Christmas Portrait Background Ideas

family Christmas photo

Taking a family portrait is a Christmas tradition for many families. Whether you choose to have a professional one taken or try to do it yourself, use a background that reflects the season and the holiday. They will be the perfect addition to your family Christmas card.

Holiday Photo Background Ideas

When it comes to picking out the background for your family Christmas photos, you have plenty of choices. From a traditional Christmas scene to a wintery wonderland, it's easy to pick out one that reflects your family's take on the season.

Traditional Christmas Scenes

A traditional holiday scene can make the perfect background for your holiday portrait. At a professional studio, you may find a decorated tree and fireplace to pose in front of with your family. If you're taking photos at home, pose everyone in front of the family tree or your own fireplace. Make sure your favorite keepsake ornaments, stockings, and decorations are prominently displayed. Consider having the kids, or even the entire family, pose in pajamas in front of the tree as they await Santa's arrival.

Winter and Outdoor Scenes

Christmas Portrait

A winter scene is a great background for a Christmas photo. Create an outdoor photograph in the following ways:

  • Pose everyone in front of a bay window that outlooks a snow-covered backyard.
  • Arrange everyone outside in their ski gear and other outdoor sporting attire and goods.
  • Build a snowman or snow fort and stage a "fight" for everyone to participate in for an informal, fun Christmas portrait.
  • Spray a window with aerosol "snow" and decorate it with paper snowflakes. Pose everyone in front of the window.
  • Stand in front of an evergreen tree in your hats, gloves, and scarves; alternatively, stand near the entrance of your home by a large wreath and holiday banner.

If you live in an area without snow, or there isn't any snow when you plan to take your photos, don't fret. You can add a hint of the holiday cheer by donning Santa hats, adding some holiday decorations to your lawn, or decorating your home's entrance.

Christmas Backdrops

Christmas backdrops don't need to be an actual scene with items in it. Instead, many professional photographers use draperies or rolled canvases to create a Christmas photograph.

basic green backdrop with props

Solid Backdrops

Plain, solid backdrops also serve as a great foundation for holiday photos. Professional quality backdrops are available in smooth plastic or paper, canvas or textured muslin varieties. They are also suitable for a large number of subjects. While it may seem plain, this Christmas portrait background idea allows for creativity with outfits and props.

Muslin backdrops come in a variety of colors, including white, red, green and black - all of which can be used to create a Christmas theme. They also work well for both formally posed portraits and casual poses. Plain muslin or canvas backgrounds may seem bland, but they really represent an opportunity for your family to express themselves. This is the chance to use wacky outfits, bright colors and zany props.

Picturesque Backdrops

Plenty of studios have picturesque backdrops that recreate scenes similar to those listed above. For example, one rolled canvas may feature a brightly lit Christmas tree, while another may make it appear as if everyone is outside sledding through the snow. These backdrops may not be very large, so it might be difficult to use them for large groups. It's best to wear simple attire when posing in front of these backdrops, as the background can be quite vibrant.

Add Props to Christmas Backgrounds

If you are looking to add spice to plain Christmas portrait background ideas, then gather some seasonal props, such as:

Christmas Portrait
  • Brightly wrapped presents
  • Garland
  • Christmas tree ornaments
  • Fireplace logs
  • Santa hats

Props can enhance the background and add dimension to a photograph, especially in front of a basic backdrop. However, it's important to remember that the focus should be on the photo subjects, so make sure that any props being used are not too distracting.

Posing Tips

When planning your Christmas portrait session, speak with your photographer to discuss what types of backdrops are available. Consider how many subjects will be in the photo, as this will also affect the type of backdrop you select. A smaller number of subjects can be posed to fit onto a pre-printed background where larger groups require a bit more planning. A good rule of thumb is to allow two and a half to three feet of backdrop space for each subject. However, subjects can be stacked creatively depending on their heights.

Create Christmas Photo Memories

The point of taking a Christmas photo is to capture your family during the holiday season. Pick the backdrop that fits their personalities, and have everyone bring their smiles. You can't go wrong with a picture of a happy family at the holidays!

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Christmas Portrait Background Ideas