Thursday, November 17, 2016

How to get the BEST Santa Photo!

Santa has already started making his appearance in shopping centres around the country.  In Christmases past, I have been a photographer at one of the busiest Santa sets in SE QLD.  This means I have seen it all.

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!



When Joshua was about 2.5, he was quite frightened.  We walked past a number of times over the course of a couple of weeks and he wouldn't have a bar of it.  Finally, after a few "over the fence" high fives with Santa, one day 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 and 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.
2006
3:  Make sure you choose the best time for your child.  It's a no-brainer to not go when your child is due for a nap or is in a bad mood.

2007
4:  Take your time.  If you feel like you are being rushed by the set staff, ask politely if there is a quiet time that they recommend to come back.  During peak periods you obviously won't have the luxury of being able to ease your child in.  Even a very busy set has down times.  Come back when the staff have plenty of time to play and talk to your child to get them comfortable.


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.





2010
6: Make it a family photo.  If you still haven't been able to manage to get one with the kids on their own, I suggest you frock up and have a lovely family photo.  Make it your tradition every year.  :)

2011


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!






Do you get Santa photos?  How do you prep your Children?



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Purple Tree

Today is my birthday.  

I don't enjoy my birthday anymore.  I keep it very quiet and hate the fanfare of people wishing me the best and handing me cards and little presents.  I hate the flood of messages on my Facebook page, and I just dislike the attention in general.

A far cry to the woman I used to be.  Just 5 years ago, I would have made the biggest deal about my birthday and made sure the world knew it was MY day.

But as the years have gone by, I have started having anxiety about it.  This year has been no different and I have been dreading it since one of the Reasons first told me it was fast approaching.

Yes, my kids remember.  Every. Single. Year.

Without a reminder from an adult.

You see, I once told them a story.  Many many years ago.

I was born under a tree.  A great big beautiful old tree that didn't have leaves.  It was in fact, a purple tree.  Soft bell shaped purple flowers delicately covered the tree.   And every year, the purple tree blooms to mark the day of my birth.



As soon as the Five Little Reasons see the first hint of the blooming Jacaranda trees, they will remember and whisper, "It is your birthday soon Mama".  And I smile.  I cherish the joy that my birth has given them.

So today, I am having a quiet reflection day.  I was born.  And that means so much.

I don't need the attention.  I don't need to be showered with gifts.  I am one very blessed woman... who is very grateful.

Grateful for so many things.

Grateful for my birth.   

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Start writing again Danielle!

I have been thinking about my dormant blog a lot recently.  The past year or two, this blog has popped into my mind every now and again... but with some pretty hard things happening in our life, the thoughts leave as quickly as they entered.

Recently however,  I have been thinking about it a lot.  Even talking about it more.  Sharing my address to random people and sharing some posts with friends.

I've also been reading my blog.  Yep, reading my own blog.  Is that weird?  I wonder if Britany Spears listens to her own albums on a Saturday night.  Random thought?  Moving on...

I remember the day my feelings towards my blog changed.  It was a combination of "hate mail", "blank brain" and "what if's".

The hate mail was easy to fix - I blocked anyone and everyone before even reading their message.  As soon as I received a message/email/text that made me question anything or change my mood in a negative way, I would stop reading and delete as fast as I could.  And then block.  I ain't got time for that.

However, I didn't realise that it did have an impact.  I started questioning my blog.  Questioning my writing.  Questioning my readers.

And then asking "what if".  A lot.  What if someone takes this the wrong way... again.  What if someone doesn't agree with me.  What if someone doubts my intentions.  I had many people dislike the content of my writing.  Disliking me putting my family "out there".  I came to the conclusion that in the end, they just weren't listening.

All of this resulted in "blank brain".  I had forgotten how to write.  I had forgotten what I wanted to say.  I had forgotten my original intentions of this blog.

This is MY blog.  My story.  My words.  And no one can question that.  I won't let anyone question that.  I can write about anything I want.  THIS IS MY BLOG.

This is me.  

I forgot how happy writing makes me.  Like really happy.

If you don't like it, please delete me from your life.  It's that simple.  Press the delete button.  I won't be engaging in the petty crap anymore.

My mental health depends on it.

Gosh it feels good to be writing again....


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...