It’s that time of year again. I’m not sure where this entire year disappeared to, but it’s holiday portrait time. Your procrastinating clients are probably calling you up right now trying to book their holiday portraits for their last minute Christmas cards; you might be thinking about doing that one last portrait push for some extra holiday cash and maybe you need some new ideas.

Image from screencap

The following video is from Chelsea Northrup and she gives a few tips and ideas on photographing portraits for the holidays. In the 3.5 minute clip, she shows you how to make a simple and pretty backdrop using some sheer curtains and holiday lights against a solid white background.

Chelsea also talks about the lighting she uses – strobes with an umbrella, beauty dish with a sock and a softbox. If you don’t have those “fancy” lights though, you can use an off camera flash and bounce it. The key, according to Chelsea, is to use very little flash to give it a nice soft look. The last part of the brief tutorial is about the floors and what to use to cover it to complete your portraits.


Holiday portraits can be so much fun and very easy to make “festive” with just a few props (lights, decorations, toys). This shot was created in my client’s closet. We hung some Christmas ornaments off the wire shelves, added a pillow in a basket and voila!

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Watch Holiday Portrait Tutorial


What are some of your favorite ideas for holiday portraits? Leave a comment below.

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