This was our first time getting a picture with Santa. Standing in line, my son was nervous (he tells me he’s “tired” and wants to go to sleep – as if!) and other kids were crying that were ahead of us. But once he got on Santa’s lap, he was fine, chatting away. I don’t think he really understands who or what Santa is just yet. At any rate, I’m THRILLED with how the photo turned out!
Of course, being the former TV director that I am, I did a few things ahead of time to maximize our chances of getting a good shot. Here are some tips I learned from my kids TV days – and a few I probably just made up.
Santa’s always in red so don’t dress your children in solid red unless you want them to blend in. I know you spent a lot of money on that dress so if you want it to show up, pick a different color. Speaking of colors, generally speaking, all white can freak the camera lens out a little bit and your little one might look all washed out (or if you’re dark skinned, the camera might have trouble with the stark contrast). But – if your Santa has on a lot of white around his face, as this one does, then they have probably already lit the shot correctly for that. An all-white (or mostly white, just to be safe) dress could be very cute and complimentary to Santa’s outfit in that case.
Don’t be afraid to choose a fun outfit, or one that has sentimental meaning for you. If your son is wearing his favorite race car shirt, he just might be more comfortable, and you’ll have that special memory of the time he lived in that shirt. We were the only ones in line in pajamas, but all the moms around me told me they loved that idea.
Practice some facial expressions ahead of time. We do this naturally around here anyhow, as a game: Show me your happy face! Let’s all do sad faces! Angry face! The expression we used for this photo was his “surprised” face. (His on-demand happy face/smile looks forced right now.)
In addition to talking up the fact that hey, we’re going to go see Santa this week, I also pulled up photos of kids sitting on Santa’s lap to show my son. I felt that way he could better understand what it meant to “go see Santa.”
Just like any other time, let them take their lovey or a favorite toy. You can’t see it very well but Santa is holding one of my son’s stealth fighter jets in his hands.
Best of luck with your Santa shots. We got ours done early but that’s cuz this particular Santa at this particular Mall has, like, a 10-year waiting list, and we were lucky to get a reservation. I wasn’t able to get one last year.