F8 Industries Photography

Photos With Santa

If you have children then you know that the yearly Christmas tradition of taking photos with Santa can’t be skipped.  You own a camera and you don’t want to stand in line at the mall to spend a lot of money for a photograph you could take yourself?  Well then, here are some helpful tips from F8 Industries Photography!


  1.  Find a different Santa.  Sound odd?  Check your local Facebook groups, look on your local event calendar, Santa appears in a lot of places during the month of December, you don’t have to stick to a single (popular and expensive) place.  Over the past few years we’ve found a Santa at a local tractor dealership (yes really), at different restaurants, church events and even random social functions.  If you take this route you are now personally on the hook for Santa photos of her special people for Grandma!  You can’t mess this one up, right?
  2. Have your camera on and ready.  While waiting in line have the lens cap off, have your camera on and have it set to the settings you want to take the photograph with before you get up to the front.  Good kid photos, especially with young children, are a “run and gun” affair, you have to be quick on the draw and ready with the trigger before the curiosity turns into crying faces!
  3. Use a flash (NOT a pop-up flash):  If you don’t own a Speedlight then you are missing out on one essential piece of gear for great portraits.  Pop-up flashes built into cameras are great for one thing:  making every photograph look like a mug shot.  With a speedlight you can use a diffuser, bounce the light off the ceiling or both and get a nice evenly lit photograph.
  4. Get down!  Did you read that in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice?  If so then you’re probably a goof ball like me, but the single best trick to taking great photographs of children is to kneel down.  Get on eye level.  When they’re in Santa’s lap that means cutting the distance between Santa’s face and your child’s face in half and getting your camera to that height.  If you have your camera already setup and ready to go, then you can kneel or crouch a little and get the perfect shot without causing any fuss.
  5. Rapid fire!  Flip the selector switch from “safe” to “full auto” in terms of how many frames or photographs your camera will take when you hold down the shutter button.  Some might call this cheating, but after taking thousands and thousands of photographs of children I’ll say that they make some goofy faces.  Some are cute, some aren’t, but they do everything quickly.  The thought of posing for a photograph isn’t in their mind, they’re talking to Santa, and you don’t want to break that magical moment, so put your finger down and fire away like a tourist!
Top! All photography and text copyrighted, Dave Lund and F8 Industries Photography