I am officially in the Christmas spirit! With the smell of pine in the house, “Jingle Bells” blaring on my computer speakers and colorful lights twinkling outside, it was impossible not to get a little festive while putting together my Wardrobe Wednesday post this week.
I know we usually assist clients with portrait session outfit suggestions, but this time I’m switching things up a bit and offering suggestions for photographers! And, lets face it, inevitably it all amounts to awesome images for people’s homes, and that’s what we’re all about.
SO … with all the hustle and bustle of the season, I decided to come up with a unique Christmas photo session idea that would let clients just kick back and have some FUN. Couples, adults, kids — you name it. Then it hit me: A Christmas Photobooth!
This would be perfect in a studio setting with images from the waist up — you know, just like what you’d get in a mall photobooth. Remember feeding a few bucks into the machine, cramming inside with your BFF in junior high and making silly faces while showing off those kickin’ braces, bug eyes and pig noses?
IT WAS SUPER FUN, RIGHT?!
Well, you do the math: Photobooth setup in your studio + awesome Christmas props = SUPER FUN HOLIDAY PICTURES!
Don’t have a studio? No sweat. Find a spot in front of some pine trees or a big red barn with a pretty wreath. A small bench for people to squeeze their butts next to each other is all you really need.
NOT a photographer? This would make for a great addition to that holiday party you’re throwing in a few weeks. Just put together a few props, have your guests grab whatever strikes their fancy, instruct them to pile on the couch, then take a few pictures! E-mail the photos to everyone the next day or post them and tag people on Facebook, and I guarantee you’ll have a new annual tradition. (Not to mention you’ll be heralded as a creative genius!)
When I was brainstorming prop ideas, I quickly realized that the options are endless. The great part of having so many choices is that photographers can really stay true to your style and brand. If your images are bright and colorful and your logo is trendy and mod, opt for a fun photobooth setup with silly paper props. On the other hand, if your photos are softer and your branding a little more vintage, consider a Victorian Christmas look with a top hat and pipe for the guys (think Scrooge) and a faux fur shawl for the ladies.
In the process, I came across some awesometastic vendors and lined up a few discounts for you! Check out the details and links at the very end.
But if you’re kicking yourself because you’ve spent your prop budget for the year, don’t fret! I’m sure you could put together a very festive combination using things in your Christmas stash. Off the top of my head, I know I have numerous Santa hats, some pretty mistletoe and a Rudolf nose and antler headband in my house. And who doesn’t have ornaments and lights to hang in the background? You could also wrap a present or two. Or even go to a craft store and scoop up some big snowflakes or some DIY construction paper at very little cost. Seriously, the options are endless!
Just don’t forget to encourage your clients (or family and friends) to ham it up. Have kids pose behind an empty frame and make silly faces. Ask a couple to hold up some mistletoe above them for a perfect profile kiss. Or how funny would a baby be wearing a Santa beard?
So there you go! Check out my two very different prop compilations below and get inspired! Then gather up some stuff, offer a few mini session spots and bust a gut.
For this option, suggest that your clients wear brightly colored sweaters and bring a bunch of scarves and gloves. In this case, I think everyone in solid matching reds or greens would be hilarious. You could even encourage ugly Christmas sweaters and REALLY have some fun!
Where to shop:
Paper garland, $10: http://www.etsy.com/listing/82314675/nature-inspired-paper-garland-holiday
Stick prop set, $35 (discount code below!): http://www.etsy.com/listing/81787640/best-photobooth-prop-photo-booth-props
Naughty & Nice signs, $13: http://www.etsy.com/listing/85575719/photo-prop-naughty-and-nice-photo-prop
Scarf, $10.99: http://www.amazon.com/Soft-Knit-Striped-Scarf-White/dp/B001LA4U86
In this case, suggest that your clients all wear white tops so the props can shine. Or, if they really want to go all-out, adult guys would be perfect in a white dress shirt and red tie. Ladies could wear a holiday dress — something they would put on for a Christmas party. Then you can complete the look with your faux fur shawl and pearls. Long gloves or a fur hand muff would work in this setup, too!
Where to shop:
Wood backdrop, Photo Prop Floors and Backdrops, $150 (discount code below!): http://ppfb.bigcartel.com/product/wood-mat-1475-designer-faux-floor-mats-rugs
Christmas pennant banner, Etsy seller Funkyshique, $28 (discount code below!): http://www.etsy.com/listing/86523453/christmas-mini-glittered-burlap?ref=pr_shop
Mistletoe, $9.99: http://factorydirectcraft.com/catalog/products/1302_2149_2043_2095-24363-christmas_mistletoe_hanging_acrylic_faceted_kissing_ball.html?utm_source=googlep&utm_medium=gpfeed&utm_campaign=gpfeed
Chamberstick, $32: http://www.morrellmetalsmiths.com/store/p/57-Elevated-Chamberstick.html
Top hat, $8.99: http://www.costumesupercenter.com/hats+wigs+masks/hats+top+hat+derby/49001-durashape-top-hat-adult.html?code=googlebase&mr:trackingCode=4B69D6CD-1DB5-DE11-AC14-002219318F67&mr:referralID=NA
Pipe, Amazon, $5.11: http://www.amazon.com/Sanda-Brand-Durable-Tobacco-Smoking/dp/B004W7PGOW
Scarf, Old Navy, $15.94: http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=887778062&tid=onfr1r&redirect=true
Fur shawl, $89.99: http://www.weddingbedazzle.com/servlet/the-7070/wedding-evening-wrap-cape/Detail
Pearls, $16: http://www.amazon.com/Classic-24-Faux-Pearl-Necklace/dp/B000PKPCYY
Photo Prop Floors and Backdrops