8 Tips to create Magical Santa Claus Photos for your Children
Once someone told me that my Fine Art Santa Pictures look very ‘Norman Rockwell-ish’. And that was the most flattering comment that I have received so far about them. Something is truly magical about Santa Claus, right? He brings joy to all of us, young and old alike. So, our goal, as a Houston Fine Art photographer is to capture those jolly moments in our images during our sessions. These sessions are not only for children but also perfect for family pictures.
So, what makes these Santa Claus images so delightful? Here are some pointers to look for. This will help create those storybooks like holiday portraits for the children and their families to treasure for years.
1. Finding an authentic-looking Santa
We got lucky when The Woodlands mall Santa was available to work with photographers in the area. We had had pictures taken a few years earlier with our kids. So, it was an easy decision. However, before making a final choice, we met him in person. Santa has a real beard that he bleaches white for the photos. We like traditional Fine Art Santa pictures. Our Santa Claus wears beautiful traditional red velvet suit with big black belt buckle.
And most importantly, he is amazing with kids and spreads cheers every year to all the children he meets. He sings Christmas carols with them, he loves reading books to them, and he makes them laugh by telling jokes. Our Santa is also very good at advising how to handle toddlers, who are generally afraid of Santa Claus. Finally, his “Ho! Ho! Ho!” in a deep voice gets a perfect score at the end of each session.
2. The Background and setup
To make our pictures look magical, we gotta have the perfect setup. We personally like a very traditional and rich looks for our Santa portraits, harmonized with beautiful Christmas props. Also, we always have a new setup every year since many of the families come back for the fine art Santa pictures in Houston. Often, I do ask them for their input before I decide on the background. It is fun for the parents to get involved in the planning for our session.
3. Choosing the outfit for the Santa Pictures
In general, moms do a great job while choosing the outfit for the Santa pictures. Dark bold colors, in red, burgundy, navy, green, or emerald go beautifully with the setup. Buffalo plaid is always a very popular choice as well. There’s no denying the appeal and versatility of plaid. It’s both traditional and modern, elegant and rustic. Other types of plaids are equally attractive. Also, some parents like their children’s pictures with Santa in Christmas PJ’s. And that really looks pretty. For family pictures, it looks the best if you coordinate your outfits. The entire family in PJs look adorable too. We do offer some Christmas dresses in little girl’s size. Please communicate with us prior to the session if you would like to use one of them.
4. Children’s names and ages (we ask the parents to provide)
Every year Santa brings his ‘Nice List’ while visiting the children. Most of the children make it to the list. Every child gets excited when they find his or her name on it. Although Santa Claus reminds them that Christmas is still a few weeks away and it is crucial for the children to keep up the good work. Children are encouraged to bring their wish list to share with Santa as well.
5. Any allergy issues?
Sharing cookies and milk with Santa is fun for the kids (except the babies). So, we ask our parents for permission and also if there’s any allergy issues. We provide the festive cookies from a local bakery, and we try to make it nut-free but still delicious.
6. Sneaking gifts in for the children
Some parents like their children to receive Christmas presents from Santa. Please let us know in advance so that we can arrange it accordingly. My helper and Santa both do a great job hiding and handing over them to the kids.
7. Preparing children for the session
Santa Claus photo shoots brings joy and happiness. However, some children, specifically the toddlers, may get scared when they meet Santa. And, that is absolutely normal. Here are some tips to get them familiarized for the session:
- Talk to your child about Santa Claus and what they would expect to see on the day
- Show your child photos of Santa Claus several times before the day
- Read books to her about Christmas and Santa Claus or watch a video or two
- Ask her if she is ok to sit on Santa’s lap. If not, it is perfectly fine. We can still get beautiful pictures when no touching is involved.
- Make sure your child is well-rested and fed before the session
- Avoid their nap time, if possible
- Bring their favorite toy or stuffie to make them comfortable
8. Be on time
It is critical that you arrive on-time. We suggest you get on-site 5-10 minutes early as we have back-to-back families waiting to take pictures. Being late will disrupt everybody else’s schedule as well.
Hope this helps you get prepared for the big day. If you like to book your Santa Session with us, you can find the information here. We wish you a very merry holiday season ahead!