This past weekend, I was contracted by my neighborhood to do Santa photos with "Santa Ricky". Let me say, I have known quite a few professional Santas over the years (Bill, the kids' grandfather, is a card-carrying Santa), and Santa Ricky is awesome. He and Mrs. Claus had some great ideas for working with some of the more trepidacious kids, and everyone had a great time in the end.
The photo above was using the "Ninja Santa" move, where Santa leaves the room, and then sneaks back in behind the kids when they're not looking. Even the cryers had smiles on their faces afterwards (helped in part by the free candy canes!). But like one of the parents said about their child crying early on: "It's all part of the memory!"
I really, really enjoy working with kids, and doing Santa shots (hmm, sounds like holiday adult beverage...) was an absolute blast. Between the three of us (Santa, Mrs. Claus, and me), we really formed a great team.
The concept was a unique deal for the neighborhood: Santa came in, I did the photos, and the families get FREE 5x7s. This required a different kind of contract than I would normaly draw up, as I was producing the prints, but the neighborhood is giving out the photos. No consulations, no ordering on their part. It's actually pretty stress-free on all ends, I think, and a cool little perk for Brookstone residents.