It’s not quite the holidays without a few pictures with Santa and if this is the first time your baby or toddler will be having their photo taken with Saint Nick, it’s particularly exciting. However, if your child isn’t great with strangers, you might be feeling a bit concerned about whether you’ll be able to get any good photos at all – these tips should help make the experience more pleasant.
Before the Santa Shoot
- Get your child excited. When a child sees Santa in real life for the first time, it can be a little overwhelming. The hat, the bright red suit and a giant beard can all be a little much for some children. However, by getting them excited and showing them what to expect, the whole process might go a little smoother. Watch a few Christmas movies or read them a book about it to get them acquainted.
- Visit the mall. Another way to get your little one used to the idea of Santa is to visit the mall the day before your photoshoot so that you can show him/her what he looks like and what they can expect during their photos.
The Day of the Santa Shoot
- Get there early. Standing in a long line full of hyper children can be stressful for you and your child, so it’s best to get there early if you can. Plus, seeing Santa earlier in the day will ensure you see him at his jolliest.
- Work around your child’s schedule. Obviously, if getting there early is going to interfere with your child’s naptime or snack time, you’ll want to work around that. A well-rested child who has a full tummy will be much more pleasant.
- Jump in the photo. If your child is feeling nervous, you should be prepared to be included in a shot or two to get them to feel comfortable. This means making sure you arrive photo-ready just in case.
- Just go with it. Many parents are disappointed when their child doesn’t play along for photos, but this is something you can’t predict or avoid so it’s best just to roll with it and enjoy the experience as much as you can. Crying photos are ok too. In the weeks leading up to your pictures with Santa, you may even want to get your child to practice posing for the camera as extra preparation.
Elizabeth Gosch, a child psychologist from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, says parents who prepare will have more success. "If the parent isn't calm and having fun with the experience, the child's going to have a hard time doing that, too," said Elizabeth Gosch.
If your child has a special outfit, make sure they're used to it - and comfortable in it. Talk about Santa, and practice what will happen to form positive feelings.
"They can have their kids watch good experiences of kids modeling, being in Santa's lap on YouTube or other social media, being able to see other kids enjoy being with Santa," said Dr. Gosch.
I hope these tips are helpful as you prepare for your Santa and Me experience with
Legacy Portrait Design . I look forward to seeing you soon!