Local professional photographer, Chris Fritchie, ignited his passion for photography more than 20 years ago. An award-winning photographer and member of Professional Photographers of America, Mr. Fritchie was recently recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Photographers in America, with more than 125 cover images and thousands of published images. Recently, Mr. Fritchie received the prestigious 2017 Color Image of the Year award. But as the leaves start turning their gorgeous golden hues and people are starting to embrace the onset of fall, Fritchie is already busy in his workshop, creating an iconic scene for a very special guy.
As a child and young Eagle Scout, ten-year old Chris was often found with a copy of Boys’ Life Magazine, admiring the beautiful Norman Rockwell images that graced the pages. Ever since, Norman Rockwell has left quite the impression on Mr. Fritchie and you can see that in his images. However, after years of taking the same type of photos, he yearned for something different. He did some research and stumbled across photos of kids with Santa and it clicked! He knew immediately that he needed to create a special, one-of-a-kind Santa experience, where he could create art for families to keep for generations. In 2015, Mr. Fritchie started his iconic Magic of Santa experience, his own “Rockwellesque” Santa version, and in the first year alone, he had almost 50 clients sign up for the incredible sessions!
Unfortunately, Christmas was a time of sorrow for young Mr. Fritchie. As a child who was given up for adoption around the special holiday, Christmas seemed more of a sad, painful memory, rather than a joyous occasion worth celebrating. “I never really liked Christmas. When I was eight years old my mother took my little brother and me to my grandparents and told us we were going to live with a new family,” revealed Mr. Fritchie. “Christmas was always a bad time of year for me as that was when my mother dropped me off. I didn’t connect the dots until later as an adult as to why I didn’t like Christmas. It was very difficult as a child.” But after the birth of his own children, he realized how special Christmas really was, and the Christmas spirit was born within Mr. Fritchie. “After my divorce, my daughters’ mother and I had an agreement that our daughters would spend every Christmas Day with me. From then on, I decided that it would be our special tradition. Christmas became very special to me because my girls and I hung out all day. After remarrying, it became a ritual of cooking, enjoying each other’s company and having the whole day with them. I fell in love with Christmas again.”
Falling in love with Christmas helped lead Mr. Fritchie to his magical experience. “I love making Christmas special for people and giving back to the community.” Mr. Fritchie has often given away his Magic of Santa sessions to families in need and he reflects on his experiences as a child. “When I think back on my childhood and my dispirited views about Christmas, it breaks my heart. Christmas is very special and if I can do something for a family or two to give them the Christmas spirit … that is something that I have to do, not just something that I want to do.” Previously he gave a session to a patient with terminal brain cancer. Fritchie sees his Magic of Santa sessions as a work of art and is often told that his creations will be handed down from generation to generation.
Just one look at his website you can tell that the Magic of Santa session is more than anything you could ever receive at your local mall. Mr. Fritchie is making creative art and he is a master at what he does. As any great photographer will tell you, it takes time to turn an image into a work of art and the Magic of Santa experience is no exception. Mr. Fritchie’s sessions cost a bit more than your traditional Santa picture; however, the art he creates will last a lifetime! “We have created an atmosphere where kids more than merely meet Santa,” Fritchie explains. “Children hardly realize they are having pictures taken, as they are playing games, helping build toys or reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.’ Kids forever have the memory of Santa pulling a present out of his bag from their wish list! To see excitement on a child’s face during this time is amazing. We capture that joy and create art that lasts forever. Located near the historic square in downtown McKinney, Mr. Fritchie and his wife, Lori, enjoy working together to create magical memories for families, children and the community. This year they are excited to open a second location in Tyler with more opportunities for families to capture sweet moments with Santa. Creating memorable, extraordinary experiences is of high-importance for many families this year, as COVID-19 looms and cancelations are still occurring. But the magic of Santa never fades and let’s admit it … we could all use a little more magic this year.
To book a Magic of Santa experience at Chris Fritchie Studios, either in McKinney or Tyler, please visit www.magicofsanta.com, or visit www.chrisfritchiestudios.com.