Indianapolis, IN

Make Your Christmas Card Photos Pop With an Unexpected Location

Rebekah Barton

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Taking Christmas card photos is one of my favorite holiday traditions every year. Coordinating outfits, choosing a location, even wrangling a wiggly toddler or two -- I love it all because I know the end result will be amazing.

I've realized, though, that I've fallen into the trap of taking similar photos annually. If you've been on social media long enough, you know the backdrops -- a red truck laden with boughs of holly, a family happily posing at a Christmas tree farm, children dressed in their buffalo plaid best running through the woods.

While these locations are classic and timeless, sometimes it's fun to think outside the box a little when it comes to finding a Christmas card photo spot that really pops.

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When I started thinking about elegant locations that are typically available to the public, several downtown Indianapolis hotels immediately came to mind. As it turns out, a hotel lobby is a perfect background for Christmas card photos!

Many of them are even decorated for the season by early November.

We ended up at Massachusetts Avenue's darling, Bottleworks Hotel, for this year's Christmas card photos, and I couldn't be happier with how they turned out.

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Upscale hotel lobbies typically offer high-end furnishings, well-though-out interior design, and gorgeous artwork. As history lovers, Bottleworks -- which is also one of Indy's best all-around hotels -- was the perfect fit for us.

We used several different locations in the public section of the property, including a stunning spiral staircase, a Christmas tree, and the billiards area.

And, remember, don't be afraid to try something you weren't planning -- I had my girls sit on a luggage cart on a whim, and they're my favorite photos from the entire batch!

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It's also important to note that you should give any hotel you plan to visit a heads-up before you arrive. Some properties have rules about photoshoots. In the case of Bottleworks, as long as professional photography equipment isn't used, taking photographs is no problem.

We used my iPhone 13 and had no issues. Happy photo taking!

More on the Indianapolis Bottleworks District

The Bottleworks District is more than a hotel, it's an entire neighborhood with great dining and entertainment. From Pins Mechanical Company to Drybar to Living Room Theaters to The Fountain Room (one of my current obsessions) it's the perfect spot for a weekend away or an Indy staycation.

It's also just steps from all the bars and shopping on the iconic Mass. Ave.

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A brief history of the district notes that the original building -- now Bottleworks Hotel -- was owned by Lee E. and James S. Yuncker. Grounded in American tradition, it was the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Indianapolis. In 1940, the Yunkers celebrated their 25th anniversary as bottlers of Coca-Cola Indianapolis and announced an expansion of the factory.

In 1949, the main addition to the plant made it the largest Coca-Cola bottling plant in the world. Local architectural firm, Rubush and Hunter, designed the plant in the Art Deco style that was popular when it was originally constructed.

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In 1969, the plant was sold to Indianapolis Public Schools when a new plant was opened in Speedway, Indiana. Beginning in 1971, the building housed the IPS Service Center. Hendricks Commercial Properties began repurposing the area in 2017, resulting in the fabulous district it has become.

Which hotel in your area would be perfect for your next Christmas card photo setting?

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Rebekah is a long-time digital media professional who has branched out into creating lifestyle content of her own. From 5-star hotel reviews to everyday style, you'll find it here. Follow daily adventures at www.instagram.com/_rebekahbarton

Indianapolis, IN
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