A bit of holly, jolly inspiration

NEW! Holiday Mini-Session Masterclass!!  Check it out here!

Last year, we put together a massive ‘Holiday Round-up” of all the holiday props and backdrops I use in my holiday mini-sessions.  It was a HIT!  If you haven’t had a chance to read that yet, you can find that post here.

I wanted to share a few more set ups from this year, and some of the set-ups that our students have shared too!

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Holiday Ideas - themilkyway.ca

Let’s start with some sweet ideas from our students!

Who doesn’t love a cute elf on the shelf?  You can use your wood floor as the wall as well!

Photo by Illuminate alumna, June Bug Photography

sweet elf on the shelf shot by June Bug Photography
This images is simply magical!   By Illuminate alumna Jenny Wren WhimsicalsBeautiful santa photo by jenny wren whimisicals
Of course, you don’t need a full ‘Santa’ to do Santa photos in your studio!
A white glove and red jacket (or…ahem…a cut up stocking or Christmas hat!) does the trick too!

(plus your spotter now gets to be in the shot!)

Sweet show by Illuminate alumna Wild Photography

Lovely shot by WildPhotography
And, here’s a few samples from this year’s holiday sessions!

As you’ll see, I used lots of props from last year (so pretty please don’t think you need to go out and buy everything new each year!)

You can add a few things each year – or not!  Your clients will book their session based on the samples you show – so be sure to show what you love to shoot!

Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.caAs you can see in the dream lit image, you need very little! This was a cape from a Halloween costume and a Christmas ornament.  Simple. And classic!

For the little bakers, think about a baking theme! I have a local baker make gingerbread cookies for me – because they are beautiful – AND she has a pro kitchen with all the proper food preparation certifications!

Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca
Assortment of tins found at antique shops + home decor stores

I find this little bed a versatile prop for sitters + non-sitters alike! (And remember, you can change the direction you place the bed!)Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca

Books are a great way to get siblings to ‘gather round’Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca

Using the same cotton bottom I used in the ‘DIY cloud tutorial‘, you can put together a little snow.

Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca

Knitting can be a cute addition too – don’t knit?  No problem – find a knit scarf and unravel one end – OR – just get some extra yarn the same colour!
I love how it connects these siblings!

Brown paper packages tied up with various string or ribbons makes an extremely inexpensive prop!

Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca

Don’t feel like you need to go buy signs – you can find an old board and some paint and make your own!

Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca

This little tent frame can be changed up by using various fabrics on top – great for holiday sessions now – but in the spring, use something more colourful and spring-like (or stick to mono-chromatic tones!)

Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca

Same tent frame – different blanket.Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca
I adore this pretty fabric teepee  – it’s great for outdoor sessions too!  You’ll see I just used some string and clothespins for a simple star streamer behind them. and added some wicker/wood stars that I found at a home decor store (remember: post-Christmas is a great time to get a few items for next year’s mini-sessions!)

Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca

I have used a piece of cheesecloth here, along with angel wings (these I bought, but you could make your own…I made a baby-sized set, which I show in this DIY angel wing tutorialHoliday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca

And don’t think for a minute that angel wings are just for the little girls – how sweet is this little one!Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca

And reminder – zoom in to get some close ups as well – this will allow you to get a variety of shots within one set up.
(of course, for holiday minis- you want to limit the number of set-ups too!  Assuming it is a MINI session!)

Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca

Another idea – put the clothes out to dry…you know how you come home soaking after playing in the snow…well, at least we do here in BC, Canada!Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca

Old school snoeshoes also make a great addition!

Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca

And who doesn’t love a little Santa’s workshop  (which is actually my son’s!)  And I just pained an old board for the sign!

Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca

This type of prop, while not easy (or cheap) to come by, can be a life saving if you happen to have a little one + a toddler who isn’t in the mood to cooperate.  You can create a composite with 2 or 3 images – on that has each of the kids and the set up by itself!

Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca
And, let’s end this post with a little Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree!
Holiday Sessions Ideas - themilkyway.ca
I hope you enjoyed this little bit of inspiration!  If you want to see a list of the vendors I used to find many of these props, and backdrops, etc, be sure to check out last year’s “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas post!”

NEW! Holiday Mini-Session Masterclass!!  Check it out here!

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