A Photographer’s Perspective on Santa and Children
Parents love photographs of their children smiling for the camera–just look at the pictures on our digital devices and the 5x7s on our desks and tables. However, there are times when it’s not about the smile for the camera.
Believing in the magic of Christmas and Santa is still one of the most wonderful parts of childhood, in my opinion. I consider it an honor to capture these special moments. I never ask the child to look at me and my camera and smile; in fact, it’s not important to me if the child smiles at all. What I most want to convey in my photographs of Santa is the child’s reaction to Santa and their interaction with him. In a quick look through of the images from this past weekend, I’ve put together several collages to illustrate how this photographer sees the magic of Santa and the children who come to him with their hopes and dreams for Christmas morning.
Sometimes the children are quite timid, but a “good Santa” has a way of letting the child become comfortable with him. One of the big advantages of my 20-minute mini sessions is that there is time to build a rapport with Santa. Sometimes, Santa has to be behind the sofa without the child’s knowing that he is there. Sometimes, a child will run to Santa all excited and then become upset when he is close to Santa. After all, Santa is larger than life with his big red suit, large black boots, hat with a fuzzy ball on the end, and the knowledge of whether the child has been good or bad all year!
Santa brings a book into the studio, and I must admit, these are some of my most favorite photographs: Santa sharing a story of Christmas time with family, traditional foods, and, best of all, gifts under the tree! The children who didn’t want to sit with Santa or talk with him will almost always sit still while Santa reads and points to the pictures in the book.
And so time with Santa is precious. Our children believe in the magic of Santa for only a short period of time then go through their teens where they believe in nothing but themselves and their friends. It is with their own children that our kids will, again, believe in how one large beaded man can bring so much joy to the hearts of both the young and the old.