10 Tips for Successful Santa Photography

Posted by: on Nov 24, 2015
Photo Courtesy of Frohe Weihnacht/Flickr

Kid photography is tough, but add in a jolly old man in your shot, and things can start getting tricky pretty quick. Don’t worry, there are many ways to make sure that you snap that memorable Santa photo that exudes warmth and cheer. Here are our top 10 tips for Santa photography that will make your holiday season merry and bright.

1. Plan Your Photo

A little planning goes a long way, and it’s important to plan and organize the shoot well beforehand. Picture your shot in your head, and know the kind of Santa picture you’re trying to capture.

2. Set the Scene

Once you decide on the optimal Santa pose and framing, you have to find the perfect themed setting. The most common (and easiest) picture is Santa on a chair by either a tree or fireplace. Make it fun, and remember that the best setup is the one that is most comfortable for you, Santa, and the kids.

3. Find the Right Light

Don’t flood your Santa scene with too little or too much light. Bringing out warmth and cheer in your photo is of the utmost importance, and lighting can help you achieve this. Give your subjects a soft, warm glow, and adjust your settings accordingly so you don’t drown out those Christmas lights, candles, or fireplace flame.

4. Leave Extra Room in the Frame

Kids may make sudden movements, we all know this, and so it is a good idea to leave some extra room around Santa and your child when framing the image. It is better to crop your photo later than to miss the perfect shot because you were zoomed in too closely.

5. Expression is the Whole Shabang

The child’s expression is key concentration of a photo with Santa. Your child’s face should always be your focus point and exposure metering point.

6. Be Ready Well Before the Child Gets to Santa

Some of the best Santa photos you will ever take will happen before the child is in Santa’s lap. This is when a lot of the raw emotion, not posed for the camera, takes place. Children will either timidly approach Santa and others will run and leap up to hug Santa.

7. Stand Down Elves

Don’t try and take a child from their parent or guardian to take them to Santa. It is intimidating enough for them to be placed on Santa’s knee – it will confuse them further if someone else takes them from their parent’s arms first.

8. Posing with Santa

It’s almost impossible to make children pose. You’ll want a Santa picture that is natural and relaxed. So get your shot setup, compose your frame, and consider taking shots in bursts. That way, you’re sure to capture an exceptional moment between Santa and your subject.

9. Improvise

Don’t be boxed up by your ideal picture. Give yourself a little more room for imagination. Consider taking dynamic pictures of Santa and your subject. You might want to go handheld for this, and experiment with various angles and shots. Take a macro shot of Santa’s boots or glasses, go off frame, or tilt your camera radically. These dynamic shots are sure to churn out some memorable and creative Santa photos.

10. Relax

Don’t stress if it doesn’t work out. Some kids aren’t big fans of sitting on a bearded jolly fat man, it happens. Take what you can get, get mom and dad in the shot, have fun, take what you can get, and move onto the next. Capture every moment and you will end up with the most memorable and original Santa pictures you can hope for.

If you want to make the nice list this year, a proper tethered setup from Tether Tools will get you in Santa’s good graces. From cables to tables, and grip gear to mounting solutions, Tether Tools has all the goodies you need for a happy holiday season. Find out more at TetherTools.com.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *