Lori Pickens

family in matching christmas pjs in front of christmas tree

How to Plan for Your Christmas Photography Session

The holiday season is upon us, and it’s a magical time to capture those special family moments. Whether you’re looking to embrace the splendor of the changing seasons or to make your photos with the sparkle of Christmas cheer, now is the best time for your Christmas family photoshoot. As a seasoned family photographer, I’ve been capturing memories with my lens from Parkersburg, WV to Marietta, OH for more than a decade. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to make your session not just a photoshoot but a tradition full of memories that you can proudly share on your Christmas Cards and photo gifts!

From the heartwarming candids to the perfectly planned poses, I aim to capture the essence of your family’s love in each photograph. These aren’t just pictures; they are keepsakes that will warm your hearts for years to come. 

a family. dad, daughter, and mom sitting in front of a christmas tree smiling

Why You Should do a Holiday Photoshoot With Your Family

As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to start thinking about those cherished Christmas Cards many of us love to send out. One of the main reasons for families to have fall family photo shoots or Christmas-themed sessions is to capture that perfect image for their holiday card. But the magic doesn’t stop there. These beautifully captured moments aren’t just for your Christmas Cards. They can be transformed into heartwarming photo gifts to share with your loved ones, spreading joy and warmth in a deeply personal way.

One aspect of these Christmas photoshoots that fills my heart with joy is the opportunity to witness the growth and love of the families I photograph. Seeing them year after year, their family photoshoot becomes more than just a session; it grows into a beloved annual tradition. 

mom and daughter looking at christmas tree and its ornaments

Christmas Themed Photoshoot

Once the pumpkins and costumes of Halloween are put away, it’s time to embrace the festive spirit! In this featured Christmas inspired  session, this delightful family opted for an indoor photoshoot, which can be arranged either in the comfort of your home or at my photography studio. The setting was nothing short of magical – the Christmas tree twinkling brightly and the whole family adorned in matching pajamas. It was my privilege to capture these moments in time and help start a long-lasting holiday tradition for them.

One of the greatest joys of being a photographer in a close-knit community in a small town is witnessing my client’s families blossom. I had the honor of shooting this lovely couple’s wedding, their maternity journey, and now, their blossoming family with baby Ellie. When I step into their home, I was greeted by a wall adorned with beautiful memories that I’ve had the pleasure of capturing over the years.

As the outdoor temperatures drop, an in-home family session becomes the perfect solution. Children often feel more at ease and relaxed in their own homes, which reflects beautifully in the photographs. Add to that the mother’s annual tradition of ordering adorable matching Christmas pajamas, and you have a special session that captures the essence of family and festivity right in front of their very own Christmas tree.

dad smiling and holding daughter and putting ornaments on the tree

When to Book Your Family Photography Session

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to think about scheduling your photoshoot if you’re planning to use your images for Christmas Cards and photo gifts. While we photographers can sometimes perform a bit of magic with quick editing turnarounds, it isn’t always feasible. Hence, it’s best to plan ahead. You’ll want to have your session booked before Thanksgiving to give yourself plenty of breathing room. This early scheduling doesn’t just allow for the photoshoot and image finalization, but also gives you ample time to place orders for your cards, gifts, and any prints you’d like. 

Remember, the holiday season is a busy one for everyone, and delays can happen. By scheduling your session in advance, you ensure that everything will be done in plenty of time so you can share beautiful cards and gifts!

What to Wear for an Indoor Christmas Themed Photoshoot

When planning your family photography session, whether it’s indoors or outdoors, the comfort of everyone involved is key! In this featured Christmas Pajama family session, the family decided to spotlight their unique Christmas PJ tradition. Their choice of pajamas, featuring Jack Skellington from the cult classic ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’, truly added a personal touch.

Planning your attire according to the weather, reflecting your family’s unique personality, and prioritizing comfort are key elements for a successful shoot. For Christmas photoshoots, I often witness a palette of deep greens, rich maroons, and shimmering golds and silvers. However, if you’re unsure, solid colors and neutrals can beautifully complement any backdrop. This allows the focus to remain on your cherished family memories and subtly infuses the holiday spirit into the photographs.

Planning your family photoshoot for comfort and style will not only make the experience enjoyable but also result in pictures that truly reflect your family’s personality and the joy of the season.

How to Book a Christmas Photography Session

As we approach the holiday season, I’m inviting you to book a special holiday session with me. These sessions are perfect for families, couples, and even those special occasions like maternity and newborn shoots. To book your holiday session, simply visit my website, where you’ll find all the necessary information about the booking process. Once there, you’ll be able to explore a wide range of services that cater to your unique needs and preferences.  Be sure to check out my SELF BOOK option!  If you use code SELFBOOK at checkout, you’ll save $10 on your session with me!

Remember, each session is tailored to you, whether it’s a traditional family or couples photography session or an intimate maternity or newborn shoot. I am here to capturing your precious moments just as I would with my own family. Together, we will plan every detail, from choosing the perfect location to deciding the right outfit that complements your personal style. I believe in creating quality portraits that create an honest connection. My style is natural and focuses on capturing warm, candid views that capture a special moment in time. So, let’s light up this holiday season with joyous memories and timeless images that you’ll cherish forever. Book your holiday session today, and let’s create some magic together!

Christmas Photography Session Tips for Photographers

For a simple and sweet mini session like this, I often will use just my 50mm lens. I concentrate more on smiles from the little ones than lens variety or a ton of different backgrounds. These sweet moments are what we want to capture anyway.

I also brought along my Profoto B10. This time of year, the sun is often already down by the time mom and dad are off work, so planning the light in client homes is a must. I also bring a constant LED light for supplemental light, that will help my camera focus in low light with a flash.


Lori Pickens is a Mother, Wife, and Tech Geek from Parkersburg, WV. She is a true lifelong local and has been photographing in the area for over a decade. She serves families from Parkersburg, WV to Marietta, OH. Lori is also a Click Pro Elite and Click Community Mentor. When she’s not capturing pictures or spending time with her kids, she enjoys organizing her lists and spending time on her family farm!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for more tips, tricks, and resources for photographers!


I have a few tools in my toolbelt that will help you grow into the photographer you’ve always wanted to be!  Whether you are prepping to be a Click Pro Elite or you are just ready to start leveling up and making new goals check out these resources to help you grow!

Becoming A Click Pro

The Click Community

Must Have Tools for your Photography Business

What’s in my Bag – Cameras, Lenses, and More

Fearless Indoor Light – a Self-Paced course

Indoor Light Challenge

Film Challenge
(for the challenges, you must be in the Click Community)

Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for more tips, tricks, and resources for photographers!

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