I was invited to photograph the children in my community of Redwood Meadows with Santa Claus on Sunday. He took a little time out of his schedule to sit for portraits at the community hall. We had about fifty children come and Santa was fantastic talking with all of them and sharing in their plans for the holidays. It was hectic and a lot of fun. Certainly makes me appreciate the photographers working where there are hundreds of kids in line!
I started the shoot with my children, Kian and Kezia, to do some quick tests but everyone was anxious to get rolling so it was a bit rushed. Kezia, at just under two years old, was happy to stay cuddled in her mommy’s arms. She had no interest in sitting on Santa’s lap so that photograph will have to wait for next year. Here are two that I did get of Kian.
Here, Zac and Ivy Keyser look quite at home on Santa’s lap. They were ready to share their wish list and listen to Santa’s input.
When it was time to put on the smiles, they were definitely ready.
Mackenzie and Parker brought their dog Morris with them and I love the photographs we made.
When it was time to go, Parker was ready.
Probably the best part of the afternoon was working with my Dad. As I was mucking about with gear, he led the set up of the props and the scene. During the shoot, he worked the main reflector and did a great job. It was really fun working together – thanks Dad! At the end of the portraits, I got a nice shot of my parents together with Santa.
On the gear front, I used my Canon 1D Mark III and stayed with one lens. Sadly, my old workhorse, the Canon 70-200 lens, has lost its trustworthiness badge as back focus crept into a couple of images. This tracks back to a drop I’m guilty of from almost a year ago at Glacier National Park but lately it has become more of a problem. This lens has served me well but it is now at the top of the replacement list. I lit the scene with a single Canon 430 EX flash (6′ off the ground on camera left) bounced off of a large silver umbrella with a 36″ reflector close in at camera right and mixed with ambient. I’m happy to report that my new Pocket Wizard remote flash controllers worked very well and I really enjoyed the ease of use and reliability of the system. Looking forward to leveraging them more in my work.
I had a great time and want to thank the Redwood Meadows community for letting me take portraits of our wonderful children.