A yearly photo of your kids with the man in the red suit is not only a special Christmas tradition, it’s also a snapshot in time of your little darlings - their first Christmas, the toddler stage, the year they first started school etc - and these are the photos you’ll treasure forever.
Tips for Christmas Photos with Santa Willie
Christmas Card Photos
Christmas photos of the family that can be printed on Christmas Cards and sent to friends and relatives are a great way to share your family's joy during the Holiday Season. Christmas photos can be done in September or October to allow for time to have your cards printed and distributed. The photos can be made in your own home to personalize them, your photos will not look like everyone else's.
Some Tips for Making Better Santa Pictures
Snacks and toys are key. Bring a favorite toy. Life's easier with a stuffed bear by your side. Make sure kids are fed and had a nap; they are less likely to be uncooperative.
Put a band-aid on your child's finger if he gets fidgety, sometimes that's distracting enough that he'll forget Santa's even there.
Tie up his wish list with a bow, and have him hand it over. It places the attention on Santa, not on the child. If your child is old enough, add to the excitement of the occasion by helping them draft a letter to Santa. This will give their visit a higher purpose and will help the child talk more freely to Santa.
Be positive about Santa. If you prepare your child by saying “Don't be afraid, Santa's not going to hurt you,” you've introduced a possibility that may never have occurred to them. Instead, talk about how fun it will be, and show your child a picture of a sibling or a cousin or perhaps you perched happily on Santa's lap. Show your kids pictures of them or other family members with Santa to familiarize them.
Get them excited. Read books about Santa, sing songs about Christmas and speak about what they want to tell Santa when they get to sit on his knee. The more prepared and knowledgeable they are, the less likely it is they will get distressed.
Get your family's photo with Santa done early - home visits right after you have decorated with your Christmas trees are less stressful than the mall and provide a personal touch. A good Santa not only has warm and sparkly eyes, he’ll also talk to your child and try to set them at ease. If your little one isn’t in the mood for having his picture taken right then, a good Santa will be happy to let him to take some time to get used to him and try again later.
The Photo Shoot
The best way to get your baby to look at the camera is to place her in Santa’s arms and then hold her gaze, slowly walking towards the camera lens and then standing behind it so she peers towards the lens.
If you are taking the photos yourself, bring someone with you so they can help you position and distract the kids.
Don't use portrait mode. Portrait mode creates a very shallow depth of field and uses a low film sensitivity. This means that you run a real chance of having a blurry photo. Use Action Mode instead. Action mode uses a fast shutter speed and continually adjusts focus as your subjects move. This will increase your chances of a sharply focused photograph.
Be ready before your child gets to Santa. Sometimes those unposed moments make the best photos. Some of the greatest Santa photos you will ever take will happen before the child is actually in Santa's lap. This is when a lot of real emotion, not posed for the camera, happens. Some children will bashfully approach Santa and others will literally leap up to hug Santa.
Make sure you wear something you are happy to be photographed in. Whether you like it or not, if your child refuses to sit on Santa's knee without screaming you may well end up in picture yourself, sitting next to Santa with your angel on your lap. If you are wearing your oldest clothes and haven't done your hair you won't be happy showing the photos to anyone - even if you did end up getting your child to smile in the end.