Stock Photo Shoot Planning for December

Plan your stock photoshoots with our photographer content creation guides

Photo by Alina Kho

Welcome to our monthly photo shoot planning guide where we share themes, special dates and suggested tags to help guide you in creating and preparing your stock images for submission to Noun Project for the months ahead.

The month of December brings frosty landscapes, snow-covered trees, major holidays and end of the year celebrations which provide an abundance of opportunities to create fun and festive stock photos. Major themes in December to inspire creating stock photos are Winter Wonderland and Festive Holidays & Traditions. 

Use these themes as suggestions and expand with your own ideas on what types of photos best say “December!” and let these amazing photos from Noun Project help inspire creative direction on your photo sessions.

Winter Wonderland

There are countless of ways to create stock photos around the theme Winter Wonderland, with frosty landscapes, snow-covered trees, people enjoying the serene beauty of December and yummy, cozy foods. 

If you live a place that snows in winter, capturing beautiful landscape photos that represent a winter wonderland theme is at your fingertips. The light on snowy scenes acts like a natural soft box, softening shadows and instantly creating a soothing mood to your photos. This soft box effect will also make colors appear more vibrant if you want to add a pop of color or contrast to your stock photos.

Photo by WBulls

Photo (L) by Lorie Shaull // Photo (R) by Lorie Shaull

Photo (L) by Yes Photographers // Photo (R) by Lorie Shaull

Photo from Scopio

What is a Winter Wonderland without people and pets to enjoy it? Snowy scenes provide a wonderful backdrop to showcase people enjoying the fun that winter in December brings.

A fun way to capture authentic stock photos is to ask your friends and family to go outside and enjoy the snow! The most authentic moments and interactions usually happen in the split second when people forget that the camera is there. Pushing the shutter at that split second of emotion is called the “decisive moment,” a term coined by Henri Cartier-Bresson, a forefather of street and reportage photography.

Photo (L) from Scopio // Photo (R) by Ana Larisa Termure

Photo by Denis Kuvaiev

Photo from Scopio

Photo (L) by Stefy Gutovska // Photo (R) from Scopio

Photo by Anna Fotyma

The theme of Winter Wonderland can be also be captured in stock photos while cozying up inside. One way to create stock photos that represent the essence of Winter Wonderland is to take photos of tasty treats, such as festive baked goods and rich hot chocolate with marshmallows and candy canes.

One of the best things about capturing food photos is that you can snap them anytime, regardless of the weather conditions. No matter what the weather is like in December in your area – whether it’s snowy and cold or warm and sunny – you can easily capture the festive spirit with stock photos of delicious food. Taking photos of twinkling lights or candles, winter flora and seasonal candy will help tell the story of a winter wonderland for your December stock photo content.

Photo (L) by Diliaria Garifullina // Photo (L) by Diliaria Garifullina

Photo by Anna Ivanova

Another great way to create winter wonderland themed stock photos is to use fun props, such as baubles or miniature evergreen trees sprinkled with frosty glitter. When making stock photos of flat lays or still life set-ups, make sure to take some images that have room for copy space.

Photo (L) by Zamurovic Brothers // Photo (R) by Zamurovic Brothers

Photo by Alina Kho

Suggested tags: winter, snow, winter wonderland, ice, December, cold, cozy

Festive Holidays

Cultures and countries across the globe mark the last dark days of winter through festive holidays and traditions, both religious and secular. Many traditions include decorating homes with lights, sparkling ornaments, winter flora, exchanging gifts with loved ones and gathering with friends and family for holiday meals. There are an abundance of ways to create stock photos that represent this holiday season.

Many of these traditions and holidays are centered on the theme of light as we look to longer, brighter days ahead that come after the winter solstice. Celebrations of light showcase the importance of hope, joy, and faith across different cultures as they embrace the power of illumination and the symbolism it carries, fostering a sense of unity and warmth during the winter season. Utilizing this theme in your stock photos can include candles, such as a menorah, or string lights on a tree or house.

Photo from Scopio

Important celebrations and holidays in December include Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, Hanukah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve. Diwali, a celebration of light in India, is often referenced with other other winter holidays but falls in October or November.

Gathering with friends and family to celebrate is a tradition that spans across countries and cultures. People come together to cook and feast together, exchange gifts and decorate their homes. When creating images for stock photos, be sure to capture people’s expressions to make more authentic and candid-like images.

Photo by Jacob Lund Photography

Photo (L) by Jacob Lund Photography // Photo (R) by Jacob Lund Photography

 Photo (L) from Scopio // Photo (R) by Javier Pardina

Photo from Scopio

Photo (L) from Scopio // Photo (R) from Jacob Lund Photography

Photo by Suzanne Strong

Photo by Jacob Lund Photography

Holiday foods play a central role in the festive holidays in December around the world. Special recipes and meals that are mainly prepared during the holiday season bring people together, creating a strong bond of tradition, connection and nostalgia. When creating stock photos for December, make sure to take photos of traditional food and drinks.

Photo (L) by Anna Ivanova // Photo (R) by Anna Ivanova

Photo by Anna Ivanova

Photo from Scopio

Photo (L) by Yes Photographers // Photo (R) by Zamurovic Brothers

There are plenty of fun ways to create still life stock photos that represent festive holidays without people. Visit a craft store to get some fun props and get creative!

Photo by Zamurovic Brothers

Photo (L) by Zamurovic Brothers // Photo (R) by Zamurovic Brothers

Photo by Zamurovic Brothers

Lastly, don’t forget to include fun photos of pets in your holiday stock photo shoots!

Photo (L) from Scopio // Photo (R) by Stefy Gutovska

Suggested tags: holidays, festive, celebration, December, Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, candles, ornaments, cookies

More Inspiration

Other significant themes, dates and observances to inspire your photos for December are World AIDS Awareness Month; Tropical Fruits Month; National Pie Day on December 1st; National Cookie Day on December 4th; National Llama Day on December 9th; St. Lucia Day on December 13th celebrated in Scandinavia; Las Posadas celebrated in Mexico from December 16th – December 24th; National Ugly Sweater Day on December 17th; Festivus on December 23rd and Boxing Day on December 26th. 


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Suzanne Strong
Suzanne Strong

Creative Director for Photos at Noun Project and Photographer

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