On Saturday, November 8, Elise Beall Photography photographed Santa and Me mini-sessions to benefit Christmas Cheer. In a 3 hour period, we photographed 15 groups containing 23 children and 2 Boston Terriers. Needless to say, this place was hopping! Each session lasted about 10 minutes. We have found that if children like Santa and sit happily in his lap for pictures, 10 minutes is plenty of time to get a few great pictures. However, if the children don’t like Santa – there is no amount of time that will allow us to get even one great shot. So 10 minutes works for those, as well. This year, about half the groups were afraid of Santa and wouldn’t get anywhere near him. The other half thought he was wonderful and magical. For the children who wanted no part of Santa, we took pictures of them without the big guy in the red suit. So everyone got some pictures – even if they weren’t exactly what they were hoping for. It’s hard to know which children will pose with Santa and which won’t. Several parents told us that their children had talked about Santa for days – but when they got here there was no way they were going near him. Our goal is to not traumatize the kids, so as soon as we see them start to get upset, we hustle Santa out of the room as quickly as possible. For most children, that’s good enough. But some still want nothing to do with us. Even if the children didn’t care for Santa, they sure liked the cookies he brought them I’ve found that a little bribery goes a long way!
Because of space, I’m not showing every group. If you would like to see all of the pictures, go to Elise Beall Photography and click on Clients. Then click on the Santa and Me gallery. Here are the majority of the kids (and dogs) who came to visit Santa on Saturday.
We had a great time with Santa and the kids on Saturday. But more importantly, we raised about $1000 for Christmas Cheer. And more will be coming as orders are placed. We donate 100% of the profits to help the children of Onslow County have a good Christmas. What a wonderful way to begin the holiday season! I certainly could not undertake this project without the help of a lot of my friends. Special thanks to Will and Rayshal Taylor, Karen and Katie Holder, Lynn Gaddy and Amy Wangerin. You helped the day run smoothly and made it fun for me and the families who participated.