Having a photo made with your children sitting in Santa’s lap is a tradition for many families. This time of year waiting in line to get your chance often takes sheer determination to maintain a good disposition so that a lump of coal doesn’t have your name written on it. At the Atlanta shopping malls Qualex, a division of Kodak, runs most of the Santa Shops. Once the session is over you can buy a 5″x7″ photo taken with a softbox and a digital camera with a super holiday themed background. It’s all a “package” price. Even if you use your own digital camera to take the shot and walk away without ordering an enlargement you still have to pay for the pleasure.
All things considered this small sitting fee is not going to sting too badly. The Mall has expenses. These include Santa’s time, electricity, floor rental space, employees running the operation, and so on. But, there’s still more to this story.
Don’t be surprised if you find one of the new Kodak kiosk installations in the middle of the Mall. It’s one of those nice big boxes that can produce photo coffee mugs, photo books, enlargements, calendars, and posters. The cool thing is that you can legally take either that 5″x7″ enlargement or your own digital images or paper photographs to the kiosk and make personalized holiday gifts with all the trimmings. Any of these would make a treasured family item. Of course, if you want to create a photo book consider bringing plenty of digital images or printed photos to fill it out. It can all be done right there at the Mall in a very short time. Sometimes it’s so fast everything is ready within a few minutes.
Should you want something more family oriented your options include the local certified professional photographer or even studios right there in the shopping centers that include portrait studios run by Sears and JC Penny.
This is a nice and convenient setup. Your mind stays focused on the holidays and the power of photography.
Lastly, ask yourself if Santa has gotten better looking over the years? The photo illustrating this article is an actual family Santa photo taken approximately 50+ years ago. Of course you have to remember that in those days his “Helpers” often pretended to be the real Deal!