Explore expert tips for planning seamless family holiday photos and discover our latest holiday session: The Santa Experience.

Don’t let the shining sun and weekend beach weather fool you - 'tis the season to plan your family holiday photos! Autumn’s colorful leaves and crisp breeze are just around the corner, and starting your planning now ensures you secure your spot before schedules fill up.

Family holiday photos are uniquely significant. They show the growth and connections of your ever-changing family and serve as a visual celebration of your loving relationships. The holiday season provides an added sparkle of wonder and excitement that lets your family’s personality shine and highlights this truly one-of-a-kind bond.

indoor professional holiday portraits

In this blog, we’ll cover my expert tips on scheduling, outfit selection, backdrops, and session types. Plus, as a bonus, I’m offering a sneak preview into our newest holiday session, The Santa Experience, designed to infuse your photos with an extra touch of Christmas cheer.

So, let’s dive in together and explore how you can turn this year’s family holiday photo session into a seamless, fun experience for everyone.

Tips from an expert - planning your family holiday photos

Book ahead of time

The fall season is an extraordinarily popular time for weddings, portrait sessions, and senior photos, so many photographers book up quickly. It’s important to find an opening in your schedule sooner rather than later and try to book your photo session immediately.

Our family holiday photo session slots open up at the end of August with bookings available through the end of November. We intentionally wrap up our holiday photo sessions right before December to ensure you have plenty of time to fawn over your incredible new photos and send out your holiday cards.

Choose a backdrop that fits your family

In our studio, we love creating sets that allow our clients’ personalities to shine, especially the kiddos. We build fresh sets every single season to ensure our repeat customers always have a new backdrop to play with. Currently, our favorite sets include a decked-out Christmas tree, a play kitchen complete with holiday cookies, and a wintery hot cocoa stand.

indoor photo studio holiday backdrops

For our more adventurous families, we’re happy to take our shoot outside and capture candid moments in a location of your choice. Rhode Island is a picturesque wonderland - with ocean views, stunning parks, and fields of trees, you can’t go wrong.

More than anything, we recommend choosing a location that is special to you and your family. Being surrounded by a comforting, familiar backdrop will bring back those beautiful memories you all share and allow us to capture your true joy in being together. Apple orchards, family acreage, and even the sandy beach have created magical settings for family holiday photos.

Plan your holiday family photo outfits

coordinating indoor family portrait holiday outfits

Coordinating your holiday family photo outfits ahead of time helps create cohesion in your photos and provides more opportunities for added whimsy and fun. Just be sure to keep your chosen backdrop in mind. Indoor sets are typically cleaner and more confined, so nicer outfits like button-up shirts and dresses work well. For outdoor locations, try more casual looks such as jeans and sweaters or coordinated green and red plaid. If you want to lean into the sillier side of things, matching Christmas pajamas or ugly holiday sweaters are always winners!

Consider the length of your shoot

This year, we’re proud to offer 20-25 minute Mini Sessions for family holiday photos. These shorter shoots have proven to be excellent alternatives for families with busier schedules and fussy kiddos. We also know how costly the holiday season can be, so a Mini Session is an incredibly affordable option that still gives you the chance to enjoy professional family holiday photos. Plus our holiday Mini Sessions come in three different packages, all of which include a minimum of 25 free holiday cards ready to send right off to family and friends.

Customizable holiday cards printed on multiple paper options

For those looking for a more in-depth shoot, we also offer full 1-hour sessions that can be taken at one of our studio winter wonderland scenes or an outdoor location of your choice.

The Santa Experience

This is a brand-new session we’re offering this holiday season to give parents an alternative to frustratingly long lines and disappointing mall Santas. Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s fully immersive Santa Experience with the real Santa.

Professional Santa in Rhode Island Santa John
  • Our priority with the Santa Experience is to offer unmatched 1:1 time with an authentic Santa Claus. We aim to create and capture a truly magical moment for your family, leaving you with photos that perfectly encapsulate those memories.
  • We created this experience specifically for families like you who deserve to have a unique moment between their child and Santa documented, without the pressure of an impatient line and the distractions of a crowded mall.
  • Santa will be available for the entirety of your Mini Session, so your children won’t feel rushed and will have the opportunity to play with and talk to Santa to their heart's content.
  • While our holiday studio scenes will be available season-long for family holiday shoots, Santa will only be with us on one day, November 4th. So make sure you book a time slot on that day
  • To pull this off, we do have one very important rule - no cell phones. We know it can be hard to disconnect. Our sessions run 25 minutes at the most, so take the time to be fully in the moment with your family without worrying about missed calls and unread texts. Trust us, it’s worth it.

Book your family holiday photo session

Whether it’s your family's first or tenth holiday photo session, your session will celebrate your relationships and the joy of the season. Don’t let the stress of last-minute planning take away your Christmas cheer. Partner with an expert family photographer and enjoy meeting Santa in a winter wonderland.

Our slots have just opened up to new customers for our holiday Mini Sessions, but we’re booking up quickly! Reach out today to discuss your vision for your family holiday photos and secure your spot on my calendar.