At this time of year, most retail-store windows are brimming with gift ideas, Santa scenes, and/or brightly colored signs and posters announcing holiday sales and promotions. The creative team at Potthast Studios in Winter Haven, FL has opted to take a less commercial approach to decorating their windows for the busy holiday season.
At the suggestion of the studio’s portrait stylist and designer Lisa Anne Kleine, photographer Mike Potthast chose to stage and shoot original photography that would help visually retell the Christmas story. The panoramic Nativity scene fills all four studio-front windows with life-sized framed photo prints of a local family dressed up as Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus, area priests in the role of the Three Wise Men, and other friends from the community posing as shepherds and an angel.
The project also involved bringing donkeys, a bull, and other animals into the studio for a series of smaller prints surrounding the people depicted in the Nativity Scene.
The window-display prints were one of the first projects that Mike Potthast printed on the 44-in. Canon imagePROGRAF 8100 printer that he had recently purchased from LexJet. The images were output on LexJet’s 11-mil Sunset Photo eSatin paper and “stretched” onto the backs of handmade frames. The starry blue-sky backdrop was fabricated from large sheets of painted foamboard and twinkling Christmas lights.
The response to the display has been overwhelmingly positive. When the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce featured the display on their website’s blog, residents posted comments such as this one: “Thank you for taking the time and energy to remind us of the real story of Christmas.”
You can read more details about this artfully created display in LexJet’s In Focus newsletter.
Michael Potthast is a fourth‐generation photographer who had taken over the family business in 2001 that was founded by his father William Potthast in 1964. In addition to growing up and participating in the family business from childhood, Michael earned degrees in commercial photography and business management and worked as a freelance photographer for the Orlando Magic and a film producer for Time Warner. Potthast Studios provides a mix of commercial and portrait photography services as well as motion film and video production services