From over the top outfits, to spur of the moment photos. Adult children having a photo to give to their parents, to mates having a laugh and workmates celebrating the holidays.
I love Santa photos. For many reasons. The main reason is it is a Tradition. And you all know what I am like with traditions.
We have a "Santa" album exclusive for the Santa photos.
I have seen more tears and tantrums that you could imagine, but it doesn't have to be that way.
Here are my tips to getting a picture perfect Santa photo!1: Prepare, prepare and prepare some more. Some little children are not fond of Santa. If I had a dollar for every parent that says "Well, we have taught them to not talk to strangers". ::sigh:: Santa doesn't have to be a stranger. At our set, we welcome children and parents to visit as many times as they like. As soon as the silly season starts, everytime you walk past Santa, go in for a visit.
|2003 - 21st December - Hayden's "First" Christmas photo - on his 1st birthday.|
We were still in hospital on Christmas day for his "real" first Christmas!
One year, Joshua was quite frightened. We walked past a number of times and he wouldn't have a bar of it. Finally, after a few "over the fence" high fives with Santa, he decided he wanted to line up for a visit. When it was our turn, he walked in, turned around and walked straight back out again. The next time, he was happy enough to approach Santa, give him a highfive. The next time, a hand shake. A few more times and we got a wonderful photo.
Don't give up.
2: Do NOT make it a negative experience. DO NOT under ANY circumstances force your child onto Santa. Be prepared for your child to not like it. Don't get disheartened or angry at your child because they don't want to do it. It breaks my heart when I start hearing parents telling their child off for not siting with Santa, and it makes me very angry when they are smacking or abusing their child in front of me. Try again another time.
|2008 - 23rd December (Oliver 4 days old!)|
|2008 - 14th December|
5: Suggest a different pose. For some children, they are happy to sit in the chair without Santa. At our set, I would suggest a "hide" photo. We get the children to close their eyes (or distract them with toys) while Santa disappears. They are then free to sit in Santa's chair while we take the photo. They have no idea that Santa is actually "Peeking" from behind the chair on cue for the photo. Some children are frightened of siting in his knee - so suggest they stand next to Santa, or maybe they would prefer to sit on the floor at Santa's feet. As the staff if they have any suggestions suitable for their set.
7: Go for a "Dump and Snap". Sometimes, the ones with a crying baby are part of the "tradition". If you are really set on getting a photo, but your child is not, ask the photographer to be ready... dump your child... snap a photo and quickly pick them up. Be happy with whatever the photo looks like. Crying? Screaming? Mid-air jumping off Santa? Line them up in your album and remember how much they protested that year. That said, know when to draw the line. Don't make it terrifying. A tear or a scream is one thing, but having a child shaking in absolute terror is not something you want to remember (or will they!)
8: Finally - and my most passionate point is to remember that it is ONLY a Santa photo. If after a few weeks of visits and high-fives and test runs your child is still totally terrified, please please do not force them. It just isn't worth it. It is just a Santa photo!