friends.

One of them is to add holiday decorations as props. The best thing about this is that it works for several pets, from a hamster to a horse.

Depending on the type of props that you use, you can make cute or funny Christmas photos. 

3. Fairy lights

Credit: Olya Kobruseva

Fairy lights are a must-have in your holiday photos. There are many Christmas photo shoot ideas you can do with strings of fairy lights.

For example, you can include them in your still life to add some holiday twinkle.

Also, you can create a Christmas Eve atmosphere if you use them as the main light for your subject. Plus, they are great as a festive background, and look amazing when you use a wide aperture to make them appear like bokeh-balls in the shot.

4. Dress up

Credit: Marta Wave

Dressing up for the photoshoot ensures that you get some cute holiday photos. If you want to keep it simple, the entire family can wear Santa hats. 

However, to really get into it, you can get more elaborate costumes. For example, mom and dad can be Santa and Mrs Claus, while the children can be elves or reindeer. 

Otherwise, you can use your favorite Christmas movie as the theme for your costumes. 

5. Traditional Christmas food

Credit: Nicole Michalou

Nothing says holiday season like some traditional, homemade dishes. So, you can include or feature food for some beautiful Christmas photos. 

There are so many Christmas photo shoot ideas around food that they could fill the entire article. So, I’ll mention a few. 

If you’re looking for family Christmas photo ideas, you can photograph them while spending quality time. For example, mom or dad with the kids baking Christmas cookies.

Or, you can photograph the family members around the table all set up with the Christmas dinner. 

Another Christmas photoshoot idea with food is to do still-life photography. You can get lots of creative ideas for stunning photos around the Holiday theme.

For example, make a flat lay with candy canes or a small town built with gingerbread houses. 

6. Create a bokeh

Credit: Tim Mossholder

You can use the Christmas lights to create beautiful bokeh. This simple idea can make a stunning photo. Plus, you can use it as a Christmas background for other photos.

If you don’t own a lens with a wide aperture in order to try this effect, you can always mimic the effect by blurring the background in Lightroom.

7. Decorating the Christmas tree

Credit: Jonathan Borba

One of the most memorable pictures of a Christmas photoshoot is to capture of the family members decorating the tree. 

On the one hand, it’s one of the most precious moments of the holiday season. On the other, it’s a great photoshoot idea because you don’t need to pose the family.

Simply start shooting as they interact naturally. I’m sure they’ll have a wonderful time, and you’ll get many great photos. 

8. Opening presents

Credit: евгения

Another popular choice amongst the Christmas photoshoot ideas is taking photos of opening presents. This captures the spirit of Christmas morning.

Your camera’s burst mode is key here to capture the best photos without missing any of the priceless in-between moments.

9. Using a Crystal ball

Credit: Bob Springbob

One of the trendiest Christmas photo ideas is to capture the tree through a crystal ball. However, you can experiment with other subjects. Try photographing the gifts or a Santa decoration. Or, maybe even a family Christmas portrait. 

10. Throw a Christmas party

Credit: Cottonbro (left) / Olia Danilevich (right)

Not all Christmas photoshoot ideas have to be about family photos. You can also capture the Holidays spirit by celebrating with close friends. 

You can use similar ideas in a friend’s Christmas photoshoot as you would on a family one. For example, wearing Santa costumes or posing in front of a decorated mantelpiece.

However, they can also be fun pictures of a party and make the Christmas theme more subtle. 

11. Try light painting

Credit: Umesh Soni

Some of the most creative Christmas photo ideas is to do long-exposure light painting.

For this, you’ll need to be taking pictures in complete darkness. Then, you can draw or write your photoshoot ideas using a torch or a glowing stick.

It can be a Christmas tree, a star, or a Merry X-mas sign. Using this technique, you can do some very creative Christmas pictures.

12. Visit the flea market for vintage props

Credit: Cris Dinoto

To give a vintage look to your Christmas photo, visit some flea markets and thrift shops for some props. 

You can’t get too specific about your Christmas photo ideas with second-hand items. You need to be flexible and open to being inspired by the items you find.

Then, you can plan your vintage Christmas photo around the props you bought, and not try and wait until winter for the perfect environment for your shoot.

How Do You Make a Homemade Christmas Background?

 

For your Christmas pictures, you can DIY a beautiful multi-layer draped background. Also, if you want to add more depth to it, you can add a DIY balloon Christmas tree as well. 

In the video abvove, they use a pipe and drape tube. However, you can use photography backdrop stands, which work just as well. 

Start with a layer of opaque white drapes that will cover the entire crossbar. You’ll need a red and white striped fabric on the second layer. You can turn this into a drape by creating a pocket on the width side of the material. You can use iron adhesive tape if you don’t have a sewing machine. 

This stripped layer will only cover the centre of the crossbar. Then, on a third crossbar, add ten drapes by making a symmetrical pattern of five on each side. Start with two gold drapes in the centre. Then a red one on each side, followed by a white one, another red and a dark green one. 

Now, it’s time to start pleating. You’ll need some zip ties to keep things in place. Start by pleating the gold and the red drapes from the center. Make sure they’re tidy and symmetrical. Then, hold them with a zip tie in the center of the crossbar.

Then, pleat the three other drapes and use a zip tie to hold them onto the tripods on each side. You can cover up the zip ties with ribbons. 

Now, pleat the striped fabric from the second layer and use zip ties to have one on each side. It should be in between the drapes you created before. All the spaces between these drapes will reveal the first layer of opaque white drapes.  

That’s all you need for a beautiful DIY background. You can include a balloon Christmas tree to add more depth if you want.

Start by creating clusters of green balloons. Then, flatten out the first cluster.

Next, use fishing wire to add a second layer of balloons. Keep on going by using smaller balloons on each layer. At the top, add a star shape balloon.

You can add some embellishments between balloons to decorate your tree if you want. 

How Do I Add a Christmas Background to a Photo?

Credit: Lascot Studio (subject) / Susanne Jutzeler Sujufoto (background)

If you put a Christmas background into a photo, you can add a magical atmosphere that will make a perfect Christmas card. 

I’ll show you how to do this in Photoshop, but you can use any other program or app. 

  • Open the photo where you want to add the Christmas background.
  • Select the subject. You can use any tool, but I did it with Object Selection > Select Subject. 
  • Copy and Paste the subject on a new layer. You can do this with the shortcut Ctrl or Cmd + J.
  • Go to the menu File > Place Embedded. This will open a browser window. Navigate your files and select the image you want to use as a background. 
  • Drag this layer below the one with your subject. 
  • You can move and adjust your subject if necessary. 

Did You Find Some Good Christmas Photo Ideas?

When you need to work ahead of time, the weather or street decorations aren’t always suitable for your outdoor Christmas photoshoot ideas. 

So, I hope this list of indoor Christmas photo ideas was helpful. Let us know in the comments if this is the first Christmas you’re doing the family photo ahead of time and how did it go.

If you have done it before, share your most successful Christmas photo ideas below. Let your comments inspire others. 

Either way, we’d love to hear from you!

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Shotkit Writer & Camera Gear Reviewer

Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.

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