Christmas is a season steeped in tradition, and so much effort goes on behind the scenes each year to make it happen.
From toymakers to reindeer handlers at winter theme parks to the people who decorate your local high street, there are many people who work tirelessly make these traditions a reality.
Intrigued by this idea, German photographer Paloma Parrot traveled across Europe with her Nikon D7500, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR and AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G to take portraits of the many people and their varied skills who bring Christmas to life each year.
Her resulting Faces of Christmas series spans reindeer handlers in Lapland to Christmas tree farmers in Denmark and stocking manufacturers in Britain, examining the craftsmanship that goes on behind the scenes of the holiday season each year.
Mike Wallace, 70
Cake maker, Meg Rivers Bakery, Shipston-on-Stour (UK)
British cake maker Mike Wallace has been the head baker at Meg Rivers Artisan Bakery for 14 years, where a key part of his role is baking a range of festive treats.
Jade Downer, 25
Card maker, Tidy Print, Brighton (UK)
Brighton-based card maker Jade Downer co-founded Tidy Print, her screen printing studio and shop, with her partner Daniel Tomlinson just last year. Since opening, Jade has not only produced her own cards but offered Christmas card workshops to teach people the basics of screen printing.
Anders Larsen, Age 50
Christmas tree farmer, Faedres Gave, Copenhagen (Denmark)
Danish Christmas tree farmer Anders Larsen grew up on a small island 150 km from Copenhagen, called Lolland. During the week Anders and his wife practise law in Copenhagen, but at the weekend they work on their Christmas tree farm and plantation. Anders and his wife purchased the Christmas tree farm two years ago and now run it as a family business.
Upi Virkkula, 51
Reindeer handler, Salla Reindeer Park, Salla (Finland)
Upi Virkkula has worked as a reindeer handler in Salla, Finland, for almost two decades. He takes care of the reindeer all year – from planning safaris to arranging feeding trips and even visits to witness the majestic northern lights.
Julie Tuner, 55
Rocking horse maker, The Rocking Horse Shop, York (UK)
Yorkshire’s Julie has been working at The Rocking Horse Shop since 1999. In those 18 years she has become a master in her craft making bespoke saddles and bridles for not only old and new rocking horses, but also for hobbyists who set out to make their own with the help of the plans supplied by the shop.
Tom Count, 18
Stocking maker, Santa Sacks, Lincolnshire (UK)
Tom Count works as a production assistant at Santa Sacks, where he spends his time printing and personalising vintage hessian sacks and stockings in time for Christmas. He ensures that every individual sack or stocking features the name of its eventual owner by printing the letters onto the products using a heat press.
The finishing touches are added before they are carefully packaged up and wrapped in a bow before Tom ensures they are delivered on time for Christmas.
Daniel Aust, 43
Toy maker, GRIMM’s Spiel und Holz Design, Hochdorf (Germany)
German toy maker Daniel Aust has headed up the Grimm’s Toy workshop for the last 11 years. He combines creativity and craftmanship to produce handmade, natural and long lasting wooden toys and ensures the smooth running of the workspace, from overseeing his staff to taking responsibility for the technical and mechanical devices.