McKinney studio The Magic of Santa specializes in capturing unique moments for Christmas

Chris Fritchie captures images of his clients with Santa in Downtown McKinney.
Chris Fritchie captures images of his clients with Santa in Downtown McKinney. (Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)

Chris Fritchie captures images of his clients with Santa in Downtown McKinney. (Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
Chris Fritchie photraphs a client with her two dogs at the Magic of Santa in McKinney. (Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Chris and Lori Fritchie run the Magic of Santa in Downtown McKinney. (Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
On the outside, local photography studio The Magic of Santa looks like any other building in historic downtown McKinney.

But once guests step through a sliding barn door, they are transported to the North Pole. Christmas music plays in the background, and the room is kept brisk. Scenes of holiday nostalgia are presented in juxtaposition with the warehouse space surrounding them.

In those scenes, stories are read with Santa, children build snowmen, and toys are showcased in a workshop. It is all part of an award-winning studio dreamed up by McKinney photographer Chris Fritchie.

At The Magic of Santa Fritchie captures his subjects in photos with Saint Nick. Children meet Santa and explore the winter scenery with him during portrait sessions under Fritchie’s direction. Hand-built sets comprise the base of his images, which Fritchie later edits digitally to create a look inspired by the artwork of American artist Norman Rockwell.

“It’s an experience. We have a really good time. We have fun,” Fritchie said. “The kids don’t even really realize they’re getting their pictures taken. Once we get started, they’re just hanging out with Santa.”


Before discovering the magic of Santa, Fritchie almost quit photography. •After nearly a decade working as a photographer for magazines, Fritchie said he felt “burned out.” So he quit the magazine and was borrowing a space at the Adriatica Hotel in McKinney while he fulfilled commercial photography contracts. There, the idea for The Magic of Santa was born.

“On the last day we were shooting, my wife was there, and I came up, and I said, ‘You know, I got this crazy idea. I’ve been looking around at different things, and I think if we did high-end Santa portraits at this location in this community, I think it would be received really, really well,’” he said.

The Magic of Santa opened November 2015. In its first year, Fritchie said he had hoped the studio would have 15 sessions. Instead, it had 50. And during the 2018 holiday season, the business had more than 200 sessions.

The studio is open year-round, but during slower months, Fritchie works with other photographers and trains them on how to take Santa portraits.

Fritchie credits one thing as the key to his success.

“It comes down to great images,” Fritchie said. “Great images and a great experience.”

The Magic of Santa

215 N. Kentucky St., McKinney

214-856-5342

www.chrisfritchiestudios.com/the-magic-of-santa

Hours: Sun.-Sat.:10 a.m.-6 p.m. After hours by appointment.
By Miranda Jaimes
Miranda has been in the North Texas area since she graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. She reported and did design for a daily newspaper in Grayson County before she transitioned to a managing editor role for three weekly newspapers in Collin County. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 covering Tarrant County news, and is now back in Collin County as the editor of the McKinney edition.


MOST RECENT

Community Impact staff
Health Care Edition 2020: A list of hospitals in McKinney

See hospital information and new programs.

(Community Impact staff)
Collin County takes top rank for health outcomes, health factors in 2020

Collin County offers a variety of health services for residents. See how healthy the county is and how its health care industry ranks statewide with these statistics.

Original ChopShop will open June 11 in McKinney. (Courtesy Original ChopShop)
Original ChopShop sets June 11 opening date in McKinney

Original ChopShop has set a date to open its first location in McKinney.

The Al Ruschhaupt splash pad in McKinney has reopened for the season. (Courtesy McKinney Parks & Recreation Department)
Splash pads reopen in McKinney

The McKinney Parks & Recreation Department announced the reopening of its splash pads for the season.

Although Texas restaurants began to open May 1, to-go alcohol sales will be allowed to continue, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. (Courtesy Pexels)
Protests, development plans and three other popular DFW stories from this week

Here are five recent updates from the metroplex on police brutality protests, a Frisco report of West Nile Virus and more.

SNAP, a federal program overseen in Texas by the HHSC, assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families statewide. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Emergency SNAP food benefits extended in Texas during COVID-19 pandemic

SNAP assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families in Texas.

Many of those present at the gathering of Collin County Churches wore shirts and held signs that said "praying for justice and against racism." More shirts with the same message were handed out to the crowd. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Photos: Scenes from prayer gathering hosted by Collin County Churches

Pastors and staff from about 10 churches prayed and spoke about racism and injustice from the steps of the Collin County Courthouse during the June 4 gathering..

Following approval by McKinney City Council, construction of a mini-roundabout with lighting and pedestrian enhancements was expected to begin in late May at the intersection of Rockhill Road and Graves Street, officials said. (Graphic by Michelle Degard/Community Impact Newspaper)
McKinney transportation update: Rockhill Road construction

Following approval by McKinney City Council, construction of a mini-roundabout with lighting and pedestrian enhancements was expected to begin in late May at the intersection of Rockhill Road and Graves Street, officials said.

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to see its COVID-19 cases. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CMS reports 321 coronavirus deaths in Texas nursing homes, nearly 32,000 nationwide

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to its COVID-19 cases.

Frisco announced the spray park at J.R. Newman Park will reopen June 5 along with the spray parks at Frisco Commons and Shepherd's Glen Park. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
Spray parks return to Frisco and more: Business and community news from the DFW area

Read the latest business and community news from Community Impact Newspaper's coverage of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

UltiMutts opened May 26 and is now offering dog boarding in McKinney. (Courtesy UltiMutts)
Canine retreat UltiMutts opens in McKinney

UltiMutts opened May 26 and is now offering dog boarding in McKinney.

Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Centennial in Frisco is part of a large health system that announced a series of layoffs and furloughs last week. (Courtesy Baylor Scott & White)
North Texas hospitals, hit by revenue losses, lobby for Medicaid program expansion

A group of North Texas hospitals plans to promote expanding Medicaid ahead of next year’s session of the Texas Legislature as the state’s health system deals with substantial revenue losses incurred during the coronavirus pandemic.